How did I get like this?
Now, the “this” about me from your perspective might be something like, why is she so driven (read: nuts) when it comes to working out? You may even have a theory about it like maybe she was a competitive athlete when she was younger. Nope. Or maybe she’s just a can-do kind of gal. Nuh-uh. Or possibly, her mother dropped her on her head. Will look into that... But for me, the “this” is a not a question about what moves me; it’s about what stops me.
You see, although there is nothing exactly wrong, there is also nothing is exactly right. I've been feeling stuck and resigned to my stuckness, loping and moping around like Eeyore’s aggravated Aunt Eelore… Of late, I have taken to reflecting on my past for an explanation. To the best of my recollection, here’s what happened:
In 1966, when I was 3 ½, my sister was born, and when she came home to live with us, she had a dried up prune attached where her belly button ought to have been and I felt sort of bad for her on account of that is just a disgusting way to be born. A few days later, the thing just dropped off like a walnut, and I took pity on my little leper sister, Lesley Lynn, who was clearly going to have a lot of problems.
But I digress…(it’s what I do). Shortly after my sister was born, my mother rented a big, noisy machine. It was a kind of blender for humans, and its purpose was to shake the damage inflicted by my sister off of my mother’s hips and thighs. Apparently, the prevailing theory on weight loss at the time was that if you had some loose parts, all you needed to do was wiggle them around a bit and they’d fall off—like a loose tooth. Each morning, my mother would mount the machine’s rubberized platform and secure a wide nylon belt around her hips. Then, with the flip of a switch, she transformed into a load of human laundry, getting the fat beat out of her in the agitate cycle. The violent motion, like an electronic hula doll gone berserk, was supposed to whip away any unwanted curves. Whether by sanding clear down to her fatty deposits or by shaking her bowels into emission, I cannot say for sure. But the image rattled me to the core and I sure was glad when I discovered a more stable alternative.
It was still dark when I climbed out of bed and padded across the floor to my dresser. Pulling open a drawer, I extracted a floral “baby-doll” top with matching bloomers, otherwise known as my Exercise Pajamas. Of course, the question that begs asking is exactly what sort of freaky four-year-old needs an exercise ensemble at the crack of dawn (or ever, for that matter)? Well, in an effort to avoid my mother’s fate with The Agitator, this freaky four-year-old had an exercise regimen. Unlike my fellow kinder who kick-started their days with Captain Crunch, Shari Lewis and Lambchop, I began my mornings with Special K, a kitchen chair and a superhero named Jack LaLanne. There in my living room, I stood waiting for the little man in the belted Lycra jumpsuit and ballet slippers to appear. Together we would take a big inhale, blow it out through our noses, and grasp our chair backs to perform all manner of leg lifts, arm circles, and Jumping Jacks.
The guy invented his own move!
Perhaps noting that I was a mover and a shaker with an affinity for leg lifts, my mother soon enrolled me in ballet lessons. Each Saturday morning, I stood before the mirror and practiced my plies, noticing that when the other girls stood up, there was still space between their thighs. Mine, however, were all but hermetically sealed together. Plies were routinely followed by a segment of Personal Humiliation otherwise known as “floor work”, in which I was to leap by my lonesome from one corner of the room to the other. Oh, the awful sound I made every time I landed! Ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk; like a cumbersome bison amidst graceful gazelles. One day, one of the gazelles pointed out that I had Thunder Thighs. And right about then, I landed my last leap.
In some ways, I've been grounded ever since, convinced that I’m not good enough, that I'll never shake what’s wrong with me, and that someone is bound to point this out.
I want to leap... BUT I just know I'll ka-thunk.
So...it appears I wrote a rather bleak story about myself when I was four, and I’ve been sticking to it for 46 years.
End. Of. Story.
With a half century under my belt, I am putting on my big girl pants and LEAPING all over the place. Frankly, it's about time I moved my big BUT out of the way.
Do you have an obstacle that stops you from reaching your health and fitness goals or playing full out in your life? If so, I invite you to join me as I take on the following exercise this week:
I will do something I have been stuck saying I can’t do, every day
Email me and we can kick our BUTS together!