Those Aren’t Tears, It’s Sweat

So much anguish — so many emotions — began to well up inside of me until I couldn’t breath. Every inch of my legs ached and pulsated in pain from this morning’s workout. My eyes had already been burning from the sweat pouring down my face, but, they felt even worse as tears began to fill my eyes from the sheer weight of everything I was feeling in that moment.

I leaned against the shelf that held all of the boxing gloves and other workout equipment and put my head down. The other guys were talking amongst themselves and gathering their things to leave the gym for the day, while I played off this moment as just trying to catch my breath and get over the pain from the workout.

I was ready to defend myself at any moment, “Those aren’t tears, it’s sweat!”

But, who was I kidding? At that point it was mostly tears.

No one said anything however, and they may not have noticed at all.

Today, like so many of the others, had been a tough one.

Our warm up included: Leg circles, Fire Hydrants, and Scorpion Kicks.

After the warm ups we went through a circuit that included: Sumo lifts with a 50lb bag, Pulsating Squats with a resistance band above our knees, Hip Thrusts with a resistance band around our waist, a leg lift/extension thing I do not remember the name of (but it sucked), and more squats.

We ran through that circuit twice. While running through the first circuit, AJ our trainer, had some of the guys do Burpees but offered me the option of Jumping Jacks or Knee Lifts (Because my left ankle has been injured).

All of that was hard enough, but, we ended the work out with 300 Calf Raises: 100 with our feet pointed out, 100 with out feet pointed straight, and the last 100 with our feet pointed inward.

This is the thing that ended up slaying me.

The first set I got through fine, but, once I turned my feet straight the pain in my left ankle was unbearable. But, I powered through and slowly did all 100. I didn’t think the pain could get any worse… I was wrong of course, because the last set of 100 with my feet pointed inward was simply horrible. It was slow and incredibly painful, but I eventually finished a few minutes after everyone else.

During the entire workout I thought about how tired I was, not just tired of the current exercise… but completely sick and tired of being overweight. Of feeling out of shape and in pain all of the time.

I am both physically and emotionally exhausted from carrying this extra weight for most of my 20s.

I am tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I am tired of feeling like I am taking up too much space. I am tired of not being able to go to a clothing store and finding something that fits and looks good with ease. I am tired of the anxiety I get when I am out in public or with new people. I am tired of ankle and knee pain. I am tired of people or friends saying “Hey big guy!” as a term-of-endearment when they see me, because IT IS NOT ENDEARING TO ME.

I am turning 30 years old in 86 days. I don’t want to feel this pain and these frustrations in my 30s. I NEVER WANT TO FEEL THEM AGAIN.

All of those thoughts and feelings boiled over at the end of this morning’s workout, and I couldn’t help but tear up.

As I sat down to gather my things, AJ walked past and told me “Good job today!” while giving me a fist bump. I am not sure if it was apparent that I was dealing with so many internal emotions in that moment, probably not. But, I am thankful for him. I am thankful for all of the people who get up before the sun rises to suffer and sweat together. They are helping make this journey to be the person I know I am meant to be, just a little bit easier.

Chris Murphy

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