Today as I scrolled down through my newsfeed, I saw it: “Top 10 Mistakes You’re Making in the Gym” (the histrionic RIGHT NOW!!! was implied). I felt my eyes glaze over – another day, another “what not to do at the gym” list. I dunno, guys. Maybe I’m jaded but I’ve read a million of these (heck, I think I even wrote one myself) and I just can’t get worked up anymore about people dropping the weights, taking too long on the hip abductor machine, singing out loud or hitting on anything with boobs. I tried, really I did, especially with the last one, but I was overwhelmed… with ennui. (And my lack of boobs.)
Stylin’ at the start line!
Ever had a super annoying running partner*? There’s The Perma-Injured – the person who always has something wrong with him/her, whether it be fallen arches or a sore knee or a blocked aura or whatever. New day, new injury. Then there’s The Whiner – the one who complains about the weather, his shoes, the TV programming, her husband and the chia seeds stuck in their teeth. Don’t forget The Competitor – the guy or girl who is always trying to stay two steps ahead of you, elbowing you off the sidewalk, telling you all their past race times or otherwise letting you know how much you suck at running. Oh and my personal favorite, The Hip Magnet – the fellow runner who apparently has a magnet in their hip that makes them run so close to you that if you were in a tampon ad you’d be holding hands and braiding daisy chains. No matter how many ninja moves you do to try and regain your personal space they will inexorably be drawn back to your side. If you’re lucky they’ll offer you a piggy back.
If we’re FB friends you get to read lots of stuff like this! Which will either entertain you or drive you nuts, depending on how you feel about people who FB about their kids.
So I’ve been getting a ton of friend requests on Facebook – lest you think I’m super popular (hair flip implied), the VAST majority are spam/phishing accounts. However, as I sorted through them this weekend I found a couple that I THINK are from readers of this blog? I’m happy to be FB friendies with any of you that want to – especially since I don’t have a FB page for this blog (too lazy, couldn’t maintain it).
There are two ways to do this:
1. You can sign up to “follow me” which will just mean you can see my public updates (which are all of them, basically). This does not require my approval. I won’t see your stuff and we won’t be official “FB friends” but you can see random quotes from my kids and weird invasive questions for articles I”m working on and what I’m having for dinner… scintillating stuff like that.
A scream: It’s not fair!
A surrender, a sigh: It’s not fair.
A realization: It’s not fair…
A cry: It. is. not. fair!
A complaint: It’s not faaaaiiiir.
An apology: It’s not fair.
A prayer; a whisper or a wail: It isn’t fair, Lord.
A question: Life – It’s not fair?
This last one, the question, breaks my heart. It is too much to ask of me. How can I know the answer? My human heart cracks under the weight of betrayal. Of weakness. Of illness and pain and suffering and mockery. But this question deserves an answer. And my son, who looks up at me with liquid eyes, deserves an answer. “Mommy, why are some people born rich and others are born poor?” It’s not what I had expected from the child who’d been fighting – with himself – over a ship built out of 4 Legos for the past hour. My other son answered him flippantly, most likely echoing something he’d heard me say, “Because life’s not fair.” Easy to say for someone who isn’t doing the suffering.
See, these ladies love working out in footed jammies! And so can you!
“Cute pedi!,” my neighbor said.
“Thanks! Jelly Bean and I got bored the other day and we painted our nails.” (Which she immediately peeled off even though I’d just spent half an hour hunched over fingernails the size of rabbit pellets. Kids.)
“So fancy! What is that – glitter?”
I wiggled my toes happily in the grass and replied, “Yep! I painted them black and then did a top coat of ‘Jessica Rabbit’!” (It’s a chunky red glitter custom-made by my friend Krissy of Glitter Bombs Away.” Also? Krissy has THE BEST names for her polishes!)
These are Krissy’s nails. Gorg, no?? I have neither the time nor the patience to do this on myself but I admire those who can!
“You going to yoga today?”
“Huh?” It was such a non-sequitur that I was momentarily rendered speechless. While I do love yoga and have taken a few classes at my new gym, I haven’t found anything that I love and (sadly) yoga hasn’t been a very regular part of my life since moving here. Why would she think I was going to yoga?
When I first saw this picture of Lea-Ann Ellison doing CrossFit a mere two weeks before her due date my initial thought was man, I miss my pregnancy boobs. (That’s about all I miss about pregnancy though. Okay, the boobs and the weird alien kicks that felt like my babies were doing slow-motion roundhouses. For me, just thinking about my pregnancies makes me hot and nauseous. Apparently I’m a sympathetic puker… with myself.)
The longer I looked at Ellison’s many impressive pictures, the more conflicted I became. The truth is that I don’t know how to feel about her being pregnant and doing CrossFit because I still don’t know I feel about me being pregnant and doing CrossFit (and kickboxing and weight lifting and running and a number of other intense exercises).
Pregnancy is not an illness. It’s a motto we hear thrown around a lot these days and while they’re quite correct – there’s nothing pathological about gestating – let’s not pretend that pregnancy doesn’t massively (hah!) change things in your body. At least it did for me:
This morning dawned (?) dark, rainy and cold – the perfect time for my scheduled park workout! Because I’m bad at planning! After dragging myself out of bed at the crack of black and convincing my friend to as well, we did a quick half hour circuit of body weight exercises and sprints. It was one of those workouts that doesn’t feel too rough when you’re doing it but really takes a lot out of you, especially if you’re not used to high-intensity interval training. So when my friend texted me a half hour later saying she was shaky, couldn’t get warm and also couldn’t lift her arms over her head, I felt bad for not warning her about the possibility of getting the dreaded sugar shakes.
You know, how you sometimes get shaky, light-headed, nauseated, cold, and mentally foggy during or right after a workout? That completely miserable feeling like you kinda want to puke or die? Yep, sugar shakes. I’ve so been there. Which makes it sound like we’re sugar junkies jonesing for our next hit of the white granulated stuff (confession: I kind of am) but in reality something as simple as an early morning workout before breakfast can throw your blood sugar was all out of whack.
I hate diet pill ads. They are the worst of the worst when it comes to advertising. And yet I’ve also tried just about every diet pill on the market. (At one point. I haven’t taken any in over 4 years.) It’s so common sense that the ads are bogus, right? And yet they still sell like Doritos at a Dave Matthews concert. What gives? A) I’m a sucker. I love me a good testimonial from “Sheila E. – Tempe, AZ”! B) These ads are as seductive as they are slimy. Hello person in a doctor-looking lab coat! and C) I love a quick fix as much as the next girl. But over the years I’ve gotten a lot wiser thanks to experiencing every scary side effect possible (except death, by the grace of God) and being in the business long enough to see how the diet-advertising sausage gets made.
Last night I got this text from my sister:
Her: I just read your post about revenge! Were you talking about me? Why didn’t you just talk to me??
Me: What? No! I wasn’t talking about you. Why would you think that???
Her: Um… I don’t know. Just making sure!
And then I woke up to an e-mail from a friend in Minnesota. She thought I was talking about her too. And she felt super bad about it. I spent several e-mails reassuring her that I hadn’t been talking about her either.
And NOW? I just got an e-mail from a friend in Seattle whom I haven’t even seen in a decade… asking if I meant her. No and no.
Ay, yi, yi. You know what they say about three being a trend…
“TJ is a butt turd!” My 10-year-old self sat back to admire my handiwork: drawn in permanent purple, in foot-high letters, right on the front porch. So everyone who came to our house would know exactly what kind of kid my little brother was. To this day I don’t remember what he had done that so incensed me that I thought this was an appropriate response but I do remember being super proud of myself. All the way until my parents saw it (and my brother’s scribbled response on the sidewalk) and made us spend an afternoon scrubbing concrete with bleach.
Ah, revenge gone awry. Good times! (Some other time we’ll have to talk about revenge with unintended consequences…)
But revenge isn’t just a theme for childhood fantasies and TV dramas (that star sweet, vapid Amy from Everwood as Hampton’s ninja Emily/Amanda – I still can’t wrap my brain around that one). Unfortunately as we get older and more aware of the injustices of life, it becomes more infectious. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.