The heat is on…
In the gym, on the treadmills next to me many times there are girls who look perfect, they run perfect and many of them have their hair up, stylish headband on and I am amazed at how put together they look. It all matches, their shoes, clothes, heart monitor watch, headphones all pastel pink or purple and I know I have just about fallen off my own machine before fixated with my mouth hanging open watching and wondering why aren’t they sweating? They glisten like a glazed doughnut sometimes, but do not sweat… it’s fascinating! I have thought I should get something to hold my hair back, a stylish hat or headband, something! I even bought a fancy visor thing in an attempt to hold back and tame my hair which seems to double in volume when I sweat. I also have a couple of baseball caps that I like but I just can’t wear them, I always end up taking them off, tossing them aside or leaving them in the car.
Last night it occurred to me that when I am on the treadmill, the thing that makes me feel like I am working hard, the benchmark for giving it my all, feeling the motion of my body and knowing I am becoming stronger is all measured by sweat. I have come to realize it is maybe the most therapeutic part of my workout, it is a tangible measure of success in that moment and in many ways the shame, pain and frustration of the years slowly seeps out of me one rolling sweat bead down my face at a time, helping to free me from the past. Replacing the tears that have so often rolled down my face through the years as a different measure, rather a reminder of being trapped in a body that simply could not move like I am able to move today.
The best workouts, the ones where I feel like Rocky Balboa in the scene of him running up those famous art museum stairs in Philly , hands high in the air grey sweatshirt soaked to the bone. When I am a soggy mess, when my shirt has the markings of hard work that have seeped through, I am confident, I move, think and feel like I belong in the gym. I will continue to sweat with pride, knowing what it means to me. Don’t worry though I always make sure I spritz up before I head to the gym so even in my gross sweaty state I always smell good!
God bless Jessica and Lindsey!