It was my 3rd lap around the track, my eyes focused where they always did, straight at the ground… because this time I had company. A group of college-aged “boys,” all fit and healthy and doing sprints, I guessed practicing for future track and field competitions, but I didn’t know. On any normal day, if I’d seen my track company I’d have turned right around and went back home, but this time I somehow mustered up all of the courage I didn’t really have and began my workout, staying on the far outside lane willing myself to become as invisible as possible. I had decided walking on the track was the better alternative as the night before I’d woggercized out on the road and had 2, count them, TWO, not the usual one, different cars full of rowdy 20-somethings roll down their windows, honk their horns for 20 minutes and catcall at me. The negative judgement on my outward appearance, having not the slightest idea of me, the person, made me want to crawl into a hole and bunker down for the millenium. I’m used to it… or I tell myself I should be used to it. I get stares and points and comments all of the time… words and looks that chip away at the little bit of self-confidence I have left.
But I tell this not for pity… I know I’m not alone… I know there are people who experience things like this on a scale far higher than I can ever fathom… I tell this because as I was rounding my 3rd lap staring at the ground and trying to avoid all eye contact with my group of “fit boys,” one of them went out of his way to show me he saw a person with thoughts and feelings and dreams and struggles, just like him. He crossed the track into my line of sight, put his hand up for me to give him a high five and simply said, “You rock!”
I was taken aback… I didn’t know how to react at first… this was new… it made me feel like a worthwhile human being… and we can’t have that. My smile was wide as I thanked him and continued on my way… but this time with a little extra pep in my step, tears welling in my eyes. Kindness made all the difference. Thank you “fit” track boy… you have no idea what a boost you gave to me when I really needed it… It cost him nothing and made this stranger’s faith in humanity a little bit stronger. You rock, fit boy! Be kind… it’s free!
This winter is making me have a huge-mongous case of the crankies. I’ve never liked cold and snow and inversion pollution air… except that one time I dreamt I’d become the Olympic bobsledding Jamaican champion… errrr… okay! Add a broken wrist, anemic spells requiring expensive iron infusions, and a neverending inversion and you all might as well slap a sticker on my rump roast and call me Depressa…. bahahahaha… that rhymes with Dessa. Why do I let it affect me? We’re supposed to choose our attitude/happiness scale… and here I am choosing to be a big blob of depressa. I gotta admit, depressa does not come with a side of motivation. If I had my druthers, I’d sleep 24/7… except for the other part of the 24/7 where I’d eat. I manage to do my required day-to-day activities… shower, go to work, do my Biology and Literature homework (begrudgingly), but the desire to do anything to get the happies (aka exercise) is null and void.
I have a ton of excuses too… all great ones… like the time I couldn’t ride the boring recumbent bike in the basement because it was too cold outside… yes, I said the bike was in the basement. Or the time I decided lifting my 2-pound wrist weight in my right hand constituted a full on cardio session. I miss the blue sky. I miss the sunshine. I miss WARMTH! I miss being outside, but I’m petrified to walk around outdoors when there’s snow on the ground 2-1/2 feet deep that’s been sitting around since December. I don’t trust myself. I hyperventilated the other day when my car required a snow/ice scraping so I could drive it and see out the windows because there was that same patch of ice right next to the driver side door where I fell the first time. Get back on the horse, Tonto… and RIDE!
This feeling of unsure Whitney is very reminiscent of the years I sat on my tookus and gained hundreds of pounds… and I don’t like it one bit. It’s a strange phenomenon, this thing we call life… one little thing can roll along and whip you right back down 7 rungs on the ladder of success. What’s changed? My confidence level for one. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a success on the scale… a long while… it’s mostly visions of gains… and not the kind of gains you can attribute to sodium intake or water weight. Gains that require ingestion of wayyyyyy too many calories whilst sitting around reminiscing on your uneven nostril holes. Who needs paint drying when you gots you some uneven nostril holes!
It’s not like I have no successes to celebrate. After flunking out of college Biology 10+ years ago, this time around I’m doing well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy the study of life… I can tell I’m living when I’m breathing… leave all the scientific mumbo jumbo for Bill Nye the Science Guy… but I’ve been able to pay attention to the lectures and the book reading and the myriad of assignments and quizzes that class throws at me… and I have a great grade so far (knock on wood). There were years where I thought I couldn’t pass a college-level science class, but I’m proving myself wrong right there. Give yourself credit for that, Whitney… maybe those little credits will spur on the other things in your life you want to get back into. We all fall off the path of rockstar once in a while… it’s those who work to find their way back who marry David Bowie in the Neverending Story…. errrr… that was in the same dream where I won the Jamaican bobsled team thing… ignore it!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Pat yourselves on the back publicly… what are some little things you’ve accomplished recently?
This was the inversion on a good day.