Distance/time: About 2 1/2 miles cobbled together in 45 minutes. Heart rate: OMG. Too much. Utterly painful.
This morning I had a “breakthrough”…or as some would call it a “fantastically beautiful utterly without boundaries complete with tears, sad eyes and a belief that the universe was conspiring to support my demise” meltdown. Because of socks. (It makes me feel slightly better to say that it was probably just a result of the insomnia that has plagued me over the past few weeks. Or the fact that I have too many responsibilities thus naturally stretching my coping skills to the breaking point. Or the fact that over the past few months I have been living with unresolved wackiness which is obviously tiring and debilitating.) In any event, it was 8am and I need to make several things happen in a very short span of time. And I needed socks. Two pairs. One for work to fit into my moderately dressy shoes that matched the pinstripe in my pants. And one for my trip to the gym after work. And…the plan went sadly awry. The only pair that came even close to matching was a pair of thick tennis socks. That didn’t even belong to me. I searched the laundry room. I searched the sock basket. I searched under the bed. And the couch. Nothing. (I am still slightly concerned that the sock fairy has stolen all of my brown socks.) To make a long story short, through a haze of those big hearty tears that drip off your chin, I simply sat down in the middle of my living room floor and admitted defeat. All the defeat. It was difficult to lift my arms. And, every defeat I’ve every faced rushed to the surface…dancing on my fragile grasp of happiness.
So…after a time, I remembered why I don’t spend a great deal of time sitting on hardwood floors (because they are hard and uncomfortable), that I couldn’t actually spend my entire day crying (nor call in sick to work for “lack of appropriate footwear”) over socks, and, that if I kept looking at the dust bunnies and cat hair under the couch, I would be required to do something about it (and I was in no mood for spring cleaning). And I remembered that I was a survivor of greater and harder days that this. Therefore, I changed my pants, stuffed my thick cotton socks into a slightly less dressy pair of boots (I’m sure that someone at the Cole Haan store was screaming as I stretched the leather to accommodate basically camping socks), grabbed my workout bag…and headed out buoyed by the faint belief that today would not kill me.
Hence, the love letter. To me. The very thought of love letters makes me giddy. They are filled with the promise of happiness and a joy yet unexperienced. Or the celebration of a joy already experienced. Either way, they make me giggle and dance in my kitchen. They fill me with fizzy euphoric bubbles. I keep them in boxes divided out by sender, honoring the space and time in which I received them as well as celebrating the senders in all their beauty. Let’s be clear…there aren’t a great deal of boxes (I suspect that I have far more shoes than saved love letters).
Anyway…I began dreading going to the gym at 8:45 am this morning. Toying with the idea like one pushes a painful tooth with your tongue. To go? To not go? I mentally calculated all the pros and cons. When I left work, my car drove on its own accord to the gym. I was planning on taking nap but inadvertently took a wrong turn. Suddenly there I was. In the locker room. Thus I found myself doing the requisite almost naked body check as I changed. Hating the shape of that leg. Despising the curve of my stomach. Briefly wondering if and when I would ever not have back fat. The usual fuel for self loathing. By the way, I gave up body shaming and negative self talk for Lent. The gym mirror continues to be my biggest and most familiar challenge. I walk in and mentally inventory all the food I’ve ever eaten, every glass of wine consumed, every time I’ve chosen a nap over running. However, and I suspect that it had much to do with feeling pretty good about the amount of work I had accomplished (even with poor sock options) today, I stopped the usual mental tapes. I gave up the unrealistic and harmful plans to lose all the fat in one day. I saw a fleeting baby muscle in my bicep and felt like I had conquered a small mountain (perhaps just a large hill but who is counting). I gave myself permission to not follow the rigid punishing routine envisioned earlier while sitting safely at my desk. And…I noticed that I could run a little longer. (Every second counts after all.) And, I did that thing where you dangle and pull you legs up to you chest for 4 sets of 10…a new personal record.
My love letter: Dear Rebecca-You are one of the strongest people that I know. You have survived so much and still strive to find the happy ending in every story. You are beautiful in your own way. You are smart and funny, although often mildly sarcastic and slightly caustic. You love bubbles and joy and family. You strive to make the world a more beautiful and lovingly kind place. You have dedicated your life to ensuring that people feel safer. You move through the world with honor and grace. Your cats, dog and children really like you. Exactly as you are. You cry at coffee commercials and pretend to be tough but have a huge heart. I am so proud to know you. I deeply and utterly love you. Love, Me.
Today, yet again…I win. I showed up (albeit slightly cranky with a headache and painful heart) and did it. All of it. Not because I had to but because I am ultimately dedicated to making myself as strong and happy as possible. Today is just one day…but it’s the one day we have.