Carrie Cotton

Just a Girl In The World Sharing The Ups and Downs of a Messy Life

I am an emotional person. I cry easy.  I just never thought the tears would be flowing after a Pound class. I mean, seriously, who cries over a workout?

I had no idea exercise could bring out all your emotions, and take you on this emotional roller coaster and leave you a weepy mess at the end of the night.

I admit, when I did a really tough program a few years ago, there were a few days it was so hard, I fought the tears.  But they were tears of frustration and exhaustion. I was working harder than I ever had.  I pushed myself beyond my limits.  There were more tears when it was over only because I felt so proud of myself for actually sticking it out through the hard.  I ACTUALLY DID IT.

What I’ve learned from many of the coaches I follow is that exercise in it’s own way is a metaphor for life.  If you can push through the hard in a workout, you can push hard through the hard in life.

Since I started doing Zumba and Pound I’ve realized tears are not limited to sad movies and cutting onions.

You will work through some issues you didn’t even know you had, all while busting a move, and you won’t be able to control when it happens, or how hard you will crack.  So be prepared. Because it can and will happen. I know.

Zumba is fun. It’s dance.  It’s an amazing calorie burning cardio workout.  But it isn’t without struggle and frustration.

This week, as I was trying to keep up with some new moves, my mind was trying to  follow and understand and reason, but I just couldn’t get my mind and my moves to connect.

I got so frustrated with myself so quick.  “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you get this? Everybody else gets it. Why can’t you? What is wrong with you? Just quit. Just stop.”  On and on.  The negative talk.  “You’re 47. You don’t belong here. Why even try?”  

In those moments I want to hide. I want to run.  I want to be someone else. I want to disappear.

It’s scary in my head, isn’t it?  But that’s the stuff I tell myself. Maybe you do too.

It honestly didn’t take long to get back into the routine and start smiling, laughing and having fun.  I just needed to silence the negative self talk.

Those are the moments you learn and grow.  I realized in that moment what a perfectionist I was. I realized how much I struggle with trying to do everything right.  I realized how much pressure I put on myself to not screw everything up.  Not just Zumba steps but everything else in my life. Parenting, being a wife, how I do my job, how I interact with people.  All that comes out in a Zumba class. Surprise.

I am the one who will laugh it off,  and pretend that screwing up steps doesn’t REALLY bother me.  I realize that’s a part of me I need to work on.  Allowing myself to not be perfect. Allowing myself the freedom to mess up and it be ok.  Forgiving myself for all the mistakes I have made and realizing it’s not about perfection.  Whoa.  BIG A-HA MOMENT.

And …..  you have to silence the chatter with TRUTH.  Yes, I screwed up steps. I stopped. I missed steps. I wanted to quit.  I wanted to run.  But nobody  made fun of me or asked me to leave.  In fact – the opposite happened.  The others were super kind “It’s OK. It happens to all of us.  You’re still learning”.  

Learning process indeed.  Fear is awful.  But it doesn’t have to control  you or your life.

Pound Class is a different story.  My goodness gracious it’s HARD, but in such a feel good “I can’t believe how awesome that was” kinda way.  Lots of squats and lunges. Fast moves.  Banging the ripstix.  Feeling like a rockstar.

I love the music, and really can get into a song, but sometimes when you’re trying to figure out the moves, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  You’re trying to do it right, and you’re so, so focused, and then a lyric will hit you hard, knock you down and take your breath away.  Then you stop. And you’re stuck in a moment.

Suddenly, you’re so focused on a lyric – like “What’s wrong with me” from the song “Confident Woman” by Demi Lovato.

I was screwing up moves, needing to catch my breath instead of keeping up, and those lyrics screamed at me like a giant accusation “what’s wrong with you”.

And just like that – all the struggles of the day and the week ran fast circles in my head, rubbing it in my face, that life – at the moment –  felt like it was crushing me and unraveling, and it was totally and completely all my fault.

Tears started flowing so uncontrollably.  In an exercise class.

Don’t fight it. Embrace it. Go with it. Ride it out.  Use it. Release it. Release the hurt. Release the frustration. Release the need to control everything. Just. Let. Go.

Ripstix in hand.  Crazy hair.  Amazing music.  Heart racing.

Just. Let. Go.

Of all the crap you believe about yourself that isn’t true.

Of all the lies you keep telling yourself.

Of all the pressure and need for control and perfection.

Let go and remember it’s not your fault.  Nothing is wrong with you.

It is so important to take care of YOU, even more so on the days you feel you shouldn’t.

On the days you feel like you’ve messed up, screwed up, didn’t do enough, didn’t measure up.  On the days you feel fat and lazy and like a complete failure in the world.

Those days might be the very best days to take care of you.

If you aren’t working out, or haven’t found a way to exercise that you love – I suggest you do. Don’t let fear hold you back. It has helped me through so much stuff.  It’s been amazing. A therapy session with every class.

As hard as it might be, as much as I hate screwing up and not knowing everything all at once – I love working on me.

I love laughing at myself for an hour and working through all that crap I got going on in my head and my heart. I love that it helps me work through it and helps me deal with it.

Joining a workout class, as scary as it was at first, was the greatest thing for me to do. I never expected it to be such an amazing therapy session.  Now I go in expecting some sort of transformation every time.

I just need to make sure the mascara I wear is waterproof. (smile)



3 thoughts on “That Was Unexpected

  1. Lisa Bell says:

    Beautifully said Carrie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Veronica says:

    Sound to me like my life experience with the difference I am 50 years old and I don’t write as well ad you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alyssa says:

    Wow thats beautiful. I could have written it myself. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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