Yes, you read that title correctly. And yes, I am right. You know I am.
I'm a self professed work out whore. I go to every class available at the gym as much as I can. Again and again. I can't get enough. What can I say? I love pain. I love to hate that sweet, sweet, pain that accompanies my body days after a little cold hard plankin'. I love going and leaving everything out on the floor. The 5 am wake up to tell us that there is an uncomfortable toe nail that needs clipped, followed by the 6 am wake up that a side aches, followed by the 6:45 that S can't find her squishy octopus toy, the spilled cereal, the artistically watercolored carpet done in the artists own hand; all magically vanishes, for a time, through the power of one brutal workout. I've even attempted Zumba after a friend suggested I not turn up my nose at it until I try it. It was sorta fun to grind my hips and pump my chest to a funky latin beat, but I go to the gym to get my ass kicked, not to dance. That's called 'Girls Night Out at Aztec Willies'. I have strong feelings about this that I won't get into now. Let's just suffice to say that it doesn't do it for me in a physical sense, and I am choosing the upturned nose. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. If it works for you, YAAAY for you. It just better not replace another actual work out-work out class of mine.
Recently I started attending a class that my spin instructor has been teaching. She seems super sweet when you first meet her. Her voice is high and lilting. She's got this super cute blonde pixie cut and an seemingly sweet countenance and everything, but really she's a killer. She is one tough bitch and I love her for it. The first time I took a spin class from her I made the mistake of checking out the time on the clock behind me. I could have tried to decipher the backwards time in the mirror in front of me but I was already delirious from my workout experience at that point and found it just too difficult to task my brain with reading those mixed up digits. "Watchya lookin at back there, C.W?" She asked over Usher, Ushuh, Ushuah singing about my one life that I needed to live. Looking sheepishly around while my classmates furiously pedal their legs and pretend to look at some small object on the floor, I pondered. She really couldn't be addressing me, right? My initials aren't C.W., so I think, perhaps, she's talking to someone else? "Me?" I mouth, pointing at my chest. "Ya, You. The Clock Watcher." Damn. "Everyone thank C.W. in the back for adding 30 seconds to your sprint here." FUUuuuuuh. I try and flash my best smile to my comrades but everyone seems super focused on something far away and in front of them. Double Damn.
The girl I use to be would have fallen under such criticism. I have always been sensitive and my desire for others to like me has overshadowed many a decision in my early days. I would be lying if I said that even now I don't cringe at small and meaningless offenses. At my core I just want to love and be loved all of the days of my life! This sounds super corny, but it's true. I've learned over time and experience that sometimes love comes in the form of a bitch slap in the face to reality. You know what I'm talkin' about, Sisters. Yes, I think you do.
We, Mothers, are the masters of tough love. We know exactly what our children need and when they need it. We look long and fixedly on our children all day every day. Every waking moment our thoughts are on them. Picking apart their characters and weighing that against their sweet/tender spirits. We understand how important it is for our children to gain experience and confidence through challenging situations. So we push, and we do this because we love them and want them to achieve all that they are capable of.
Unfortunately we are not so acutely aware of defining that in our own lives. I have often discovered myself sleep walking through life. It's difficult to rise above the dirty diapers, the mountains of laundry and dirty dishes, the sticky floors, the asunderous appointments, the volunteering and extending of every fiber of our being to others; to honestly look at our own reflection. To remember those eyes staring back at us. To look long and fixedly on the person we are today. In this moment. Right now.
**CYBER BITCH SLAP**
There, did you feel that? Did it register? Now, what are you going to do about it?
While you are thinking, let's get back to my instructor and her new class. It's like this cross between aerobics using a stepper and strength training. Lots of ups and downs and touching the ground with weights, etc. Boy does it get me in the mood. And it is brutal. In the middle of class I had a literal jaw drop moment when I realized after already hitting what I FELT was my max physically, that in fact it was not, and this crazy instructor was asking for more. I turned to my friend and whispered, "This class is so intense!" "Ya," she said. "I told you." "Yes," I responded, "but I had no idea it was going to be like this. She scares the S&*% out of me. I almost wet myself." "Ha, ha." she replied. "No, J, really my body is freaking out." "Wha?" She asks with a side ways glance. "Sick, go to the bathroom!" "Pssh I don't have to go NOW" I say turning my back on her.
Ahem. So let's just make something clear since I'm kind of putting myself out here a little: I am no light weight when it comes to controlling my bladder. I am the Queen of Kegels, you might say. I kegel when I'm on the phone, I kegel to the beat of the music in the car, I kegel lying in bed. I may have been kegeling when you and I had that conversation last week. You might say me and my pelvic floor are tiiiiight, yo. I'm sure if you and I had a contest where we held out on going to the bathroom, that I would win. I'm just saying. I'm that good. I still can't jump on the trampoline as long as I could before having children, but CAN YOU??! Ya, that's what I thought.
So let's try and remember the last time you pushed yourself to the limit. Can you remember? I bet it involved blood, sweat, tears and all those other lovely bodily fluids. I can also almost assuredly guess that you had something incredibly beautiful to show for it. Am I right? I am right. Again, I'm only sayin.;)
The fact of the matter is that in order to really see ourselves, our potential, our lives we are living presently, RIGHT NOW, here in this very moment- we must come face to face with our own mortality. This takes pain. This takes shaking your fists at the sky and sometimes even screaming out. For most of us it requires looking frighteningly ugly and horrific for a time. Your metamorphosing, changing. Get over it. You'll survive. Birth is never "pretty". And the rebirth after birth lacks some of the magic that actually bringing forth life has. If going to the gym is not your thing or within your means- climb a mountain. Garden in a torrential downpour. Take a flying leap into a canyon. Run, literally like a bat out of hell, to pick up your kids from school. Push yourself to that point every once in awhile where you face the threat of very literally wetting yourself. I promise something magical will start to happen. You'll start to recognize those eyes staring back at you and the result will be that you'll love yourself more. You will start owning the life you are living and discover a beautiful oasis inside of yourself. It's going to be amazing, but don't wait and see. Go out, get a little crazy, and make it happen!
Song of the day (and don't judge. Listen to the lyrics and girrrrl turn it up while you dance. Kinda like it's your last night of your life) This here be my jam on workout days: http://youtu.be/oBhj-Tv4WHI