3 Reasons Why Working Out At School Is Mildly Uncomfortable

3 Reasons Why Working Out At School Is Mildly Uncomfortable

Questioning why your skin crawls at the gym? This might be why.

Although it may not look like it, I really do enjoy physical activity, because I really REALLY enjoy eating. So I try to balance things out. I work out while at home (over summer and winter breaks) and while at school because like I said before, BALANCE. BUT ALAS, I began to see noticeable changes in my body in very drastic ways. I spent my winter break at home and as I entered the first week of February (just a couple days before I had to go back to school) I looked into the mirror and saw Dwayne the Rock Johnson looking back at me.

I was literally ripped. I had stretch marks around my biceps from rapid muscle growth. I could not understand how this had happened so suddenly in the span of just two months. So you can say I had high hopes for my summer ~bod~ since I expected to get progressively more #shredded over the spring semester. Welp, things went south. Recently, I flexed in the mirror and nothing. moved. in. the. slightest. I had lost all of my muscle and gained a good amount of fat, you can say I was confused. It wasn’t like I had more time to work out at home than I did at school. While home, I worked two jobs from 5:30 am to 6 pm, so my workdays were even longer than my school days. Also, since I now had a kitchen at school, I was cooking meals for myself just as I did at home. Nothing added up.

It wasn’t until recently, while I was at the gym and aggressively rushed through my workout that I realized what caused my Dwayne the Rock Johnson bod to fade. I WAS AGGRESSIVELY RUSHING. I took a step back and questioned why I was doing this and sure enough, over the course of just three workouts, I was able to trace back the cause of my untoned bod. And I don’t want to blame this on anyone because, in the end, it is me who is cutting workouts short or rushing through things out of sheer and utter discomfort, but sometimes, people make it a little too hard (out here for a pimp).

1. The men in the basement of the gym think that they are all Hulk Hogan

I think this has happened to me upward of 6 billion times. And each time it causes me so much discomfort; I want to rip my skin off. This is how it usually plays out. I’m at the squat rack, doing my thang, lifting a plate onto the bar, when Brad sees me from across the room. He assumes that since I have boobs, I must clearly be struggling. Brad stops whatever he is doing and sprints over so that he can TAKE THE PLATE from my hand and slide it onto the bar. He then asks if I’m ok, because clearly the plate was attacking me and his assistance was needed. I say I’m fine and expect him to leave. He doesn’t leave. Instead, he watches me squat, says I should sit back further when squatting, and then shows me his form. Not knowing what to do, I thank him and begin to take the plates off after literally doing only ten reps. Then I sprint up the stairs because HELP, thus concluding my workout.

Don’t worry; there are about ten different variations of this I can think back to, all ending with me cutting my workout short and retreating out of anger/confusion. My gym at home is filled with dads, palate moms, preteen high school wrestlers who are downing supplements in hopes of getting #large, and of course some kids I went to high school with that I just pretend to not see. And no one has ever critiqued me. I think it’s just a college boy thing, to assume that your workout is holier than thou. And they may think they’re helping, but in reality, they are only helping my flab grow progressively larger as I retreat from the gym.

2. The school's weightlifting team uses the gym and since they all look and lift like Olympic athletes

Imagine. You’re dancing on a stage by yourself just for the hell of it, and Beyoncé comes out of nowhere asking if she could borrow the stage so she can rehearse for her concert. That is literally what happens to me in the gym except for a member of the weightlifting team is Beyoncé and the stage is any type of weight, machine, rack, bench etc. I happen to be using at the moment. You don’t just say no to Beyoncé, you don't make her wait, especially since she actually has a valid reason to be using the stage, so I don’t say no to a 200 lb. slab of pure muscle that is asking me to use a bench. I get up mid-set and literally sprint to wipe it off for them and re-rack my weights. To be honest, I’d even bring them a snack if they asked me, that’s how intimidated I am by them.

3. Every girl is clad in LuLu Lemon and looks like a Sports Illustrated Model while I wear my ex-boyfriend's soccer jerseys and resemble Danny Devito.

This one is solely confidence based but honestly, can you blame me? I never knew that workout clothes were a thing before coming to college. At home, I wear a pair of leggings and any ratty t-shirt I don’t mind sweating in. And I still do that here because 1. I have no money and 2. I’d rather spend my money elsewhere. So imagine how fearful I was (and evidently still am) working out next to perfect girls in perfect, skintight workout gear? Don’t get me wrong, I know this is completely on me because I should have enough confidence to do my own thang and not care but sometimes, especially when you’re not having the best day, it all gets in your head. And that’s when I stop doing my squats because I feel inferior and pack it in for the day and speed walk home so I feel like I did some form of physical activity.

These three reasons, combined with the fact that I am top 10 one of the most awkward people to walk this planet, have transformed my old Channing Tatum circa 2012 bod into my current Channing Tatum circa 2014 bod. So I ask you all to collectively pray 4 cha girl as I embark on my journey to fitness since I go home for summer in literally 32 days. We need a miracle people, and for my sake, a completely empty gym.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?

I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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How A Podcast About Murder Helped My Mental Health

And a community that sprang forth became my lifeline.


Sometimes I wonder what it's like to live without mental illness.

To wake up in the morning and feel secure in your body, your thoughts, your actions, and your relationships.

I don't have that luxury, and neither do 43.8 million Americans in any given year.

So why is it so easy to convince ourselves that we're alone?

I struggled with mental illness before my childhood trauma, which made me an easy target. The effects of my abuse magnified my genetic predisposition to mental health problems. Members from both sides of my family suffer from some type of mental illness. I would never want to offend any relatives of mine, so I won't disclose the number, but let's just say, it's a lot. As for my ancestors, I know a maternal great-grandfather hit my maternal grandfather, and the wife of the aforementioned great-grandfather was an agoraphobic. She mostly only drank tea and ate toast and was rail thin so it's not hard to reach the conclusion that she had an eating disorder.

I am very fortunate in that I grew up in a family who didn't hide from their mental health issues. My mom realized she had anxiety when she was in her very early 20's and was open about it - which for the 1980's was not common. She is the most genuine person I know, and part of that is because she doesn't pretend everything is always perfect.

So, even though my parents were always supportive through my struggles, pushing me to achieve my best while also assuring me that it was okay to take a mental health day from school from time to time, I still felt like I was the only one in the world that felt the way I did.

I won't bore you with the details, but most of my memories from my childhood have to do with anxiety, depression, food, and body issues. I remember telling my parents I had, "that lonely feeling again." Which, was the feeling of my heart in my stomach - the feeling of isolation and sadness and impending doom - something I still deal with today. One of my first words was "safe." I was convinced my parents would die in a car accident. I was five standing in a mirror calling myself fat, I was ten swearing an Oreo would be the last thing I would ever eat, I was eight hoarding food. I was seven, afraid I would crush the horse I was riding because of my weight. I was 12 the first time I made myself throw up.

Anxiety, depression and eating disorders have been woven into the fabric of my being. And working to untangle those threads is a daily struggle.

I'm a firm believer in therapy and medications if that is what's best for your journey. I don't believe in blanket diagnoses, or one size fits all meds. I was hospitalized three times in high school at an inpatient mental health facility, and for me, it didn't help. The final stay, after attempting suicide, journaling was my vehicle out of the darkest place I had been yet.

"I wrote my way out."

When I was 18, I found my way back to God. Recovering memories of being abused is brutal and with my history of mental illness, I don't know what I would have done if I had uncovered the abuse before June 14, 2017. I truly believe that God's timing is always perfect, and I had reached the point in my life where I was ready to receive my truth.

Two months after recovering the memories, I stumbled across a little Podcast called, My Favorite Murder. At that point, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark had been releasing episodes weekly for a little over a year and a half. I was hooked and binged the catalog of episodes.

Not only did it make me realize my love of true crime, but I found an amazing community of some of the most wonderful people I've never met.

What makes Karen and Georgia's Podcast so special isn't the crime. No, it's them. It's their authenticity, their rawness. Their openness about their struggles with addiction, anxiety, depression, body image issues, and their flaws. It's their championing of survivors of abuse and attacks, their support of women, and their dedication to End the Backlog (there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested, this organization helps fight that).

Although their opinions sometimes differ from mine, they've created this beautiful space of inclusiveness on the radical notion that as long as you're kind and respectful, you are welcome.

The main Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of followers and pretty early on, people started making spinoff groups, made up of Murderinos (MFM fans) for specific interests. Like apps, there's an MFM spinoff group for anything. From cat lovers to craft enthusiasts to local groups (heyyyy 'Here's the Thing, 518 Everybody') to religious groups (Looking at you 'Thou Shalt Not Murder!'). I joined the latter two groups and loved the little communities.

But then I thought, "Wow, I would really love to join a group for Survivors of abuse." To my surprise, there wasn't one.

I had reached a point in my healing journey that I needed to talk to people who knew what I was going through.

So, I shoved down my negative self-talk that told me no one would want to join a group I made and created a spinoff group.

And Survivorinos was born.

It's been four months since I clicked "create." In that time, we have almost 450 members and this past month I made three strong women moderators to help keep the community running.

For someone who writes a lot and often has (too much) to say, Survivorinos still has me at a loss for words. I started the group because I needed an outlet to vent things that I couldn't say to my friends or family. I needed to share intimate details of my life with people who understood. And what I found was a monumental revelation to me: so many other people needed the same thing.

This community is filled with nothing but love. In a world filled with negativity and fighting, this little corner of the Internet remains focused on helping their fellow man. The stories are heartbreaking, but the comments are uplifting. Love and prayers are sent, advice is given, and memes and animal pictures are abundant.

Now I can't imagine my life without Survivorinos.

Karen and Georgia say all the time how lucky they feel, that their Podcast has turned into this ever-expanding network of humans caring about one another. But it's us, the listeners, who should be thankful. I know I am. Because they took the leap and started this podcast, I found a group of people I didn't even know I needed.

Stay sexy, and keep destigmatizing mental illness and the effects of abuse.

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