As I eluded to in my entry And Who Said Working Out Can't Be Fun?, the journey to embrace fitness, or something that vaguely resembles it anyway, began with a bit of a bumpy start. Well, I'm happy to report to you that I'm still at it and it has indeed gotten a bit easier. Like we've all heard and/or experienced for ourselves before, once the momentum gets going, you do miss your workout if you skip a day. Not that I haven't prayed for the flu virus here and there but overall, I'm fairly motivated. I've learned a few things in the last few of weeks that in hopes of helping mankind, are listed here:
...but you can't take the suburbs out of the girl. Or can you? In a million years I never thought I'd live in a city, much less like it. Don't get me wrong, I've lived in some of the biggest around; Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, Philly but I use the word "in" loosely because, at the end of the day, I always drove home...30 minutes out Katy Freeway from downtown Houston... an hour out the Santa Monica Freeway from downtown Los Angeles (which, by the way, equated to about 6 miles). At 5:01, these cities became ghost towns, the only visitors for the theater or ballet. I never gave a lot of thought to Urbanites; those exotic and mysterious inhabitants oblivious to sirens blaring and horns blowing, until I found myself in Boston after some sudden and quite unexpected shifts within my company (nice way of saying, I'm pretty sure I was fired ).
I want to inspire you. I want to be funny for you. When I needed ideas, my editor said maybe I should just be real. That that's an important part for the reader to see. Seeing as she has so much experience and all... I feel sad. For the past several days, I have had a little grey cloud on a string attached to my belt loop. It has been my experience that sadness "for no reason" usually indeed, does have a reason. I'm giving up figuring out why some push back. Yeah, just not in the mood. I vacillate a lot. I've felt huge anger with sharp little edges of grief, toss in a little hopeless and that is a fairly good description of how it's going for me right now. And I sloth at the tiniest thing (sloth is my word for cry). I cannot tell you how many times I've been moved to tears this past couple of weeks. I am not a hateful person. I hate a holiday alone.
I live in a highrise building filled to the brim with 20-somethings. Spilling over with women (girls) who stand before unforgiving mirrors, pinching an inch (or 1/10 of one) and proclaiming "Argghhh! I'm so fat"! The sun is just rising. I stumble to my laundry basket and retrieve the attire. I wiggle and push and smush myself into my grey spandex leggings, too small Under Armor sports bra, cute Nike tank (cute might not be the appropriate adjective for any tank top over a size 4), unmatched white socks (can't tell if I push one down just a little) and my neon "running" shoes. I run. ....to the fridge, to the phone, to catch a cab. So I figure I earned the shoes. Tugging my cute Nike tank down - because it keeps rolling up - I throw back three Advil and head for the gym. My favorite treadmill is in front of a window. It has a TV, FM and a view. But not only do I get to be motivated by the fit people whizzing by outside looking sexy and sweaty in a way that only professional athletes can, but I have 27 different views of my ass.
I looked around and fiddled and fidgeted in the dark, as little children do after being put to bed, waiting for the sandman. I peeped over the edge of the bed, looked down, and much to my horror, I saw the white frilly bed skirt on my white, canopy bed...it was...it was..... Waaaasss it was moving? What was making it...very slowly, into my 7 year old conscious, formed the following certainty: THERE WAS A MONSTER UNDER MY BED! Fast forward to what seemed to be an hour - because I was frozen with fear and nearly too afraid to cry - but was more like a couple of minutes. I suspect I sounded like the little girl in the movie ET when she found the creature in the closet.
C'mon Les, keep it together. Stay buttoned up. Don't come undone. I am a person who seems to escalate to a place where when I do lose it, I LOSE it. My world is black and white at these times and little else. Except for the drama. I almost forgot about the drama. I want to move back to Louisville. I want to be with my brother in Texas. I want to be the opposite of lonely every day, down in Orlando with my nieces and sister. I want to become a published author. I want to write a book. I want to go back to college and study English and the ocean. I want to change careers - completely.
Two days into my stay at the "hospital" (and I use that term loosely), I wanted to check myself out - which was my right. I was not being treated appropriately (or at all) and even in my deep depression, I knew this to be true. The staff not only blocked my efforts, but I later found out that they were dishonest with me as well. It was no surprise that the hospital closed not long after that. So, I wish I could report to you that I had a good experience - but truthfully, it was pretty terrible. The Gift was in the outcome. Before I was even out of the parking lot, I was on my "bag phone" (yes, I'm old...think cell phone with a huge antennae) calling my Dad, and God bless him, was yelling the entire 20 or so minutes back home. He certainly did not get even a half of a word in edgewise.
It was the 1980's, I was just 22, wrapped in a coat the boyfriend had given me. I was lying on the floor of my closet. I was cried out. I was solutioned out. I was shocked - stunned - and self-helped out. I still could not keep food down nor could I get warm. I could never get warm. Lying there was the closest to any kind of comfort I could find. For months, months, I remember walking to work, walking home - letting the dog out then drawing a bath, hoping I could warm up. Knowing it wouldn't work. Hoping I could eat but not really caring. In bed by 6 pm. I've spent the better part of my life, like most people, shaking my head at even the slightest mention of suicide. It touched my family, way too close, and I'm willing to bet most people know someone who has attempted or successfully carried out a suicide. As a matter of fact, I think most of us have entertained, if only for 1/100th of a second, it ourselves.
We all landed where we did. We may have been drop-kicked or gently placed, but we're where we are supposed to be. With all due respect and gratitude to my therapist and all the other magic makers world-wide, quite simply, I am often at the mercy of my blindness; my ability to overlook the completely obvious. I don't need anyone to help me figure it out, I just need a smack upside the head. Today is Mother's Day. Today is also my birthday. And today is not how I expected it to look. Not at all how it was planned out. Nor were probably several before. My mother took her own life a very long time ago. Her own demons just wouldn't let go and so she did.
I shall age gracefully because for now at least, I'm forced to. It's a very good thing that I don't have unlimited financial resources because if I did, with my if-one-is-good,-two-is-better mentality, I'd surely give Joan Rivers and Kenny Rodgers a run for their money (I'm sorry Kenny. I loved "Islands In A Stream..."). I'm going to be 48 in less than a month. Forty Eight? Forty EIGHT? If I had a dollar for every minute I've spent looking in the mirror, pulling my face up, up up and back and eyeballing my butt which is 4 inches lower on my body than it was a year ago...If I had a dollar, I'd go under the proverbial knife.