“How do you feel about an outdoor workout today, complete with weights and all!”
This is the text Lindsey sent me yesterday. It was simply glorious outside, the perfect day of warmth and summer sun yet the magnificent fall foliage wearing it’s colors loud and proud draped itself all around us. I actually couldn’t think of a better way to get a workout in than being outside.
We met after work and I knew immediately I was in trouble. She had a list. Whenever we start new things, when a hard workout is heading my way, there is a list.
The list was served up with heaping sides of hand weights, exercise bands, and a rubber mat. We warm up, we run, and then we start on a journey to try new things. Sometimes when we are at the gym and see someone who is beautiful, fit, someone who moves with such grace and strength doing a certain movement or exercise that I will say “I want to be able to do that someday”, well guess who was paying attention? Several of those things were on the “wish” list, and to be honest most of them were a struggle that I could not do well, some hardly at all. Now, you have to understand that it has taken me many, many, months to fully trust Lindsey, we don’t talk about it and I try not to think about it. It just is. We have a blast working out, no matter what we are doing I never dread my workouts, but it is not without torment at times. I still have ghosts that walk just a few steps behind ready to step out into view at a moments notice.
In the quiet, during the stillness of our planks, silent moments just before I am trying with all my might to jump an inch off the ground terrified to even try, at some point I willingly handed her an all access pass. She may not know she even has it, but working with Lindsey is the safest place I have found to lay down the shame of my body. The excess skin hangs, escaping like a criminal in solitary confinement, down my t-shirt sleeve, exposed, ugly and filled with anger. My shirt rides up as I battle to support my weight in a showdown between my mind and spirit to scramble on my hands and lunging legs to the imaginary line that has been drawn in the crunchy grass. I do make it but not before my stretched and flabby flesh has betrayed me exposing the truth of what my food addiction has done to my body, something that no shirt can be tucked in far enough to hide. When it becomes too much, sometimes I turn away to complete a set of exercises, especially if I have to reach above my head, and I ask Lindsey point blank not to look at me, most of the time she lets me turn away. Every once in a while, I turn away only to have her pop up in front of me with that silly grin as if to say “I see you, and it’s okay”, and it is okay.
This is the hard stuff that I can’t walk around, that I can’t step over or avoid. I have to find the courage and walk right through it to get past it. Even though tonight was very challenging, it felt sooo good to know that the next time we work on these particular things, I will be a little bit better and a little bit stronger and soon they will be conquered and we will move on to something new, something more challenging, though right now that seems impossible. I really do enjoy working out, I love being outside and I am forever grateful for the gift I have been given in having Lindsey in my life and as my friend.
While I write this from a tender place, you have to know that the actual workout was not gloom and doom, it was hilarious, and hard and in the end I was very proud of myself. Without a doubt I know that 4…7…12 months ago I would not have even attempted the things we did tonight.
Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.