Monday, September 24, 2012

It can't all be unicorns and rainbows...

This morning our story's hero discovered that some days are not all unicorns and rainbows. On this day she found it was full of trolls and dark forests. Surrounded by doubts in her abilities and fears of failure, the internal struggle for courage to do the right thing was fierce and bloody.

In other words, dear readers, I had a serious case of The Insecure Fat Kid. The phrases of childhood and images of magazines danced in my head, reminding me of all the things I will never be. It became a game of the Why Bothers vs. the Fuck That Noise. Despite all the hard work, the changes to life style, the clear improvements of health and fitness - some days I am still just a fighting to take the first step out the door. It never gets any easier to do these things for myself, there are simply days in which I don't allow myself to think about it before I begin. 

As I so often tell my Sweat Angels, getting your ass off the sofa is the victory, the rest is easy. Once out the door, be it on the road or the mats, that is mindless doing. The choice to begin is hardest. Sleep or workout, give in or get up. This went on for a solid fifteen minutes this morning nearly as long as my morning run route would take to accomplish, before I pulled on my big girl panties and my running shoes. Yep, you heard me, I hauled my cookies outta my comfy spot to do what I like least - run. Not as a punishment, but to remind myself that some day I won't be able to, so it would be foolish to squander the moments when I can. 

My run this morning rewarded me with starlit skies, howling coyotes and the ever elusive friendly neighbor (guy was out watering his lawn and turned his sprinklers off so I could run by without getting soaked or having to get off the sidewalk into the busy street). It was worth doing, it didn't cost me anything but a bit of time, and I will feel better all day for having done it. 

Defeating the Trolls to make a mad dash through the Dark Forest doesn't always yield heroic tales and winning the hand of the maiden fair, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it anyway. 

Tomorrow the fight continues. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hyacinth Hippo Does Water Ballet

Whilst doing my floundering impression of a half drowning purple clad hippo, in an oxygen deprived moment of clarity I realized, "Here is the one place where nothing else matters. Where the world falls away and all that I need to concern myself with is this moment, this action."

Only this moment...

A beautiful concept; to allow yourself to be fully contained within the single moment in which you currently reside. No desire to reach back or forward, but to simply enjoy the current. To unburden yourself of the pressures of the outside world, real or imagined. To release worry along with anticipation for yourself and those to whom you are irrevocably connected. Simply to do the thing you have committed to for the moment as fully as possible.

Perhaps this epiphany came due to a distinct lack of oxygen, or perhaps due to the sensory deprivation of floating weightless to only the sounds of my own labored breathing. Workout complete, I floated there staring up at the skylights I allowed my mind to wander back and try to remember if I had ever felt that lightness of purpose before. The fog of time seemed to part around other such occasions, both recent and distant, in which that clarity had been present. Each was tied directly to a task that ,at the time, seemed to require my full effort to complete, varied as the tasks were, they had that in common - applied effort and force of will.

In a world full of distractions, multi tasking and instant information, solitude seems to be something I do not allow myself enough of. Truly to focus on a single task without permitting myself to check just one more website, chore, or to reorganize my priorities once more to put that sense of peace off for another day. If I am able seek solitude and solidarity of purpose for those moments of lightness, I might just get lucky and trip over enlightenment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


We each of us have our quirks, the little things that are odd, but make your friends smile to know about you. As an introduction to my many quirks, let us begin with a big one - I love feet. Powerful, beautiful, unique and expressive. Bare or divinely dressed, they have an allure  that cannot be denied. The smallest of chubby baby digits to the tissue paper thin skinned nearly bird like claws of the well worn, the appeal of the stories untold draws me. 

From the tip of my minuscule pinkie toe to the cracks in my heel, I love my imperfect feet. Though small ( size 6 and 1/2) they carry a world of fascination for me. In all that I do they have been my constant companions. The calluses and curves mark the abuses I put them through, and show the work required of those tiny platforms. They lift me off the ground, brace me to hold others, allow me to move with purpose and speed, sure and steady they carry me through all the trials and joys of my life. 

Your hands tell a story, but your hands are so very expressive and visible that they can lie. Your feet never lie, the stories written there are 100% truth.  Polished toes, with callused pads - that's me. Every toe has been broken, the tops are scared, my calluses are deep. High heels, dance and sports have done their damage, and will continue to for years to come. Every attempt is made to maintain a level of civility with my hardworking paws, that they may be presentable in public despite the blue collar nature of the work they do.  My best friend has threatened for years, and has on occasion actually done this, to take a cheese grater to my feet in vain effort to keep them under control. Pedicures and lotions are liberally applied with regularity. Yet...yet, they remain not quite tamed in appearance. As I said, they cannot lie, no matter the window dressing. 

Being a native of a hot land with an extended summer feet are often found bare or wrapped in only the merest wisp of the idea of a proper shoe. This leaves a great deal of observable material for my ever earth bound eye to espy. The horrid and the exquisite are on display at least eight months of the year, flashing their stories with each step. They are our method of exploration in the natural world. The feel of sand or fresh cut grass under your feet, hot pavement in the summer, chilly tile floors, lush carpet and even the odd Lego. It is a sign of comfort, and trust, to go barefoot in someone else's home. To feel relaxed enough in their domain to allow yourself that mild intimacy.

So, there ya have it, my little bit of oddity in rambling tumble of words. Feet - glorious, wonderful, hard working, dirty, and ever so very honest. In closing I give you another picture of the feet in my life - mine, and my baby brother's. Though drastically different sizes and shapes, both sets are heavily abused due to the active lives we lead. What stories they could tell...