Gym

Today was Chloe and Ben’s Kindergarten screening day, which meant that I had the van to myself on my 40 minute ride home from school.  This ride was only slightly ruined by the fact that I had forgotten my phone cable that would have allowed me to play the Black Keys at an auditorally unsafe level.  I took advantage of the 23 degrees and cracked the window, breathing in the silence and the (very early spring?) late winter air.

I hate to run errands when I have the twins with me, because four year olds and productivity hate each other.  So, I made a few stops on the way home.. one of them being Retro-Fitness to get my receipts for taxes, and to cancel my membership.  I haven’t been to the gym in months, not since I started working out at my local community center with an awesome group of “boot campers”.  This group has done more for me (in so many ways) in three months than my gym did in four years.

They handed me copies of my statements, including my membership contract.  The woman behind the counter made a comment about how I was a “longtime member” and wondered if I really wanted to quit.  As she did this, she pointed to the date at the top of the paperwork, written in my handwriting, 8/26/10.  It took my breath away.

I remember that day so clearly.  Ben and Chloe were about six weeks old and I had just come from my post-natal checkup the obstetrician’s office.  I was close to crisis, having just been diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.  The obstetrician had answered my questions about recovery from PPD by telling me that “most women recover”.  My skin was absolutely crawling with anxiety that I would not be one of those “most women”.  I remember driving home and feeling so desperate to feel normal, like myself, for even a minute, that I pulled into the gym parking lot and went inside. I think I did this because I had read that exercise helped with depression.  I think I also hoped to find a community to help guide me through.  A woman with PPD can feel alone even in a room full of friends.

Today, as I stared at my writing from almost five years ago, I could detect the tremble I had in my hand as I wrote.  I had the desire to touch it… to outline my writing with my fingers… as though I could somehow reach through my writing to hold my own hand.  I wished I could have told myself, five years ago at this very same counter, that I would be OK.  That’s all I ever wanted… for someone to tell me that I would be OK.  That I would, someday, be me again.

I think the woman thought I was misty-eyed because I was leaving the gym.

On to new beginnings.

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