Thursday, August 28, 2008

...wHaT dO YOU beLieVe???...

.........What do YOU believe?...think?...love?.........

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

...iNviSibLe...

Do you ever feel invisible? Sometimes I do. At times, I can be physically surrounded by people and feel all alone. Those days are not fun. They envelope me...and the feelings that accompany them seem to seep into aspects of my life that are unrelated. Today I was alone most of the day. It really got to me during lunch. I sat and watched groups and couples eat...and I... was all alone. Then I went to a high end furniture store. I walked in expecting the whole, "Hi Maam. Is there anything I can help you find?" pitch. I was dressed nice...having a good hair day...glossy lips...everything just so. I heard the sales associates ask other shoppers that...but not me. I was in there and passed 4 different workers. Not ONE said a word to me. I caught myself spiraling into a depression. Suddenly, I felt like I have no friends...like nobody loves me...like a failure. I let every insecurity...every fear overtake me. I wandered around...miserable...and then I looked at my watch. I realized that school was out, so I went home to be with my kids. In their eyes, I am important ...special ...beautiful. I had a hard day, but as soon as I felt my daughter's arms around my waist...hugging me...looking up at me with love...suddenly I did not feel invisible anymore.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

...LiVe LiFe aNd LaUgH tHe sTrEss aWaY...

Everyone feels the effects of stress at times. I know I do. I haven't worked...at a job I get paid for that is...in 11 years. I quit to be a full time Mom when my oldest daughter was 1 and a half. That's what I've done...I've been a Mom...and since my kids are all in school now...I've been a "lady of leisure" at times. I got up, got kids off to school, went to workout...for however long I chose (usually a couple of hours), came home and blogged while I ate a post workout snack, took a shower, and then lunched with my Mom or sister and shopped...or got my nails done...or my hair...or whatever I wanted to do until later in the afternoon when it was time to get back to being...Mom.

My brain was turning to mush. I NEEDED to do something. The thing is...I don't NEED to work...and I don't NEED the money...what I NEED is something of my own...somewhere that I need to be. I NEEDED to get out of my easy, lazy, comfort zone and stretch myself...explore the possibilities. So, at the suggestion of some friends...I headed down the path to becoming a personal trainer. Working out is what I love. There have been days in my life where it was the only thing I looked forward to...the only thing that made me happy. It's been a tough transition for me to go from trainEE to trainER. Not because I don't know form or exercises...because I struggle with confidence. I come off like I'm secure...but it's a mask to cover the way I REALLY feel most of the time. I went to school...I took a test...I spent a lot of time watching and learning...I went to a specialized certification...and now I'm working. I don't have many clients so I don't work many hours...just a few hours...a few days a week. Still at times I feel stress. I wonder if I'm doing a good job. I worry that my kids will need me when I'm gone. Sometimes...when I have to be at the gym at 6 A.M to cover a class....I feel exhausted. I wonder if I should go back to the days of long walks through the mall with shopping bags in both hands and pedicures...the days when I had nowhere to be...and all day to get there. I'd feel less stress, but I know I wouldn't be happy.

If I could create a perfect little world...one that ran by MY rules...I make sure that I never have to feel stressed...but I don't live in a perfect world. I know that I cannot escape worry...or fatigue...or stress. There is no magic pill. And although, stress will creep into my life many more times before my life is over...there is something that can help. I saw this commercial the other night and it made me think. It's really a retirement commercial, but the sound of that baby laughing helped me realize that there is a cure of sorts. It may not be permanent, but it will almost always help take the stress or sadness or frustration away. It's laughter.

It has been said that "People don't stop laughing and having fun because they get old...they get old because they stop laughing and having fun!" Who knows if that is true...but what do I have to lose by trying. So the next time my day sucks...the next time I trip...or lose my keys...or embarrass myself...or just screw up in general...maybe I'll try laughing. It may not fix the problem, but it sure can't make things worse either. Just think how amazing life could be if something as simple as tearing paper made us laugh like that baby...

Friday, August 15, 2008

...aM i stRoNg eNoUgH?...

If you stood outside a mall and asked 100 people to say the first word that comes to mind when you say the word “strong”, I bet you would hear the word muscle and bodybuilder more than a few times. Most of us equate strength with big biceps…with moving something heavy from one place to another. There are hundreds of supplements, pills, and shakes on the market to help people that are searching for strength. Some people go to great lengths to become stronger…even if it destroys their body or even takes their life in the process.

I know it is a great source of frustration for me at times in the gym. I want to press more…to squat more…lift more weight than I do. It’s easy to feel weak when you spend so much time working out…with mostly men. I know at times, I get really down on myself when I don’t do as well as I hope to do in the gym. It’s hard to keep it all in perspective. It’s hard to not let my failure there…creep into the rest of my life. I’m always comparing…wondering…”Am I strong enough?”

I recently read an article that helped me remember that strength is more than bulging biceps and 6 pack abs. In an article called “The Iron”, Henry Rollins talks about how lifting weights changed his life…taught him…made him stronger...in more ways than just the obvious. I loved every word he had to say, but one paragraph in particular forever changed the way I think about strength.He said, “Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.”

Sure, I still want to increase the amount I can lift. I will always be striving for more…but I realized that I am not as weak as I once thought. In fact, I am much stronger than some of the very people that I compare myself to. I’m far from perfect. I get mad and I say things I don’t mean. I do not always build others up as I should…but I AM a kind person. I DO care. I am very sensitive about the way other people feel. I feel terrible if I think that I have hurt another person. I protect others…even to my own detriment at times.

So forget the fact that my legs did not cooperate with my heart today in the gym. Forget the fact that my one rep max on a dead lift is a warm up for some men. Beauty fades…bodies age…and muscles shrink…but kindness and sensitivity are lasting. So am I strong enough? IN THE WAYS THAT COUNT I AM!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

..."iS cHiVaLrY dEaD?!?"...

It's happened ever since I can remember...every time a man has been rude or does not hold the door for us or another woman and I'm with my mom...she always says, "Well, I guess chivalry is dead!" I've always thought it was so funny when she says that...not funny ha ha...funny as in odd...funny in that it never seems like such a big deal...until YOU are the one with a door in your face. One minute you are carefree...smiling...the next thing you know...your nose is pressed against the glass and you are left asking yourself..."Did that REALLY just happen?"

Last week my daughter and I were out furniture shopping for her room that we are redecorating. It was hot. We were tired. It's hard work shopping...especially on a budget! So we had already had lunch a few hours earlier and we were feeling quite parched. Being the divas that we are (at times)...we decided that it was crucial that we stop for a drink at the nearest 7-11. I paid NO attention to the neighborhood, pulled off the highway, and made my way into the parking lot. Right away I'm thinking..."Not the best location"...there was an auto parts store next to it with lots of strange men fixing their cars right there in their parking space. I looked around. Hmmmm...not the best clientele...but we'll just bop in, grab a drink, and "blow this popsicle stand"! So I parked as close to the door as I could and we made our way into the 7-11...ALL eyes on US! We got to the door and I swung it open with confidence. I figured it's like being in the wild...you don't want to let the creatures "smell your fear". I held the door for my sweet girl to walk through. As I opened it, I even said, "Cmon sweetie! Let's get you something to drink." Before I coud finish the sentence...BAM!...some strange man on a cell phone pushes past my daughter to come out before she can go in! Did I mention that he literally PUSHED her aside?!? OH NO YOU DIDN"T!!!

I went into full fledged Mama Bear...Man Hater mode! I stopped and asked him in a loud, authoritative voice, "What is wrong with you?" He "woke up" from whatever world he was occupying and dribbled some lame apology...funny how forceful a "man" he was before...now he's been reduced to a stammering boy with one question! Before he could fully "spit it out"...I continued with..."YOU should be holding the door for US! At the very LEAST...you should stand back and let us come in or use the other door!" I couldn't stop. I said, "...And how dare you physically push my daughter aside so that you can go out first!?!" I finished with the line EVERY Mom uses at some point in her life..."You should be ashamed of yourself!" He was still mumbling apologies as he walked...quickly...to his car. SIGH. I straightened my blouse and walked into that convenience store...teetering on my high heels...Jackie O glasses still in place...and asked...no one in particular..."Is chivalry dead?". Funny...NO ONE was brave enough to answer...