On Strength and Heart (a.k.a. An Explanation of Last Week’s Absence)

Last week, I alluded to the fact that I’d been going through some personal “stuff” … hence the writer’s block that left much of the week post-less. As I continued to think about the situation – I got to thinking about the way that my workouts act as a form of therapy to get me through the stress of both this particular situation, as well as everyday life (or at least allows me to focus on something I can control for a while). For that reason, I have decided to take a bit of a risk and delve a little more into my personal life today.

So many of you have been so kind and forthcoming with your support, encouragement and thoughts (even the ones I don’t always agree with, but I still respect) throughout the last nearly year of Strong-Fit-Beautiful’s existence. And sometimes what you really need is that outside, objective voice to guide you in the right direction. To help you see what you really need to see to be able to maintain – or regain – your wellness. To help you take on the challenges which you cannot directly control, and to which the endgame is unknown. To help you realize that putting yourself in a vulnerable position, while it can be terrifying, is the true test of strength.  

See, here’s the thing: if you have ever seen me teach a class, it may surprise you to know that outside of the studio, I’m a starkly different person – the confidence and excitement are much harder to come by. While in class, I joke that you probably think I’m crazy, or mean, or something worse, in “real” life, there is nothing that brings more fear than the possibility of people actually viewing me this way. I have gone so far as to say that until I have heard the words “you are my friend, and I like you” said, I have a hard time believing that people actually do. It’s almost as if workouts and classes are business, and everything else is personal – and while I may succeed in being a confident rockstar in “business,” I struggle to keep my head above water when things turn more personal (perhaps that is why in my pre-fitness days, I found solace in theater, where I could be someone else).

As you may already know, February is heart month. From heart disease awareness to those little boxes of chocolates in the stores, the heart is everywhere. And while I do everything in my power to maintain my heart’s strength through fitness (a.k.a. the love of my life), in many ways, my heart is aching.

To be completely honest, I don’t often find many people who “get” me. I’ve been told all too many times that I’m intimidating – a description that I’m yet to understand. I stumbled upon a quote several months back that truly resonated with me: “The right man will love all the things about you that the wrong man was intimidated by.”

So, yeah, this is a story about a man. A man who “gets” me. A man who loves the same things I love – the things that others have found too “intimidating” about me. A man who took me by surprise, who drew me in when I least expected it, and who distanced himself right when I finally felt confident enough in myself to let him in. To care. To feel. To believe that who I really was, was amazing.

I’m not going to make it out like this was a huge, long affair, because it was not. It began as months of a harmless spark between friends; a spark that finally found the right conditions and ignited. My instinct was to run from the fire, but my gut told me to enjoy the beauty of the flame that was finally ablaze. It was several weeks of a beautiful glow, but just as quickly as it ignited, the flame went out.  

I wasn’t wronged. No ill-will exists. I still cherish our friendship, though it’s difficult to take a step back and try to ignore the feelings. When I took a step back and looked at it, all the signs that told me that the two of us together was so right. I care deeply for him, and I want nothing but the best for him – though I still believe that what’s best for him is me. Where does the story go from here? I suppose only time can tell.

So I did what I do best when I find myself facing challenges that even the best workout in the world cannot solve – I put my thoughts onto paper. I did something that I’ve never had the confidence to do before – I decided I wasn’t going to lay down and take it – I was going to fight for him. I put myself out there. I said my piece. I’ve yet to hear his thoughts – but I’d rather him take a little time to explore the feelings truly in his own heart, rather than just giving me the initial knee-jerk reaction. Was it a mistake to share what is really in my heart? I don’t believe so. Even if I don’t get the response I genuinely hope for, I really believe sometimes we don’t get what we want, we get what we need … and that everything happens for a reason.  

At the end of the day, what’s best for our minds, and what’s best for our souls, is what is best for our hearts. Much like our muscles, sometimes we just have to go through a little rebuilding and recovery to come back stronger. I’m staying positive. I’m keeping faith that I’m on the right path. And I’m definitely not giving up.

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17 thoughts on “On Strength and Heart (a.k.a. An Explanation of Last Week’s Absence)

  1. Good for you for putting yourself out there. No matter what the end result is, you will know you said your piece, took a gamble, and won’t have to live with “what if” on your mind and in your heart.

  2. Great post! Sounds like someone was being a big chicken and it wasn’t you. Good thing to tell him what you felt and hope for the best. If this person still stays away then it wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes the problem is just that the timing is off. If you can still maintain a friendship and maybe he will grow up or change his mind. If not then forget it!
    I think you need to embrace your confidence all the time too! It is in there!
    Libby

    • I figure I did what I can do, and definitely, what is meant to be will be. I have great faith that the right outcome will be the one that comes about in its due time 🙂 I don’t think it’s a matter of being a chicken or growing up as much as just figuring out priorities and maybe overcoming fear – guess we’ll see!

  3. First, you absolutely did right by letting him know how you feel. So good on ya there. I met my wife and another girl out dancing. They were knew each other too. I picked the wrong one first (she was a little, err, sluttier). After going out for months I laid it out. I was ready to settle down. She wasn’t so I dumped her and went for the other girl. We were engaged four months later and have been together since (and we’ve both enjoyed each other’s full commitment). This is about what you want. If he can’t give it to you, best to know early.

    Also, I don’t put much thought into whether or not someone likes me… If I meet someone interesting, I hope I like them. Think on that, it’s a stark difference.

    Good luck.

    • Thanks so much – and thank you for sharing your story (proof that what is meant to be will be)! I’m getting better about focusing too much on what people think of me, but at the end of the day, I just want everyone to be my friend. I know where it stems from in my childhood, so I guess recognizing the source of insecurity is at least step one …

  4. Gahhh, you are so much your crazy Mum. I always enjoy our talks or watching TV over the phone. I’m always here when you need me. I never told anyone things that bothered me. You have a few great friends too. Also people you hardly know 🙂
    I think it’ll take a few weeks. You’ve got to remember what Gramma said when you’re in a funk. “This too shall pass.” She was a smart woman besides a great Mummy. xoxox

    • I’m well aware … it’s both a blessing and a curse …
      I always enjoy our talks, too. I’m pretty darn lucky to have a mumma like you (yep, I said it!)
      And I know grandma was always right. The older I’ve gotten, I have definitely started to recognize that just when I get to the point where it seems like it can’t get any worse is when it breaks and something great comes along (and I think we know I have something great coming this week – readers, I’ll fill you in on Wednesday!!)

  5. I think you absolutely did the right thing! Life is too short to live with regrets and if you didn’t take the chance you’d never know. It may not work out but this way you’ll know and not have to wonder. If it does work out then BOOM!

    Also I would like to say that it’s nice to see someone who has self esteem issues be a bad ass workout chick. So many people we deal with who are like that have such a hard time finding the self confidence to believe in themselves that they can be who they want to be physically (and emotionally.) It’s refreshing and inspiring.

    You overcame a fear and that’s big. If you can face your fears the world has endless possibilities for you!

    You should be proud.

    • Thanks 🙂 One thing I refuse to do is live with regrets, so yeah, it was not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I’m glad I did (even if waiting for a reaction is torture).
      I’ve said it so many times – I wish I could be in “real” life the person that I am in the gym, because I LOVE that person. I don’t know what the disconnect is – but I think it has something to do with confidence, knowledge, and knowing that I do have complete control over my workouts (and as far as my classes are concerned, people just wouldn’t show up if they didn’t like them – and I’ve built quite a following).
      I am pretty proud, though – I don’t stand up for myself enough, and I’m well aware of it, which is why I think it was a pretty big step for me to actually say (write?) what I’m feeling and thinking.

      • Perhaps in time you will become that person you are in the gym! If you love that person you most certainly should aim to be her! Maybe it’s because when teaching you HAVE to be in control and outside you don’t. Who knows I don’t know your life that well by any stretch, just hope you can get it figured out! You are certainly a strong person in the internet world too. 🙂 All you can do is keep moving in the right direction!

  6. Great post. It can be difficult to try to explain something to a bunch of strangers, especially when it is personal. I think you did the right thing. I was in a similar situation that actually just ended the other day. Both nearing our 30’s, we ‘dated’ for a couple on months, and it appears the only thing that is keeping us apart is her super-busy schedule. Everything was going perfectly until she just couldn’t find the time to call. For most people, it’s a sign that she is not as interested, but damn it, I feel differently. What she said to me in conversation, how everything had played out thus far, it didn’t seem like that could be the case. I have been super patient and given her space, but it’s hard to not want more.

    I’m the same way in focusing on health/nutrition to keep the stress level down. My uncle is great with quotes and one of my favorites is:

    “control what you can; all the rest of the stuff in life just has to ‘unfold’ sometimes, not always in the manner we want/hope for either – doors open and close all the time…keep your eyes open so you can see ’em.”

    So…control what you can as well. It’ll all happen for some reason or another. You seem like a great person with her head on her shoulders and you have a lot going for you.

    • That’s crazy – it sounds like exactly the same situation. But I’m with you, it’s tough when everything seems so right and then just … nothing. Especially since I’m one who takes some time to warm up to begin with. But I’m doing the same thing, giving space and time although it kills me.
      Your uncle sounds like a smart guy – I’ll have to remember that one! It’s so true. Everything does happen for a reason. And sometimes it is just a case of right person, wrong time (maybe this will be the case for both of us?)

      • I’ve heard the “sometimes it is just a case of right person, wrong time” and I agree but it also makes me kind of sad. I mean, damn, here we are and I have found this great person, but it can’t work because it’s not supposed to yet? Have you ever thought about how you may have already met the person that you’ll spend your life with? It could be a chance encounter, or someone that you already know? It’s kind of freaky if you think about it.

        I think my family worries about my future a bit more than I do. My sisters are 3 & 5 years older than I am, both married within the past 2 years, and my younger brother has been dating a girl for a couple of years. I’m not concerned, I think they just like to make sure I am happy.

        It’s funny how this can turn into something other than a fitness blog/comment, but you know, it can circle back to fitness! We blow off steam and stress by working out, and what we both truly want is someone who has our same passion (health & fitness) and so, maybe it’s a good thing we are both active, because one of these days it will work out lol.

        Keep the great blog rollin’!

  7. Pingback: Tiger Woods I Am Not. | Strong-Fit-Beautiful

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