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What the Elliptical Taught Me About Letting People In

JournoJen | CC
JournoJen | CC

Earlier this week, I decided to up my resistance levels on the elliptical machine, as well as choose a new workout (I went with a random hill variance). So, basically I was “climbing” up and down random hills at various different levels of resistance.

(For those of you unfamiliar with elliptical machines, the harder the resistance and workout setting, the slower you might go – until your legs get stronger, that is.)

So, although I was working my ass off (pun slightly intended – hey, it’s Friday), any random passerby might have thought I was just lollygagging around, lazily going through the motions until my 30 minutes were up.

In reality, I was kind of struggling to hold it together.

Isn’t that how it goes in life sometimes?

We might look like we have a good, strong grasp on whatever life’s slinging at us – we might even make it all look easy – but on the inside, we’re damn near close to our breaking point. Whether it’s depression, anxiety and panic, bipolar disorder, or an overwhelming sense of “I-Can’t-Do-This-By-Myself-Anymore-I-Need-Help,” we’re struggling with something.

About 10 minutes into my workout, my beau came over just to check out how I was doing. I was going reeeeeaaaaallllyyyy slooooowwwwllllllly, and I immediately became super aware of how I must’ve looked. Like I was giving minimal effort. Like I didn’t even need to try. I didn’t want him to think that – not out of pride, but out of need. I needed to let him know that even though I was working on it, I didn’t quite yet have it altogether.

Naturally, he was encouraging and we lived happily ever after.

The take away?

Let someone in today. Let someone know how hard you’re working, or even struggling. Don’t keep it all to yourself. Don’t worry about outward appearances, especially if you’re seriously struggling on the inside. Find someone you trust who’ll understand and let that person in.

What the Elliptical Taught Me About Letting People In

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2015). What the Elliptical Taught Me About Letting People In. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 May 2015
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