My last couple workouts have been officially labeled as “panic attack” workouts. They go a little something like this:
I workout, moving from exercise to exercise with very little rest in between, my heart starts to pound, and I feel as though I’m about to throw up. I’m working hard, and I’m not going to back off. I continue. My muscles are being trained to failure, I say to myself,
“one more rep” fighting with the bully inside of me trying to get me to back down. My blood is pumping, I feel it through my veins, I’m sucking in oxygen, maximizing all of my energy into pushing out one last rep. I keep pushing, waiting for the climax; the rush of simple euphoria. I feel every bit of oxygen crash and erupt with every rep; my body pushes harder and harder. I let go. I am finished. Sweat thickens and beads; it starts to brush past my eyebrows, misses my eye and continues on down my cheek and rolls off my chin. I continue. Next set. I don’t stop. Heat emerges within my muscles, fire erupts, my body pushes; my mind pushes back. It tells me to stop; it wants me to stop. But I can’t. I have to get to the point where my mind lets go; I have to keep pushing. I have to let my mind know my body can do all the work; I have to let my body take over. With every rep, I feel the muscle contract. It feels good. It feels powerful and controlled. Yet, somehow I begin to panic.
My heart beat has become louder; like it’s going to burst. “I’m fine.” I try to reassure myself, but I can’t take my mind off of the cold, clammy feeling that has suddenly numbed my skin. Again. “I’m fine,” I pick up the weight and lift. My mind shifts as I start to turn my focus on the lift of the exercise. I complete the set and put the weight down. I look at the clock and wait for the next set to begin. Again. It happens. The blood in my veins start to feel like slivers of ice; frozen.
“Oh my God, Oh my God, something is wrong with me” I dread what comes next.
“Everything is blurry. Why is everything blurry. Is it my contacts? Would if it’s that medication. I remember reading the side effects. Shit. My head hurts, I feel dizzy, my throat feels like it’s locked …I can’t swallow…I can’t breathe…Shit. Would if something is seriously wrong with me?!!
I pull back. No. Beast mode.
I have one last set to do. One more set. I can handle it. Focus. Breathe. I can do this, I’m not losing it. Not this time.
I wrap my hands around the cold iron dumbbell and I feel a sudden surge; like an electric shock. Confident; fearless; I let the weight dig into my muscles and just like that. I am standing there, weight in my hands; barely over my head; controlled, calculated. I am ready. I see a person that resembles me in the mirror. I look away. That can’t be me, quickly, my mind relapses. I power the weight above my head. Damn it. That is me.
That is me.