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The Ghosts that Hover in my Haunted Head

I’ve been hitting the gym five days a week since late November of 2008. In that time I have seen a vast improvement in my body’s physical appearance.

I begin each session with a warm-up that includes: stretching, 2 sets of 40 standard push-ups, 100 standard crunches on a half ball, 100 twisted crunches on a half ball and 30 V-ups.

Each day I concentrate on a specific area of my body: Lats/Delts/Back, Legs/Glutes, Shoulders, Arms, and Chest. I do 3 sets of 8-10 reps of 8-10 exercises using dumbbells, barbells, and various exercise machines. I concentrate on using good form, while pushing myself weight-wise.

I also mix in Chin-ups (narrow grip), Assisted Chin-ups (wide and narrow grip) and Dips, and Vertical Leg Hip Raisers.

On occasion I will spend time on an elliptical machine or treadmill.

I listen to my I-Pod, wear long-legged warm-up pants, a cotton T, and a cap, and always shower afterwards.

My pet peeves:

People who do not wipe down the equipment after use (for this reason I wipe down the equipment before and after use)

People who bring CDs in and loudly play them on the common sound system (Want to listen to bullshit rap metal? Get an I-Pod.) (I listen to bullshit dance/club music on mine.)

People who never smile at the gym

People who consistently use really, really painfully bad form while exercising

People who don’t return equipment (dumbbells, barbells, benches, etc.) to where they got them from

People who don’t shower after strenuous exercise (seriously – this one guy puts on a three piece suit after working out without benefit of a shower – he also never smiles)

For these reasons, I always go during off-peak hours. I avoid people. If someone else is there, I am friendly. I smile and am courteous.

That all said, I’m at that point where I’m getting a little bored. The gym I go to has no pool. So swimming is out of the question. I don’t find the elliptical machines or the treadmill very interesting. I could go run outside, but that brings up all sorts of fear/safety issues due to past instances where I was mugged and beaten.

So I try to concentrate on the long run goal of being able to feel really confident this summer if I should choose to go hiking without a shirt on. I love the outdoors, and would like to hike with as little on as possible. I hate my legs, so I will probably always wear a pair of long-legged jeans, but getting by in a tank top or no shirt would be hot.

During the first few weeks of working out I felt sexy. Now, not so much. I continue to see improvements. I have the beginnings of a set of six-pack abs, I can actually see my lats coming up and my triceps are popping.

I have something wrong with my right arm. It’s troubling. I think it may be arthritis - I have a searing pain that on the top inside of my arm. It is very sore on the inside of my elbow and radiates all the way down my forearm. I seem to trigger it when reaching and using the mouse on the computer or when picking up dumbbells or barbells. My pinky finger frequently locks when flexed to grip something and recently I have dropped several items. On occasion I also have no sensation, little sensation or a distinct lack of power when gripping a barbell while doing hammer curls or curls. Any type of twisting motion with the weights will set this pain off. I just work through it. It’s not due to bad form – I’m really careful to use good form and will reduce weight if I find that my form is suffering due to my having a less then enthusiastic day at the gym

I work hard. I concentrate on my breathing while exercise, but work out to a degree that I become winded. It’s a great feeling and I love finishing, hitting the locker room, stripping off my work out clothes just to catch a few moments of myself in the wall-to-wall mirrors. I do this discretely and only when no one else is in the locker room.

But I’m getting bored. I can tell.

I was thinking of going when there are more people about. I often pick-up new exercise ideas to enhance my program by discretely observing others in action and then validating what I’ve observed on the internet. I also appreciate eye-candy. It can be inspiring. But I doubt I will go when there are more people there. I am such a lone wolf.

Well, I will keep you informed of my progress. Being disciplined is hard in the face of a lack of enthusiasm. I will just plow forward and hope inspiration and exhilaration return.

I was going to end this post right here. But there is more to this.

The reason I work out and am trying to be so disciplined about it is because it is one of the things I can do to improve the way I look. I keep my body fit in order to make up for my face. I’m not a good looking man. I have come to this conclusion based on a number of observations. People who have seen my pictures get all excited when they see my body or dick pics on the net. But the moment I send them a face shot, it’s frequently over. I become ‘not their type’ or they just stop talking to me. Yes, I frequently find myself upset by this. Yes, I want to strike back – but why bother? What’s to strike back about? It’s not like I’m going to change their mind. And yes, I will tell myself that I have no idea why they stopped talking or lost interest or didn’t reply – maybe they had to rush their dog to the vet. Maybe they’re just fishing for pics. Maybe they’re total jerks. Maybe… they’re just not that into me.

Yes, I’m horribly insecure.

It could be that I am not photogenic or haven’t found the means to take a good face shot. I mean, I have had people tell me I am cute, or that I have beautiful eyes, or something along those lines. But I know that I’m not handsome, good looking or even average looking.

I look like an egg head. I look like an alien being with large ears. I look like a void.

I am bald. I compensate for this by keeping my hair buzzed to an eighth of an inch in order to not draw attention to it.

I moisturize my face twice a day. I buzz my eyebrows and trim the hair in my ears and nose. I have started to buzz my body hair and shave my ass. I use mouthwash (Listerine) 3-5 times a day.

I dress nicely. My clothes are non-descript, with classic lines, color coordinated and either solid colors or featuring discrete patterns. I like to wear a dress shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes for work. I wear blue jeans, t-shirts or sweaters for day wear. For the most part I avoid advertising logos or brands – with the exception of a well-worn Chicago Bulls T. I like my jeans to be well-fitting – but not tight and avoid those baggy hip-hop jeans. I avoid trendy jeans. I want something that looks good with hiking boots.

I think about going into therapy for this. Maybe this is why I am a sexual compulsive. Maybe this is why I can’t return to the stage or have issues singing/performing in public. Maybe this is why my life has become stilted and stunted and lacks momentum.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

No answers… just maybes.

Keep in mind that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about this. But it is probably one of the themes underlying my choices and reactions on a daily basis.

I don’t know how one overcomes insecurity. I don’t know how one overcomes self-doubt. I don’t know how one gains confidence.

I’ve overcome fears. I’ve overcome adversity. I have bounced back after some really harrowing experiences. I bounce back. I just refuse to entertain the alternative.

But these insecurities: the ones about my looks, the ones about my worth, the ones about my talents – they haunt my world.

I fear that they are at the heart of why I make such bad decisions and am unable to perform or utilize my talents. I can’t escape it. Around ever corner they lurk.

They hover like ghosts in my haunted head.


Now what?

1 comment:

BlkJack said...

I can relate to this post in so many ways. I too, suffer from insecurities concerning my looks. I look in the mirror (when I smile) and I see a nice looking person.. the problem with that is; I have a natural pronounced frown. I look like I am always upset or mad at the world. Even though people tell me I'm handsome, I still get that rejection from so many online. That's why I like to meet people in public places where I can control that situation. Thanks for another great post.

P.s. maybe down the road if you're comfortable we could exchange face pics.