New shit has come to light. ~ The Dude
So, there I was, sitting on the ground, covered in mud, crying out loud—snot and everything—my ankle, hurting like a motherfucker (I watched it twist in slow motion as I fell) and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to be able to stand up. Hell, I didn’t know if I even wanted to stand up.
Because I was so done.
Mercury retrograde or the universe or whatever can suck it, I thought. And the woman running past me without helping me up or even asking what’s wrong? She can suck it too. In that moment, I hated people that achieve their fitness goals.
Fitness goals. Even those words give me the chills. And not in a good way. Pretentious chills. Stick-up-the-ass-perfection chills. I’d rather talk about art, books, relationships, ideas.
You see, I am not out running so I can tweet my fuel band results. I am not out running to train for a marathon. I am not out running so I can get ready for swimsuit season! (Although, I would like to lose the seven pounds I added over the winter from stress eating, and I do love what running does for my body). The true story is that I am out running because the alternative is anxiety and depression. The alternative is Prozac or something like it. And I don’t want to take those drugs, because, among other reasons, I won’t be able to fall over laughing. Or have orgasms. And I really like laughing and orgasms. I hold on tight to my moments of sweetness.
My path to health has been a reluctant one. This stuff doesn’t come naturally—it comes as a necessity.
Being a health Coaching is fantastic. Being healthy is fantastic. It really is. Ultimately, I am mad grateful for my life. I love my job immensely. On the daily, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to do for a living this thing that is so beneficial for both my clients and me. And I have the. coolest. clients. I have healed my body and maintain my mind (to a large extent) through exercise and food. And I have come so, so far. I wholeheartedly believe in the things I talk about and do in my practice.
But it isn’t perfect or easy. It is far from pretentious. It doesn’t look anything like slick self-control.
It looks a lot like regular life, you guys. You know, at once a breathtakingly brilliant, art and star-filled adventure as well as a muddy, painful and exhausting disaster—with expletives.
So anyway, I’m sitting there, in the mud, trying to strategize the long limp to my car and one-footed drive home. I’m mentally ticking off all of the things on my to-do list that won’t be getting done. And I’m wondering how I’ll manage to take care of my son, how I’m going to get any work done. The responsibilities and expectations are outsized, and all I want to do is crack open a bottle of wine and spend the rest of the year watching Sons of Anarchy and pretending that Jax Teller is my boyfriend.
And it occurred to me that something has got to give. And maybe some of it is here. With all of us, searching for something that actually works in our conversations about what it means to take good care of ourselves.
I want more out of this conversation.
The list posts, the motivational tips, all of that is great and I want to keep writing and reading that stuff. I still want to love each other like crazy and share our best stuff. But I want more. I want to give you more and I want to get more from you.
I want to get dirty with you and talk about what’s really going on. You know, the fears that aren’t supposed to drive you, but they do anyway. How afraid you are of losing control, of sabotaging your self, or failing in the same way over and over and feeling like a fool. I want to talk about how you obsess, the way you cling to your own tyranny, finding it more comforting than the uncertainty of who you will be without it.
Life doesn’t travel on straight-aways. Life coasters, it spirals, it spins, it doesn’t wait up. We need each other to be this honest. Slick self-control serves no one.
So I say we stand up and be a little or a lot more brave with ourselves and each other. Because legitimate life talk, instead of glossing over the mud with perfection-platitudes, bringing our real doubts and suspicions about ourselves to light is grand work that results in cathartic hilarity, in cell-level sweetness.
And, like I said, hilarity and sweetness are my absolutely favorite things about life. And as it happens, feeding my body the best and most beautiful things, moving around to exercise my muscles, my heart and lungs so I can breathe and beat—and even throwing it all away for a few hours so I can be transported into some television show that teaches me absolutely nothing—it’s what keeps the sweetness, and funny intact. And I’m not giving that up for anything.
How about you?
*before any of you get mad at me, I’ll just say out loud that there is nothing at all wrong with fitness goals, Nike Fuel bands, tweeting stats, marathons, feeling good in a swimsuit, healthy self control, Prozac or any of its siblings. Peace.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta