Monday, February 8, 2016

A Scarlet Letter

I don’t know what it is about Sunday nights, but every single Sunday night, as I lie down in bed, I start stressing over the coming week—first and foremost, the thought of getting enough sleep to be able to successfully get through my 5:30 AM kickboxing class and STILL function for the rest of the day/week. 

Inevitably, no matter how early I go to bed, I toss and turn and fret and stress over the time ticking away as I can’t sleep and think about how each minute I’m not sleeping will make it that much harder to function the next day what with getting up so ridiculously early.  Then, I start thinking how much I hate getting up that early and how even though I do it, it doesn’t seem to be doing me any good and only stressing me out---all that work and sacrifice of sleep to not lose an ounce, not get faster or even really stronger, or any closer to my goal of getting fit so I can go do this dumb Krav Maga instructor thing.  My only gains? Exhaustion, anxiety, and frustration. And injuries and achy joints.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.  Well, all hail the Queen of Insanity.  As I lay in bed tonight, I took a hard look at myself and my absolute inability to convert from being a night person into a highly productive morning person and thought, “Is this really worth my time? Am I really ever going to become something I’m not? Because I am not seeing results. Not even any. And I am tired. And there is no value added here.  This dream is bankrupt, but I keep putting in deposits. This is ridiculous and insane and stupid.  I am insane and stupid to be putting myself through this.  What on earth makes me think I can do any of this crap long term? Because I can’t even do it short-term!” 

The ONLY thing that keeps me going at this point is that if I bail out of this Krav Maga instructor thing and admit defeat/disinterest/apathy to my instructor, he’ll see me as a failure. But maybe, I don’t care anymore. I’m too damn tired to care anymore. 

Oh, and I’ve had a couple of friends ask me that if I quit now, what will it teach my kids?  If I give up on this goal I set, it will OBVIOUSLY teach them that I’m a quitter and a loser and that will set the example for them to become quitters and losers.  But then I argue back, in a lot of ways, I am already their example of what NOT to do---they have told me this—and I’m like, “yeah, well, good to see reverse psychology is working here, then. You’re welcome.”

It’s not like I NEED to do this Krav thing... it’s not like it will make me more employable.  It’s not like I NEED to do it to put food on the table.  I don’t even intend to become an actual paid instructor upon completion of the training and certification. I started this stupid thing to prove to myself that I COULD do it.  But, it’s been over three years since I made this goal, and I think it’s pretty damn obvious now that I CANNOT do it.  Also, I’m so incredibly stressed out over the fact that I’m getting older and it shows in my body and brain function.  It takes longer and longer to recover from anything. My body cannot keep up with the dream.

I should just throw in the towel and revel in becoming Jabba the Hutt. At least then I’d quit worrying about everything I put in my mouth and being unable to sleep despite all the breathing exercises and meditation and going-to-bed-early and honestly acquired EXHAUSTION.  Apparently, I was born to be a hedonist.  I come from a long line of night owls. I should embrace that.  All of my friends who are pushing or are well into their 40s have begun embracing the fact that they are middle aged.  They are letting go of the idea that if they work their butts off they will retain their svelteness and youth.  They have accepted this is fallacy and they are at peace. They have seen the light and it is a neon sign saying “Embrace your muffin top! Binge on Netflix and cookies!  It doesn’t get any better, so you may as well enjoy the ride to decrepitude.”

I long for this kind of self-acceptance.  As I was agonizing over my workouts and the struggle to eat right and lose weight, one friend said, “I’m done with all that. I’m ready to just be fat and happy.”  (And she is a healthy eater and NOT fat!!!) And  I was JEALOUS of her contentment. 

All my life I have agonized over not being “something” enough.  When I was young, I was not pretty enough (though I was thin then, and my mother often pointed out that at least I had THAT going for me.) I wasn’t witty enough, or cool enough, or whatever enough.  And I agonized over it.  Now, I’m finally in a place where I’m totally at peace not being “classically beautiful” or the sharpest tool in the shed.  I have embraced the fact that I am weird, think too outside the box for most people, don’t get sarcasm when directed my way, and that I’m a hopeless geek.  I’m DOWN with all that.  Like, I’m cool with all that.  I am a dork party of one and I am happy in my party hat, thankyouverymuch.

But with this stupid Krav Maga goal, I am angsting ALL THE TIME over the lack of progress in training and lack of weight loss and strength and stamina.  The angst is ALL CONSUMING. This kind of thing DRIVES some people, but it is ruining me. WHY do I insist on continuing?! This body just will not go any harder than it’s already going, no matter how many pep talks I give myself, no matter how much I push myself with harder, more frequent workouts and longer study sessions and lean protein and kale and complex carbohydrates.

Sometimes we must concede.  I realize that now.  Failure is part of life.  It sucks, but we must accept it and learn what we can.  I have beat this dead horse into hamburger. It is not going to rise up and walk again.  I am dropping the angst by dropping this goal.  I tried valiantly, but I just don’t have any more in me for this. It is not worth the time and stress I’ve put into it. This has been a non-value added goal, and I’m done. Quitting, with a capitol Q.