At this point in my life, why do I continue to let my Inner Critic rise to the occasion to spew its negativity? Really, it needs to just shut up!
The other day I was stretching at the gym when I noticed this young woman staring at me. For the record, the inner critic loves to come to the gym.
Now, I could have thought that she was admiring my flexibility, but nooooo not when I have the asshole in tow.
Immediately I assumed she was looking at my faults. We all know spandex does not lie. When you wear it at 52, after years of abusing yourself with food and bearing children …. it screams the truth.
We made eye contact, exchanged awkward smiles and moved along. The smile was received as sympathy for my flaws. Without one piece of evidence.
Later in the workout I noticed her looking in my direction …. again! I should have been thinking that perhaps she was looking for a date, but no not with the good ole critic by my side. It was all about body shaming from that one.
I allowed these negative thoughts to grow throughout the workout. I was ridiculously self-conscience the entire time. As if the struggle isn’t hard enough, I had to dodge some extra punches.
After the hour was over and the stretching complete, the young woman sheepishly approaches me. Mind you she was built like an instructor, not a client, so I assumed she was nervous about how she was going to be brutally honest with me. If only negative thoughts burned calories … I would be transparent.
There I stood waiting for the punch. Feeling horrible about everything spandex, everything about the workout and everything about myself. Defeat at its highest power.
This is what went down:
Young Woman: Oh hi I was just wondering where you get your hair cut. I saw you last week and loved your cut and I’m looking for a change.
Me: What did you say? I blamed my shock o the music.
Young Woman: I was just asking where you get your hair cut I love it!
Me: Gave her all the details and made her very happy.
By the time I got to the car I was furious with myself. I could not believe I put my accomplishments in the back seat while this miserable ass drove me to the point of such defeat. My inner critic has a name, and I think it might be Donald, after another ass I know who continuously spews negative energy.
Think about it….
No more trips to the past for me. Been there, done that.
No more beating myself up over my looks.
No more insecurities.
It’s all about moving forward to crush my goals like the badass rockstar from Mars that I know I am! Yes, that is the sound of someone wearing their positive pants.
I’m off to let my fabulous hair blow in the wind while I ….. Enjoy the Ride!
Quote: thejealouscurator.com; Photo: Huffington Post
Tell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.
Well, recently I did something so far out of my normal realm I’m still not sure what came over me. Maybe I’m going through a little MLC of my own. Was I excited to jump into this venture head first? That would depend on your definition of “excited.” Did I have butterflies-in the-stomach? Um, it felt more like a flock of geese, but yes. Was there that giggling, can’t wait excited feeling? In my world there is always giggling, but in this case, it was the let’s just make fun of ourselves in order to survive kind of giggling, so yes, there was in fact lots of giggling.
I bet you’re on the edge of your seats wondering what the hell I’ve been keeping from you all……Drum Roll Please.
The answer is CrossFit (this is in red to signify the fires of hell I endure every time I attend class). If anyone is wondering “what the hell is CrossFit?” The official definition is: CrossFit is a strength and conditioning brand. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. My definition is: CrossFit is a love/hate relationship that will push you to thoughts of self demise and euphoria in the same hour. CrossFit does not discriminate against any of your muscle groups, in fact, parts of your body will hurt that you weren’t even aware existed.
This all came to life after meeting a long-time friend for coffee. Maybe someone slipped something into our Lattes. My friend started telling me how she wanted to try CrossFit, which I never heard of and I shared that I wanted to try one of those Mud races….Muddrella to be exact, which she never heard of and this folks is how insanity was born. Two crazy ideas shacking up in the middle of a Starbucks produced a bundle of over zealous confidence that brought us to sign our lives away to a CrossFit facility.
You see, my dear friend and I are approaching milestone, or as I like to call them, “very special birthdays” soon. One of us (not me) isn’t venturing into this next chapter with the same vigor as someone else (me). You see, she confessed that this is the first Summer she hasn’t worn a bikini. Tragic, I know. She was looking for something challenging so she wouldn’t turn into “one of those hideous older people” as she so eloquently described it. She could never be hideous, but I knew exactly what she meant.
This conversation provoked me to do some math and I came to the horrific realization that this is my 21st year without wearing a bikini, along with my 5th year without wearing a bathing suit of any kind, so I think it’s safe to say that I was just a Christmas sweater away from a catastrophic level of hideous aging. YIKES! All I can say is … THANK GOD for whatever divine intervention led us to meet for coffee that day!
Yesterday we concluded our second full week of CrossFit and believe it or not we are both making significant strides. For starters we’re still alive! Everyone, including all of the young what the hell are you doing here with that amazing body guys and girls are very supportive of our endeavours. They encourage us, answer our questions and cheer us on one WOD (work-out of the day) at a time. It’s really nice having your own personal cheerleaders … a girl could get use to this love.
We are running, the actual verb form of running too, not the “I’m running to the store” adjective kind. We are also jumping rope. Do you have any idea what happens when middle-aged women run & jump rope? They begin to laugh out loud at the prospect of wearing a diaper and they actually start to justify it! Hey, Lisa Rinna wore one on the Red Carpet, she says so in the commercial!
We are lifting weights, dangling from gigantic rubber bands, contorting our bodies into positions we didn’t know were possible, but most of all we are having a great time….a very sore time, but a great time. No pain, no gain … right?
As of this morning I am 20.2 pounds lighter. Um, yes, she did include that .2. I am healthier, happier and more determined than ever to continue on this path of Non-Hideous aging. I think I feel a bumper sticker coming on…perhaps a t-shirt.
Honestly though, the best part of this whole journey has been spending time with my dear friend. We make each other laugh through our inadequacies while we celebrate our personal milestones, which to date include running without stopping and staying alive. Enjoy the Ride!
THE DAILY PROMPT: PROUD When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you? Well, this actually very easy. Just the other day at work my co-worker told me she was in fact very proud of me. About a year ago we began the daunting task of converting to the world of Electronic Health Records. To make a very looooong story very short…things don’t always go according to plan. At the end of Summer someone in our office was under the impression that perhaps the upcoming election may let’s just say have a different outcome, therefore we put this whole electronic record transformation on hold. Lesson…do not count your chickens before they’re hatched. So, now that the Inauguration has taken place and it appears the Prez is staying for the next four years, we are back to perusing this monumental change. We all know that no one likes the C-Word, but there are moments when it’s just necessary in order to get the ball rolling. I hope you all realize I’m talking about Change…just checking. This brings us to Monday when we once again started to dabble back into this new system to see just how much information was actually retained after all these months. After a few technical difficulties that nearly pushed us all over the imaginary cliff…we started. Ok, let’s get back to the prompt at hand. On Tuesday I started to scan some records into the computer. For the record, it’s not as easy as it sounds. By the grace a God, a miracle, a fluke or some other out of this world phenomenon I was able to wiz right through the process without an ounce of hesitation. This is when I heard those magic words…. Co-worker: Wow, how did you do that? Me: I have no idea. Co-worker: I’m really proud of you for remembering how to do that. Me: Laughter. Considering I couldn’t guarantee this would happen a second time. I must say it’s nice to get a little pat on the back every once in a while…even when you might not feel it’s necessary. We live in a world where criticism comes easier that compliments. A place where people seem to have a difficult time stepping out of their own boastful bubble to recognize the very things that deserve gratitude. So it’s best to just humbly accept that someone recognizes something good in you and watch it blossom. Hey, even my dog likes to hear that he is a “Good Boy” just for pooping! Make your supporters proud, your haters jealous and Enjoy the Ride!
I’ve heard them all before. My mind screams with thoughts about following my dreams and accomplishing my goals. I hear inspirational stories all of the time that get my blood pumping and compel me to do whatever it is that I always wanted to do. Yet, once that flock of enthusiastic goose bumps fades, I don’t move a muscle.
I’ve watched as the Susan Boyles of the world made it happen. I sat in awe of the double amputee performing in the Olympic games. I listened to the 95-year-old college graduate state “it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.” I remain paralyzed.
My heart swells with emotion over the accomplishments of complete strangers; meanwhile doubts, fear and uncertainty are being pumped into my head preventing me from fulfilling my own. Ah, there really is nothing like curling up with a cozy set of fear & self-doubt.
What’s holding me back? What am I waiting for? What will everyone think? Am I good enough?
Then it happened. An offer I couldn’t refuse. Fate had entered the building and I was presented with an opportunity to pursue one of my long time dreams. Drum roll please…
I am officially a Balloon Handler or as I prefer, Latex Engineer in the
Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade!
What? You thought I would be climbing a freaking mountain? Please! If I’m climbing, it’s onto a barstool. Ok, ok so my dream may not be on the grandiose scale of climbing mountains, but the upside to my shortcomings is…my dream is doable.
If you didn’t already know, the Lorax has been inspiring kids to think and talk about the environment for more than ten years. A match made in heaven, if I do say so myself.
Now, I will admit when I first realized this dream could be a reality, my heart did skip a beat. I didn’t respond immediately because believe it or not, I loathe parades. I know, I know, I know. Just another opportunity for doubt to creep into this over-crowded head. Do I let my dream die over a mere technicality like loathing the venue? Hell no!
As you might imagine, my enthusiasm over this opportunity has been met with mixed reactions. The expression to your right followed by long awkward pauses, high-pitched responses and laughter pretty much sums it up. It was probably due to my OMG! GUESS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO? introduction.
I’ve already attended training not practice TRAINING last week, which was a bit of an eye opener.
A woman in our group, who did not appear to be ruler of the free world, felt the need to answer her cell phone while holding the balloon. As if that wasn’t bad enough, during the “clockwise” “counter-clockwise” session there was lets just say….hesitation. Dear Lord I’m in Mr. Kotter’s class!
praying confident they’ll pull it together on the big day. Feel free to throw a Hail Mary’s this way … just in case.
Since the training, several emails have been sent with additional instructions. One in particular titled ABSOLUTELY NO EARMUFFS!! left me baffled. Confession: The all caps and double explication points had me laughing out loud. It remains a mystery as to why the EARMUFFS are banished from the parade, but if I’m being honest, it makes me want to wear them even more.
Now that we’re getting down to the wire, I received my “BALLOON HANDER JOB DESCRIPTION” it was written exactly as it appears. Let me just say, in case there were any doubts, Latex Engineer will be added to my resume. It’s much more complex than you imagine…trust me.
So while everyone is gathered around the table this Thanksgiving expressing their gratitude for the years bounty, I will be coming down from my high after a stellar performance at the 92nd annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Living the dream and Enjoying the Ride!