Fitness Journal: Sweating Off the Stress of Public Speaking

Exercise is the only thing I know to cure pain from the past. The rest of this blog post is a summary of my latest workout. I’m sharing this to help motivate you and to understand myself.

Each workout has an intention or a purpose, and in the end, something important is learned. Very few workouts are exceptional, some are average, and most are rough, but all are transformational.

Here is the latest footstep into my fit to live journey…

Workout: Sweating Off the Stress of Public Speaking

How Did I Feel Before the Workout?

Recently, I was invited to speak at a gala fundraiser for a local centre who specializes in helping youth heal from sexual assault. Even though I have done a TEDx talk about my abuse, public speaking is not my jam. Like most people, the thought of public speaking creates a lot of anxiety in me. I’m an aspiring writer, not a public speaker.

The event is this coming Saturday, and it’s fast approaching. While I’ve done quite well in quelling my jitters, today, it seems, my first public speaking engagement since TEDx is becoming real. I feel very nervous, and my muscles all over my body are tensing up -I can feel them. My stomach is in knots, I almost feel too sick to go workout.

What Was My Intention?

My intention for this workout was to give the cortisol in my body a chance to do its magic. Cortisol is the stress hormone designed to protect when we’re in fear. When we allow cortisol to accumulate, it will turn against us, and our bodies will breakdown. I’m confident that once I deescalate my cortisol levels, my public speaking jitters will ease.

What Workout Did I Do?

  • Treadmill: Ran for 20 mins at 4:50 pace.
  • Abs: Ab crunches on machine and floor, plus various stretching.
  • Step machine: Climbed 50 floors.

How Did I Feel After the Workout?

After a few moments on the treadmill, my stomach eased. I was in my zone and felt at peace, concentrating on moving and not speaking. Cortisol was happily playing with my body like a puppeteer fiddling with the strings of a marionette.

I realized during my run that, aside from my marathon training, this was the first workout I’ve ever done alone. I’ve always had a friend or group of friends with me. So it was helpful today to feel confident enough to do my own thing.

What Did I Learn?

Apart from what my brain may have been telling me with it’s cortisol boosts, I will not die by public speaking. Therefore, what do I have to worry about? It’s a volunteer activity, meant to help bring awareness to childhood sexual abuse. Whatever I have in me at the time, is what I have to give to this event, so worrying about it now, only takes away from what I’ll have. I have nothing to lose.

The Story Behind This

Fitness means much more than toned muscles, physical strength and endurance. Building an intimate connection between your mind and body is the true definition of fitness. Life can be tough on you sometimes, and it is only made tougher if that connection is missing.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

Jim Rohn

I spent many years trying to recover from the the fallout of childhood sexual trauma. My mind was continually trying to disconnect from a body that didn’t feel my own. It wasn’t until I discovered exercise that I was able rebuild that connection and become someone whole and worth living for. Every workout is just another chance to get a little closer to who I really am.

Read Past Fitness Journal Entries:

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