How a bad training day lead me to therapy

I had been to therapy before. My parents…errr my mom dragged me as a 5th grader. She dragged me and the rest of my family too when my dad was having a particularly difficult time reining in his alcoholism. I probably should have been going to therapy for like a long time before this but I wasn’t. It’s not that I was ever against it, I just never really made time for it or felt like I needed it. I thought I was like… normal - p.s. what even is normal? Another conversation for another day.

At some point, I found CrossFit which lead me to Weightlifting. I love weightlifting. Have I said that before? Well, I do. And eventually I started actually caring about my numbers and getting stronger so I got a coach to help me. If you know me, and have ever seen me snatch you know how much I can struggle when I start counting the numbers. I just am such a freaking mess about it. I start imagining myself dying. I’m literally imaging throwing the barbell, elbows buckling, and the barbell dropping directly on my head and killing me. That’s terrible, huh? So I’ve just always really struggled to have faith in my body and my ability and gravity, too, I guess. hahah At meets, I never know the numbers. Just recently, have I been able to know my approximate openers.

So because of all of this, I snatched the same number for a very very long time. 3 years I think. At least. Finally, I don’t know how but I went through a phase and made some progress. I accidentally made it past some mental blocks and I was feeling pretty good about things. Then of course, I came across a new block.

I’ll never forget the day. I had already coached that morning. The numbers to hit had been in my spreadsheet since Tuesday and here we were on Saturday and I’d been stressing about them ever since I saw them. I warmed up, felt great, built to about 85% and started missing and freaking out. I pulled the same numbers over and over and over again. Dropped the weight, built back up again. Over the course of probably two or 3 hours. It wasn’t heavy but I was terrified. Finally I called it quits after not getting anywhere near to what I was supposed to hit. By then, I was so dead and frustrated, I couldn’t even clean and jerk or squat as scheduled. I was so defeated. To top it off, someone at the gym I was in decided it was great to make comments on my weight and body composition… can we just say, a) inappropriate, and b) terrible timing!! So I left in tears.

My coach and team were all out of town at a big meet. Unreachable. And I’m just over here having a melt down over some stupid snatch numbers.

I went home and ate my feelings and then began the search for a sports psychologist. I didn’t want to ever go through that again. I had goals and things to accomplish. I did not have time to stand in front of a barbell afraid. I was in her office the next week working on things.

It’s funny, though because from being in her office, we unearthed some other pretty gnarly things that I’d been burying and not addressing. I’d say from there, that lead me to seeing Gabby and doing all the work we’re doing now. If you’re lucky to know Gabby and what she does, you know it’s as intense as it gets… in a good way.

Who would have ever thought that something silly like snatching would lead me to finally deal with some trauma from childhood and my young adult life? Who would have thought it would encourage me to show up the best I could in my marriage and in motherhood?

I guess, my point is that sometimes when it’s time to make a change it’s not the obvious thing that the universe uses as your cue. Sometimes it’s something totally unrelated. Sometimes we learn the most from the smallest thing in life.

LOVE,

MEL BELL SHEFF