Starting in 2010, I got a wild hair…or maybe it was a midlife crisis. Something. I decided that I needed to try roller derby. For folks that didn’t know me well, this was an EXCELLENT, COOL, BADASS idea. For the people that did know me, it was a head scratcher. After all…it’s not like I had spent any time at all on skates in the thirty-two years leading up to it. And, it wasn’t like I particularly looked to be the roller derby “type.”
I joined a gym, hired a trainer and set out to prove to people…my family, my friends, myself, that I was a badass.
I worked hard. I got into shape, screwed up my courage, and I did it. I was so scared. It took everything to get my skates on and do it; but, I loved it! I got hurt, though. Turns out, breaking bones at forty-five is a lot harder to bounce back from than when you do it at ten.
That was one excuse. Then, Dave got sick, and I went into survival mode. I took care of everybody else, tried to keep my head above water at work, and guess what was last on the list? Yep. Me.
2013 and the first part of 2014 were rough. Once Dave was on the road to recovery, he was still hesitant to push himself too hard physically…not that I blamed him…they cut him in half, for the love of Pete! Isabel had her own coming of age crisis and threw us all for a loop. It was a long, hot, stressful summer.
Suddenly, it was September, and we’d been holding our breath to get a clean bill of health for Dave. Plus, work had gone from zero to sixty and was gathering speed. We realized that the gym membership that we’d been paying on every month hadn’t been used in more than a year. All I wanted to do each day was come home, put on my favorite ratty nightgown and burrow into bed with a book.
All of this time, my days have been spent mostly at a desk. I don’t move around much, unless I force myself to move. Where I used to be able to do real push ups like a boss, or run the eliptical for an hour, now, I was huffing and puffing bringing the groceries in. Not good.
About two weeks ago, we had a family get-together with aunts, uncles and cousins. Pictures were taken, and it finally clicked. That blond in the middle can’t even be called chubby. Time to get to work.
Dave and I went down to the gym yesterday, and reinstated our membership. We paid for a year, and then went to get some tshirts & shorts to work out in. This morning was our first session, and I am not going to lie. I was very frustrated, and quite angry within myself to find how much I have lost. I know that it takes time. I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me; but, to finally face myself was really hard. Those gym mirrors are great if you’ve got something to flex. It’s pretty impressive how many ways I can position myself not to look into the mirror. For the last half hour, Ben worked with Dave and I on some of the weight machines. It was time. I picked up weights half the weight that I started with last time, and faced myself in the mirror.
I am sitting here tonight, with the almost forgotten ache of tired, sore muscles. I am telling myself that today was the worst day. That is the last I will see of myself like that. I am also trying very hard to be a bit kinder to myself…why is it easier to encourage others and remind them how beautiful they are than it is to tell ourselves?