Friday, September 10, 2010

Graduation #2

Ok so it's 2:40am and though I complained non stop yesterday of feeling one long wink away from a nap, I am awake and kicking right now thinking only of one thing (well, actually two): Dee and my graduation day.

Yes, yesterday I graduated. At least that's what it felt like to me.

I was nervous before my last of 52 sessions over the past 6 months came to a close. I wondered what my final day would feel like. Would it be harder than usual or the same? Would I burst into tears at the end and cry at Dee's feet and plead him not to let me go? Would I joyously throw him a high five and skip out of that gym with glee? (I almost typed that word with a capital - ha ha!!) What would happen?

As I met the hour with great anticipation I soon learned my fate...

For the most part it was the same intense workout as usual, except the part where I talked Dee's ear off with questions, and for some reason only had a few pokes at his ego to give.

Part of me was scared to speak much so I didn't, as in the previous few sessions, nearly cry during some hard sets just at the thought of trying to go at this huge task on my own. I couldn't stop thinking of the fact that I'd been at this for 6 months, and despite hearing him tell me that my results were incredible and that he was full of pride at my life changing attitude, was yet convinced.

Instead I had guilt feelings over the fact that I hadn't achieved my lifelong goal .... yet. I scolded myself for not taking advantage every second of my life of the fact that I had the opportunity that was Dee to shed all of the challenge that has haunted me most of my days. I really used to (I'm trying to change) think that if I didn't achieve perfect fitness in 3-6 months I was a failure. I know in my head that's not true but winning the fight in my heart is a different story.

Of course there is the fact that I have built a friendship with an unlikely subject that has played with my emotions as well. I can't say that I ever thought I would share my deepest insecurities and struggles with a buff, wrestler type, well ... ever.

So instead of risking the spillage of my tears I decided to guard my mouth (for once) and stay relatively quiet (I didn't want to go too wild and be silent).

I later got a text from Dee asking about my less chatty nature. I had to share with him that I was just processing in my head what this day meant.

During our time together yesterday he assured me once again he would be there for me for anything I needed which is reassuring but not the same as going at it without him. At the end he said 'Ok come over here and give me a hug' to which I replied 'Are you serious?' and gave him a 'Do I have?' look.

Of course rarely does one yet to be muscle filled win against one of the opposite stature when something is up for debate. I got off my butt and shared an embrace that was surprisingly real. He spoke into my ear one last time 'I'm so proud of you darling, you've done great.' (Don't be alarmed, he uses darling here in there when he can get away with it).

In that moment I used every bit of strength to not cry, as we were in the main part of the gym right in front of the entrance doors and counter where people sit to have their overpriced smoothies at the end of their workouts. He had clarified with me at the beginning of the workout 'You're not going to cry today are you?' To which I curtly said 'Of course not'. I had to hold up my not so confident declaration.

But it was difficult. My voice broke and I just did my best to hold in the tears that would soon follow and the bright red nose that would make it's debut at any time.

I was slightly thankful that I didn't have time for cardio that day because once I got to my car my throat burned and my nose went aflame. It was now ... over. No more Dee. Or at least no more Dee as a trainer.

I waited briefly for my tears to blur my vision and my throat to feel relief from all the emotion with a good cry, but it never came. I'm not sure why, I was indeed grieving the loss of my trainer and one of my biggest encouragers, but something held me back.

I'm not sure if it was the fact that deep down I know that I'm ready to be on my own, or that I have confidence that Dee will keep up his end of the bargain and keep his promise to remain friends (which apparently includes an invite to his wedding, a shopping trip to give me help with my clear lack of fashion, or the promised bikini beach trip he plans to take me on next summer to show off my achieved body - which for clarification has yet to be achieved). Whatever it was, it held me back from releasing all of my mixed emotions and kept reminding me that this whole journey had indeed just begun, and that this was just the next logical step in me achieving my greater goal.

I was a bit irritated at my inward wisdom. I mean I just wanted to feel sad and scared, and get it all out of my system, but my system didn't agree with my desire and forced me to keep it together.

As I tossed and turned even just an hour or so ago I couldn't help but notice the literal pain my butt was feeling from my workout yesterday and think of Dee (this statement really is hilarious right now) and all that lies ahead.

I have learned to welcome (a certain amount) of physical pain that comes after some of my workouts. It is a reminder to me that I am reshaping and rebuilding my body into something strong, beautiful and healthy for myself.

I have yet to welcome the pain that develops in my heart following the departure of yet another person who has entered and will soon exit from a certain role in my life.

One thing I noticed a lot since moving to the city and starting over is how many people I have become deeply connected with whom I later learn only have a brief part to play in my life. Life back home was so far from this. You would know who you knew from childhood until death pretty much and the characters in your play (or life) were much more there out of necessity than choice. which overall seems more appealing than having a monologue of a life.

I just recently said to Wally after the news that one of our former 'Monday night gang' shared with us they got a job an hour and half away, how much I've noticed the departure of so many that had become so dear to us through out our short time here. The change is constant yet still powerful enough to leave a dull ache in your soul.

At first I want to cry (and often do) and plead (and I often do) for the person to stay. I cling to that relationship and try my darndest to keep it what it was. As I get used to this common theme of relationship change in our lives here, I am learning to let go of certain relationships easier and embrace the new ones that may develop as a result.

This doesn't mean necessarily not being friends (or it may), it just means allowing for growth for myself to be ok with how things will change. That may mean more traveling, a change in the role that person plays (perhaps a stronger role or a lighter one), or it may mean it's time to let them go. The good news is things generally happen gradually and over time without you realizing it.

In Dee's case I will miss our banter, his pushing, the sexually inappropriate humour I am only really able to make around him. But after pondering over the past couple of weeks thinking of this up coming change I am reassured by the fact that the ache in my heart is a growth ache. One much like my muscle ache, that will strengthen my spirit and build it into a beautiful (hopefully) thing. Overall I must focus on the positive side of things and be reminded of the fact that I have connected with another person (even if only for a time), I have learned so much about myself and changed a ton in the process, I have sparked a new passion inside of myself and hold onto the belief that I will achieve what I have always seen as 'the impossible' in the past.

At this point I know that if I held onto Dee as my trainer for longer I'd be ruining my chance to continue to learn and grow on my own and achieve only what I can achieve (at this point in my journey) on my own. Knowing this gives me strength and allowance to embrace these changes.

There is so much ahead for me and I look forward to seeing what happens ...

However right now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to give myself a few moments to feel the pain of this healthy step forward.

(My throat hurts).