Saturday, 18 January 2014

On defensiveness

so, I usually row to warm up and it's been a long time since I've trained with anyone (years and years). Last night this guy I don't know suddenly  says to me that he wants to "show me how the machine work". I was  dumbfounded by how obnoxious it sounded, and after rowing a few strokes he asks me if I get the idea. I tell him that I actually have rowed, at which point he starts critiquing my technique. Instead of acknowledging that he's right, my technique is all over the place, I get all defensive and tell him that this is how I learned (which is not true, sorry coach. I probably made you sound really incompetent), and I was just like, thanks, I think I'm fine. We made slightly tense small talk for a few minutes before I excused myself and even though I know his critiques of my technique is just  I was really offended because I don't take well to be patronized and it just upset me (not to mention that I kept wondering what else I might be dong wrong for the next 2 hours at the gym, constantly catching him doing other things out of the corner of my eye). I wish I could be more humble and just take it in my stride as some good advice rather than wanting to turn around and slug him in the face (anyway I can't because he's a lot stronger than me and a good rower, he'd beat me to a pulp) So, new search term for google "how to be humble". Results: 3 ways to be humble, 7 ways to practice humility, 50 ways to be more humble. I notice the same "un-teachability" in my dance practice too, so I guess that's 2014's resolution (facepalm).

But more to the point. I get defensive really easily and when well meaning people give me unsolicited advice I just get so angry and frustrated. A part of me wants to scream at them and ask them where they were all the years when I needed advice VERY VERY badly, and if they weren't around then, who the fuck are they to tell me what to do now, which is, needless to say, irrational and irrelevant. But visceral and immediate. I'm not sure if this is something I'll get over, but I will try.

Another thing is the somewhat troubling knowledge that a big part of why I weight train is because I'm obsessed with self-empowerment. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I'm absolutely haunted by a sense of powerlessness and I go 3-4 times a week to the gym to make myself strong enough to defeat an enemy who is DEAD. But alive to me every time in my nightmares. I'm not sure what kind of revolution needs to take place in my life before I can shake that off. So excuse me if I look very tense while I work out.

Finally I'm mortified by how bad my rowing technique is and how I thought I was doing good all this time. I hope no one else at the gym has noticed (please, ground, open up and swallow me).