Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

One year working out

It has been a year since I wrote about my first time working out in many years. About my shame in almost passing out and puking during my first “on ramp” course. During this last year I have gone from dreading exercise to craving it. I have learned to do push-ups, pull-ups (I could not really do pull ups a year ago) and have lost 22 lbs. I feel athletic again instead of a pretender, I eat better and I go to bed earlier. I have felt my strength carry me over to work, to home, and to my personal life as I have been more willing to take on hard challenges. And none of this would have been possible without you.

A year ago, I felt lousy. I felt like I could never achieve my goals in the gym or with fitness. When I wrote the below musing, I was inundated with encouragement. Things like “you must go back to the gym” or “shame is a state of mind” or “you’re not a quitter” were the things I needed to hear to get past my embarrassment and to return. Before I started this workout I felt lost in the woods and now I have found a path. I have not reached all of my fitness goals but I know how to get there. I am grateful to each of you for helping me along the way. I needed the encouragement. Thank you.

Have a great week,

-Ross

From: Ross Treleven
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2016 6:25 AM
Subject: Monday Musing

The other day I wrote about committing to a system instead of a goal. I took my own advice and joined a work out class last week trying to establish my own system. I was excited when I got there at 7:30pm Monday fresh out of my walking boot for a recently sprained ankle and optimistic. The workout went great and by the time it was over I realized it was fun to work up a sweat again. That is when I began to see stars.

My brain did not perceive the world to be balanced any longer– everything was moving. So I did what anyone would do – I acted cool and just leaned up against the counter. No big deal. I asked one of the trainers if there were cups for water – they had run out. Uh oh. I quickly realized that if I didn’t sit down, I may faint. Uh oh. I sat down nonchalantly, continuing to act cool and closed my eyes to concentrate on regaining my bearings. As they went over a post workout briefing about what the next few weeks look like the stars were getting worse. Introductions between our classmates are beginning and all I can think about is – don’t puke, don’t pass out, don’t make an ass out of yourself.

I motioned to the same trainer and whispered to him about my predicament and he grabbed his own water bottle and handed it to me. I drained it. Did I introduce myself? Nope. Just sat there, eyes closed drinking someone’s water bottle as fast as I could. The stars began to subside. I now knew that I would not faint, but puking was still an option. My mantra of “don’t make an ass out of yourself” continued to run through my head. The fear of embarrassment escalating. As class ended, I was in a state to stand up, say thank you and I zeroed in on the door. Get outside fast.

The cold air hit me and helped settle my stomach and wake me up a bit. I jumped in my truck to escape, never to return. But as Laura nursed me back to health, she helped me realize that the only thing that was keeping me from going back was my pride. Wounded, wounded pride.

I confessed this embarrassment to Jared on Wednesday and my intent to never ever return, he interrupted me to tell me that I had to go back. This is the same sentiment that Laura was giving me but I was so embarrassed! She reminded me, commit to a system. Give it a try. Don’t give up. So Wednesday night at 7:30 I sheepishly returned – with a water bottle and plenty of pre-hydration. It wasn’t as embarrassing as I thought it was going to be even when it came up I just smiled and said I was out of shape and paying the price. I went back on Friday night again at 7:30pm and plan on being back there tonight.

Have a great week,

-Ross

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