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Learning To Count and Breathe

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 3 of no sugar and of course, still no wheat. And no dairy. Oddly enough, I don’t miss it...yet. Day 3 is pretty early in the game, though. Stay tuned for angst.

In my handwritten journal yesterday, I wrote about something that I’d like to share. Want to read it? That’d be awesome if you would.

In boot camp yesterday, I counted OUT LOUD. This morning in yoga (Yoga! I went to a yoga class!) I did a big loud exhale--over and over. OUT LOUD.

Does anyone else see why this is a big deal without me explaining it? I think it’s a personality type...well, I’ve always THOUGHT it was a personality type, anyway. Now I’m wondering if it’s more of a self-esteem issue for me.

See, I absolutely loathe having attention brought to me for any reason in a group. Please, if I’m doing a great job, send me an email or quietly pull me aside and tell me. I beg you, please do NOT congratulate me on a job well-done in front of a crowd. Ugh...why would you be so cruel?? Can’t you see those people LOOKING AT ME? Can’t you hear them thinking, “Yeah, well...not really. What she did wasn’t that great.”

If you can’t see that and hear that, you’re obviously not affected with my superpower: THE ABILITY TO READ MINDS AND KNOW THAT ALL THOUGHTS ARE ON ME. At least, they’re on me if someone is horrible enough to bring up my name!

This has been an issue in boot camp already. My trainer has the audacity to yell out, “Great job, Becky” every now and then. The nerve! I’m fine, just walk past me and whisper it, okay? I don’t need someone looking to see just how much I’m messing up.

Yeah...reading over this I realize just how ridiculous this mindset is. But it’s been my way of working, like forever. I can remember in kindergarten (Kindergarten!!), I called out something to the teacher and was told to raise my hand. To this day, I am embarrassed. Seriously! I mean, not like blushing about it embarrassed. The blushing reaction probably ended a few years later. But to this day I want to tell that little me, “Shh. Raise your hand. Or better yet, don’t answer at all. You’re probably wrong anyway.”

Sheesh. Could someone please define “neurotic” for me? One definition (I actually looked this up after I asked that rhetorical question) is, “Overanxious.” Um, yeah. That’s me.

So anyway, jump forward from Kindergarten with me. Let’s jump to today, 34 years later. This week I have had a breakthrough, albeit a tiny one.

In boot camp yesterday, the trainer called on someone else to lead us (can you imagine how horrible THAT would be??). She stood in front of us and started us on jumping jacks. She yelled, “Count with me! Everyone!” Well, okay, sure. Everyone ELSE. Count with her, she told you to do it. But you know what? She looked right at me, mid-jack, and yelled, “EVERYONE! Count!” GASP. I was caught. So I started counting. And you know what? No one listened to me or cared. HA!

Then our trainer broke us into teams for drill training. I had that same bossy lady as the leader of my group. Again, she looked at me, then she yelled, “COUNT!!” So I did it. I counted through every squat and (almost) every pushup (sometimes I couldn’t quite gasp out the number for the pushups...). And guess what?? NO ONE CARED. No one told me I was counting wrong. And? The counting made the exercises easier, I swear! IT DID.

Finally, this morning at yoga. Our trainer (I have this urge to give him a name, like an anonymous name, so I can stop saying “the trainer.”)--let’s call him Brett--told us to start with breathing. He called it a certain kind of breathing, so if you’re a yoga person, you might know what I’m talking about here. Anyway, he said that on the exhale, we should make a “ha” sound. Ha? Really? Umm...Then he said (like a voice from God), “Just do it. No one is listening to your breathing, they can only hear their own.”

So I did it. He was right. I could only hear my own breathing. No one stopped and looked at me like I was being too loud...

Ah...the dog has been as patient as he can, but he’s got the “I’m Gonna Pee Right Here If You Don’t Hurry” look. So a quick summary:
1. I can count out loud.
2. I can breathe out loud.
3. I’m going to focus on making sure that little girl who spoke out in class learns to do it again.

Forget raising my hand. I have things to say.

(I don't know that cute kid, I borrowed the picture from Clover_1 on Flickr here:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful blog. Good for you! I can identify with you on so many points. I have tried all my life to be as invisible as possible yet with the paradoxical effect of making my body larger and more visible. Maybe a happy medium is what we all need to find!

    You have some really superb insights.
    1885 days ago
    YAY for you - I think you may have learned something important this week!! The counting and loud breathing HELP you get through the work - don't know why, but it does!! Before you know it you'll be doing more vocalizing - and you'll love it!! Adds to the energy of the class!
    1886 days ago
  • BECCA315
    I don't ever want to be singled out, either, so kudos for being so brave...

    1886 days ago
    emoticon blog i liked how you expressed your experience as a child and how it has impacted your life today one would never think that words have so much power so we must be careful what we say to an individual cause we never know how they will interpret the message and how it can change their life emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
    Oh we have too much in common. I don't even want the one person who feels the need to give me a compliment to notice me. I don't want them to whisper, "good job" when they walk by because I don't want them to see me.

    I've actually gotten over this in some situations as you are now too, but it is very difficult for me to accept a compliment. It makes me so uncomfortable.

    Good for you - I hope you can scream out loud soon.
    1889 days ago
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