Strength and Characters : Battling Self Confidence

My arms hurt!

They burn like hell!

I think I worked them harder today at Western Health and Racquets Club Gym than I have ever worked them before.  Either that or I was just weaker! Whichever of these two statements is true, at the moment I don’t care because my arms hurt.

The last few sessions with GymGuyMark have been all about the weights. Cardio I can pretty much do on my own, I have the confidence now to use the treadmill, cross trainer and rower to good effect by myself so it is really only with weights that I struggle to maintain my focus and confidence in my abilities. And struggle is the word! Today all I had to do was to lift two weights from shoulder height straight above my head. Simple? Nope, it was agony, my left arm just wimped out totally, I couldn’t get a proper hold of the weight and to make matters worse, I was getting annoyed, very annoyed. I tried to keep my breathing regular but the more the weight slipped the angrier I could feel myself getting. I never have this problem holding onto weights. Sometimes when my hands get tired yes, I have to let go and reposition but this today was pathetic. GGM was as encouraging as ever but this two-minute battle was not just about the weakness in my left arm, it was about my own self-confidence.


Did finish the reps? Yes, I did but not after dropping the weights on the floor in disgust (I never do this, bad gym etiquette) and venting my anger at myself. GGM gave me a ten second rest but then immediately had me lifting kettlebells shortly afterwards.

I know I keep saying this but the beauty of working with a PT who knows you and understands you is paramount. They should know what motivates you, when enough is enough but most of all exactly what to do and say when you hit that wall. It is very rare that I lose it like that; I can normally keep my emotions in check but my frustration at my own lack of self-confidence just got over loaded. Thanks to GGM keeping me going, the rest of the session went well apart from me nearly throwing up during sit ups!  Even the dreaded window sill dips went not too bad, so what on earth happened?

Well it is simple, last week when I thought I hurt my back, I hadn’t! What actually happened was I panicked, I felt a strange sensation in my left hand side that I had never felt before. For other reasons not for publication, this freaked me out and it became a very real yet imaginary pain. That pain was in fact me being scared that I was asking my body to work harder, making it lift, move and stretch more than it has ever done before. That pain was my lack of self-confidence saying “are you sure you can do this?”

The answer after today is yes I can, I can do this. I watched my good gym mate K lifting and working hard beside me and found myself thinking “I am going to be able to do that one day”. It might take me a bit of time but one day, one weight and two sore arms at a time!

One of our greatest fears is often letting not others down but ourselves. It is going to happen but I guess it is how we find the strength and courage to take that experience and learn from it.

G x

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face … we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Elinor Roosevelt

weight woman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s