Sunday, June 20, 2021

Mild Hypochondria, Food Anhedonia, Emotional Growth

I’ve been trainer-less for some time now and I’ve been doing okay on my own, but I feel a little lost and goal-less. There are some things I want to do, like dead-lifting and achieving that ever-elusive pull-up, that I can’t learn on my own without coaching. Also, I think my form has gotten a little out of whack without the vigilant attention of a trainer. The guy I was on the verge of signing up with got into a motorcycle accident and can’t train for a while, so I was waylaid once again. But then I noticed that a young lady who has worked at the front desk for a quite a while now got her bio up on the wall as a certified trainer. When I congratulated her on her achievement, she said that she took the test and passed it easily without having ever bought any books or study materials, and that she “couldn’t wait” to start training people. I was impressed with her confidence and decided to go with her, despite her lack of experience. The first thing she said was that during our consultation, she would put me on the treadmill to assess me for “injuries you might not know you have”, which has triggered a mild bout of hypochondria. I find myself mentally scanning my body for pulled tendons, torn muscles, and weakened bones. So far everything seems to be fine, but I suppose we’ll find out tomorrow. I’m not thrilled about the treadmill aspect of this plan—I hate the treadmill—but hopefully that part will be over quickly.

I’m reading poems again for a literary magazine and I found myself leaving a cranky comment on the submission site about how poems about food bore me. I try not to leave cranky comments even though they are only seen by the editorial staff, but I could not stay silent any longer. There is no food experience I have ever had, no matter how toothsome or novel, that has inspired me to write a poem about it. I don’t care a whit about pomegranates or orange pulp or dates or fragrant stews or fresh-baked bread. Those thing are all fine and good, but my philosophy has always been, it’s just food. Eat and move on already. What’s with the fascination? It makes me wonder if I am somehow missing out on something. Like maybe I have a dulled sense of taste or that something fundamental to the human experience of food consumption is missing within me. I do often find myself annoyed that I have to eat and at odds with my stomach's insistence that it’s hungry, so maybe there is something wonky in that part of my brain. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a food experience amazing enough to inspire poetry, but I am solidly middle-aged and it hasn’t happened yet. (All this reminds me that I ate turtle stew once. It was okay.)

We’ve had nice weather in Seattle the last few days, which is annoying when one is mildly dysthymic, because there is so much pressure to be happy and energized by it—especially in Seattle, where our good-weather window is like, four days in mid-July. Good weather makes it all the more difficult to cope with emotional struggles because of the added guilt over the failure to respond with elation to the copious amounts of warmth and sun. Speaking of emotional struggles, one of my blog posts from over ten years ago somehow climbed it’s way into the “Popular Posts” section of my blog. It was about failure, and I forgot having written it. At the time, for whatever reason, I was struggling very much with Impostor Syndrome. I’m pleased to say that I do not have that anymore, not even a whiff of it. I’m a very different person now and I fully stand in my strength and know what I am capable of. It feels good to look back and see that I have grown so much emotionally. It took ten years to get here, but progress is progress.

There’s no video this week. You would be amazed at how hard it is find a video poetry performance about food that doesn’t veer into political territory or turn into a rape metaphor. I’m done scouring the internet this morning. Go eat something tasty and enjoy the sun!

--Kristen McHenry

2 comments: said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

Pomegranately perfect prose, Kristen!😻