First Day Back to Training
It’s been nearly a month since my last training session. Some people can exercise through any crisis. Not me. The best I did was a few walks. My focus was on my mom in hospice.
She’s been gone for two weeks now and it feels so weird. Like the other day when something funny happened and I thought, “Oh, I can’t wait to tell Mom about that!” only to remember that she died.
The Five Stages of Loss and Grief:
- Denial and Isolation – acting like the death never happened, since reality is too difficult to bear.
- Anger – this can be directed at yourself, others, objects or even the person who died.
- Bargaining – this is where you second guess everything (“If I had only gotten a second opinion,” etc.) or asking God to postpone the inevitable.
- Depression – sadness and regret.
- Acceptance – a calmness about the situation.
The stages can be experienced in any order and can overlap. Some people get stuck in a stage and never make it to acceptance. I feel like I’ve been stumbling through these stages ever since my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer nine months ago.
After her initial diagnosis, I dropped out of my women’s bodybuilding team and drowned my sadness in chocolate. I guess I was multitasking and combined isolation with depression. Anyway, I went from a size 1 to size 7 in four months, which is impressive even for me.
It took a big goal, The Arnold Amateur Competition, for me to get back into a good mental and physical place.
When my mom went into hospice last month I fell back into that awful grief pattern again, which is why going back to the gym today was so important to me.
I believe in physical therapy, as in exercise will help you get over your sadness once you’re ready to partake of it consistently. When my father died I began marathon running. Now that my mom passed I’m looking to lift the heaviest weights I can find.
My next bodybuilding competition is not until the end of October, which is too far away for me to stay focused. (Know thyself…)
When I thought my mother had more time (Denial?) – that she would make it at least until the end of summer (Bargaining?) – I signed up for the Southwest Aerial Art Championships (which is a fancy name for amateur pole dancing competition. Don’t worry – it’s a fitness competition, not a sleazy bar thing.)
Anyway, I barely got one rehearsal in before I cancelled everything fitness-related to care for mom. Now that I have more time…I just don’t feel like dancing.
I’m not sure if I’m in a bargaining phase (“If I distract myself with enough fitness things, then I won’t have time to feel depressed”) or in an acceptance phase (“Mom was proud of the sports I did, even if they were outside the norm. She’d want me to do what makes me happy.”) I just know that right now I feel guilty for having fun.
Where is the fast forward button for life? When will I feel normal again?
Today I met with my coach, Robin, for the first time in almost a month. It felt good to lift. He said this week is just going to be easy to get back into it. He said the boxing bag is on standby. It’s nice to know I’ll be prepared for the anger phrase…
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two. Her book, “She’s Losing It!” is available at Amazon.com.
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