squat press: achievement

I had a -> wow <- moment at the gym last Friday.  One of the exercises I do that I’ve struggled with due to having such a big puku (tummy) is squats.  When I started out at the gym, I was doing them from a sit to stand position holding a 8kg kettle bell.  The height of the box I sat on could be turned over so I had two heights to sit and stand to – it increased the intensity.  After a few weeks Tracy (PT) shifted me to this forward standing squat machine – a rather intimidating block of carved metal, similar to that in this picture.

I started off with a 20kg plate on the machine.  The weight wasn’t the issue – I felt very intimidated about people staring at my fat arse as I squatted down as low as my gut will allow.  Arios (PT) was working with me one day and looking at me side on and I stopped and asked him if he would come stand in front of me because I couldn’t manage him looking at my bum.  He calmly told me that he was actually looking at my thighs as I went into squat position and then my feet as I came back up.  Fuck I felt stink for a few minutes and then I congratulated myself for having had the guts to say something that had been on my mind – even though I was wrong.  And since then I have no issue when I see him looking at my body – or Tracy.  I understand now.

There was a time when I would have said and written something like “well they should have explained what they were looking at” etc … the truth is – it’s not right to depend on other people to “tell us” stuff that we’re bothered about.  It’s on us to ask and then to trust / discern the way in which an answer is given.  It’s okay to get it wrong.  The main thing is that when in doubt, check it out.

I’m getting used to having the back of my body exposed on the squat machine.  The more focused I become when on that machine, the less attention I have for who is behind me.  I do the work, I get off the machine.  I’m done!

So the big news about the squat press is that with my weight combined, last Friday I squat pressed over 220kg.  Mum’s the word on how much weight is on the machine and how much of that weight is my own.  Regardless, it’s a lot of weight to push back up from a squat position – and that’s what I’m in awe of myself about.

The next big thing – is that I asked Arios to have a hand on the machine just in case I couldn’t get myself back up again.  There is a lock on the machine to prevent the weights from coming down when you get off the machine – however you’re in standing position to do that.  There isn’t one for if you get trapped / stuck when you’re in squat position!  It’s not a “big thing” for me to ask people for help – I’ve never had an issue with that – I have become fiercely independent as a result of people declining me assistance, being unwilling to help, turning a blind eye to me.

It’s always a fucking surprise when people actually help me.

So he was right there with an arm on the machine just in case I couldn’t get up.  And the next best thing – was that he suggested I only do two squat presses with the increased weight – lock the machine in – and the reassess how I did with him.  Fuck – I never would have thought to of just done 2 and then reassess.  And then we did another two.  And then I realised that I could do the increased weight – and Arios stepped to the side and I had the machine to myself.  And I did a few more.

Fuck there was an internal party going on when I locked the machine into place at the end of the set.  It was such an important achievement to me on a few levels.

  1. I had asked for support and it happened
  2. I felt very anxious to trust someone to help with that much weight on top of me and I trusted anyway
  3. I proved a lot of people from my past – and their voices that still rage in my head, that they were wrong – again. <- huge one
  4. Arios was present as with me when I got off that machine and celebrated my achievement with me!

I was so this

Yeah baby YEAH!

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