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Category Archives: Exercising

The Most Important Question Of Your Life


Such  a great find that I had to share. The form it came in had his name link incorrect, so now you can check out his site. Props, Mark. Props.

-Sharon

 

 by: Mark Manson, on Markmanson.net

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence—but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then … and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend

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Too Much Weight on Weight Loss…


Friday, September 6, 2013

I’m a nerd.  I am admitting it publicly.  Because if I don’t, I will keep on hiding the nerdiness to myself.  I say, “to myself”, because everyone knows my nerdiness anyway.  Everyone knows everyone elses nerdiness, by the way.  I can tell when someone else is trying to hide something.  It is in the way they walk, or talk, or cover up, or let go. It happens all the time.
Here is my nerdiness. I say it so I don’t hold it in and grab some something hardcore to drink.
I am overweight.  Everyone knows it.  They don’t hold any energy about it. They don’t care about it. But they know. Honestly. Most people don’t care that I’m overweight.  My nerdiness is simply that I worry that I will BECOME overweight.  LOL I already am, but I can’t admit it to myself. (Until now, apparently. I’m feeling brave.) To the point that I try hiding it.  I hide it by getting certain clothes that make me look a small bit less overweight.  I wear sweatshirts that are bulky and don’t show my curves.  I even will wear clothes that are 3 sizes larger than me, so I can feel smaller than I am.  🙂 Seriously.
Other people don’t notice that I spend so much time on my weight dilemma.  They just see the lack of confidence, the way I fall in on myself, and the way I don’t look em in the eye.  That’s what I mean about others knowing about my nerdiness.
(I feel like I’m spilling the great secrets of overweight people.  I’m sorry if I have done that, but I’m not a big one for keeping pointless secrets.)
What a rollercoaster. I obsess. People obsess. I wasn’t always PEOPLE, but this is how I recognized it lately.
People who obsess about how much they weigh, obsess about when to weigh themselves.  Like what time of day is best to weigh themselves. And even what to wear when weighing themselves. Robe, or no robe????  And, which scale is the most accurate. The Great Indoors scale, or Bed Bath and Beyond?  I can go on and on.  Why? Why wonder about this? Because I just went through it. I became one of “Them”.  Does everyone that goes through the ups and downs of weight loss go through this?  I wonder, because some of the things I do are pretty funny, thinking back over it.

For instance, the first thing in the morning, every morning, I will strip down naked and stand on my scale.  I will forgo eating or drinking or wearing anything that would make the scale move up higher than needed.  Micah will hear a groan or a yippee, every morning. And that is just to celebrate or berate my weight by an ounce.  Not a pound.  Now if I go down or up a pound, well! That will decide which kind of day I will have.  Would I stay in bed and starve myself, groaning about how bad I am for gaining a pound, or would I be up and moving, starting my exercise regime because I lost a pound, and was a good girl?  Yeah, it is like that.
Now it should be mentioned that the weight goes up and down for mystery reasons to me.  The reasons do not matter, it was just that they are there.  I do not exercise at all. Nor do I check my eating.  It is just a crapshoot whether I am good or bad, basically.
And I’m ok with this, on the surface.  I don’t usually go deeper than that .  Except for today.
Odd that.
I have been told that when I am ready to let go of old insecurities, the weight will just fall off. That I hold on to heartache and insecurities by building a wall around me. I layer fat around myself so that I will fly under the radar, and people will not notice me.   I think it is true.
 The fat is there, not because I don’t exercise and eat correctly,  but because I have some soul-searching and shrugging off to do.  I think that I am terrified, if you want to know.  If you want to know, I do not want any attention brought to me.  I do not want men to see me. To notice me.  I don’t want women to be threatened by my beauty or body.
I remember a time a few years ago when I was thin. thinner than I am now by about 60 pounds.  I fit into anything I wanted to, right off the rack.  I looked great whether I was sucking in or not.  In fact, it never occurred to me to suck in at all.  I ate small portions and never noticed whether they were small or not.  I could sit criss-cross on the front seat of the car, no problem.  And I could layer clothes and wear turtle-necks and sleeveless shirts without being conscious of eyes on me.
In fact, I didn’t notice people looking or not looking at me.  It didn’t matter to me.  I liked me. I was confidant and felt great.  So it was a surprise to me when my guy friend’s wife banned him from talking to me. She said I was after him.  Now nothing indicated, at all, that this was an option.  But simply by being thin, I was a threat to her.  I was also told that I was a pretty little thing, and I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about…. whatever a man was talking about, when I asked for information.  And lastly, I was taken advantage of by a man, mainly because I was thin.  Because he thought he could.  And he did.
So here I am, 60 lbs heavier, and feeling a lot safer to be out in society.  Life is not tidy.
Hmmm so I guess the question of my day is…. do people gain weight because they like to eat and don’t like to exercise, or do people put on weight to hide from something?
The answer of my day is, yes.  They do both, sometimes.  And sometimes it is one or the other, but sometimes it is just …. because.
Man I’m craving closure on some insecurities.  And some Ice Cream.
 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Exercising

 

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A Little Sun In Between Storms…


English: Blackbird in Crab Apple Tree. On a dr...

I almost feel new to this place. It has been so long since I have written, there is moss on the north side of my comfy chair.  The birds are warbling hesitantly outside my window as one winter storm passes, and a new one forms over the Rockies.  They sing just a little, on the branches of my crab-apple tree, then cock their heads as if listening for the ominous snowflakes that herald another foot-and-a-half-er.

I listen, too.

Then back to my iPad and on to the thought that has built up in me.  Why haven’t I written, I ask me. Well, says me, I haven’t had time.  I have been so busy. I have…. and the list builds up. The real answer is, however, just because I haven’t. Who cares, really? The writing is for me, and now here I am. The sun comes out, and I think that this time deserves my laptop time so I can really type fast. I realize I have things to say today. And out comes the laptop from its hiding place. I wipe off the dust, and boot it up, knowing I have neglected it, and issue a quick apology for it.

Sorry.

I haven’t written for a while because I have not felt like it, if the truth be known.  I have reminders set on my phone every day that let me know it is time to write for 15 minutes a day. I have ignored them for at least 2 months now. I have felt I don’t have anything to say. Which is silly because there is a lot to say.

Like The Thing. The sad thing. Someone close to me has Cancer. I’ve been in shock for a few days, as this is the first I have heard of the C word, but I have known something was wrong for about 2 months. They live far away, and I feel very far away now. You know how sometimes you can just pick up a phone and chat with someone and it is just like you are right there with them? Well, this is not that time. I feel sad, and I yearn to do …. something… to fix it, and I know I can’t.

I still call them, don’t get me wrong, and the conversation is good. A long, sincere talk. But I simply cannot take his hand and hold it now. I can’t see him smile when he talks about the good part of life. And I cannot see his face when he doesn’t hold it together for my sake. And I don’t think he should have to hold it together because he is on the phone with me.

In fact everything about the distance between us ticks me off. I have to use a phone or Skype to see him, well, it just blows. Mostly because I can’t touch his shoulder or hug him spontaneously. I hate that I get my news through a 3rd party, even well-meaning, because he is too tired to keep me up to date daily. I hate that I cannot just go pick up his mail, or vacuum his floor, or dust, or … any of a million chores that he is having a hard time with now. And my excuse is simply that I am far away.

I know that others do it for him, and that makes me sad, too. Even though I have leaky eyes when I write this, it is a relief to put it out there on the screen. It is a relief to say it out loud.

There is good news, as well, though.  Like…

 

My son Hayden wants to be a marine just as soon as he gets out of high school.  And no matter how I have ignored, patted him on the head, or tried to redirect him away from this decision, he has stayed true on this course. Nothing has made him waver.

So I started supporting him.

My son Hayden is now in Young Marines, and has turned into a recruit to be proud of. In spite of being in Boot Camp, with all the mud-crawling, miles-running, and yessir-ing he does, he holds his head high when he speaks. (His high and tight head, I might add. That is a mighty short hair cut, the military standards have…) Although he comes home from these trainings covered in mud and dirt, sweaty and exhausted, Hayden is happy, coming to the car with a smile on his face. He keeps his word in school and at home. He has a great attitude and is driven by the goals that the Young Marines have sparked in him. And he has bloomed. His teen-age grumpiness seems to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. He smiles. He laughs. He looks adults in the eye when they talk with him. I am proud of him. So that is something to write about.

(A squirrel moves past my window at eye level.  He looks right into my eyes as he nibbles on a branch. I instinctively to the shoo-ing motion at it, then stop as I see that he doesn’t care one whit. I just turn back to my computer…)

Lastly, I have the Boston Marathon Bombing to write about. I have feelings of heartache right along feelings of pride for both the citizens of Boston and police officers that put themselves in harm’s way to aid those that couldn’t help themselves.  I also am exhausted from staying up late night after night, watching the news and hoping for some resolution. I could have read or heard about it in the next morning’s news episode, but to me, it would feel a bit of a betrayal to go to sleep in my bed, all comfy and stress-free, when so many others could not do so.

Again, I feel far away, with no ability to help.  I hate that feeling.

The feeling of elation that happened last night, when the police were tipped off that the last suspect was hiding out in a boat in someones yard, all wounded and desperate…well, that finally seemed to burst a bubble in me, and I could let things go from there. The police apprehended the boy without me. The anchor man on TV reported it all just fine without me. The citizens in the town cheered and waved and loved the police… all without my help. I was able to turn off the TV, and the iPad, and let it go last night.

So now I finish my thoughts at noon, all snuggled down in my favorite spot for writing, and look out the window at my yard. It gives me mixed signals, based on the mixed signals of the weather. There is snow, drifted in all the corners of my yard, on the patio, and covering all my plants. We just finished a large storm that kept us inside for 30 hours. But today, the sun gives us better news. The grass is green and free of snow. The sun is out, and it is about 50 degrees, reaching its sunny hands into all the places that shadow doesn’t hold. Water is pouring off the roof and down the gutters, and it is a gurgling, happy sound.

I guess I have my mixed signals as well.  While I am saddened about some things that go on around and in my life, I have happiness to go with it, and I am grateful.  While I haven’t written and expressed my feelings and thoughts on here for a while, I have the ability and drive to do so today. Again, I am grateful.  Being back in the saddle is a good feeling. I have no idea how long it will last, but it is a good day. 🙂

 

 

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Where The Hell Did I Put My Passion?


I have been in a Grey Spot in life lately. No ups, but no downs. And you know what?  That has been kind of crappy. I am used to battling ups that are too up, and downs that are too down. It’s what I’ve been used to, so life would revolve around that.  and everyone has ups and downs.  So I was busy doing life in what I thought everyone’s norm was. On my up days, I would write, and exercise, and eat what I wanted, and feel fantastic about myself. I could do no wrong! I was lucky and fortunate and amazing. Granted, I would not think of any consequences, either, and there were ALWAYS consequences. Now on my downs, it was a complete opposite. all in my head, i could do nothing right. I was too big, too short, too….everything. And yet, not enough. So I wanted to get off that roller coaster. And I have, for the most part.  It is better.

Except for The Grey-ness.

I miss the ups. Terribly.  The Amazing-ness. That was… Amazing. It is what made writing easy for me. And I miss the easy part of writing. Right now I am writing because I told myself to write just 15 minutes a day. And even this part is hard.  All of a sudden nothing I am writing about is important enough to put down.  But, I’m writing about it anyway. So I hate the grey of the in between ups and downs. Even though it is a safe zone. PSHAW. A safe zone. For others, as well as myself.  It makes me angry every time I think about it!  I don’t want to be out of control, at all, but I MISS MY PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  my caring deeply for things. I just don’t have it like I used to, and yet I hear that I’m doing great. from a therapist. from a doctor, from my husband.  And they also say they don’t want me to feel grey. but here I am. grey and safe. and passionless.  HELP! how the hell do I find my passion without going over the line?

Is there a way to stay away from the extremes and find my passion, or is it something I just have to sacrifice to be acceptable to live with. If it was just me, I would almost want to go back to the way I was, but I have to think about my family and my friends, and what they have to put up with for me to live like that. They had to deal with the consequences. Not worth it.

What’s not worth it to me is being just meh.  I am mostly ok. really.  I am not out of control. And that has its own satisfaction.  I really only notice that I am passionless when I go to write. I think of opening the computer and, “Meh. What do I have to say that is important enough to write about? Will I care about it? Will others?”  That’s what I say.  And then I distract myself with other things. I am pretty sad about this. And I have been pretty stuck in this space.

As I write, I find the stirrings of …. something …. again. 🙂

Well, I guess that now I will write anyway. Not for anyone else, but for me. And maybe that is the start of finding my passion again. Maybe I get to build a passion. That may bring me peace in this area. Who knows?  I guess I will, here in a bit.

 

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That’s not odd at all….


 

So I have a friend. A friend like we all do. One that does …. odd … things, but things that amuse us, nonetheless.

For instance, this friend hates to do dishes.  Now most of us hate to do dishes, but my friend takes this to a new level. Like letting the dishes build up and build up. To the point that there are now dishes out on the porch of her house. In Buckets. And also, she would rather write a symphony blindfolded than do dishes at her house.  So they sit, undone, for months.

You would think this is quirky. Or just eccentric.

I don’t find it quirky at all, until I notice that she will do dishes at my house. Or after she throws a party.  THAT’s when I wonder what her rules are, particularly  that make up the game of the dishes avoidance at her house?   As her friend, I immediately look for the quick fix and I come up with this: Just use paper plates and cups and etc…that answer would solve the entire problem…

It never occurred to her. Not once.  It doesn’t make sense to me, and yet….I am entertained.

I have another friend that will do anything it takes to avoid brushing his teeth.  Seriously.  He is an adult, but this friend will use all the trickery in the dental world to keep his teeth from coming into contact with a bristled, hard, instrument. This man uses tongue scrapers for his breath, floss for the flotsom and jetsom that might stick to his gums, and mouthwash to kill the germs. He carries gum and mints with him . He will constantly ask, “How’s my breath?” He definitely does not want gum disease or gingivitis, and yet he will not pick up a toothbrush.

But the avoidance is only confined to his own home.

Again, and as his friend, I immediately look for the quick fix and come up with this: Just brush your teeth with friend/family/loved one time in the car, and brush away!  Use those wisps and portable toothbrush/tooth picks that come in an 8 pack at Albertsons. Spendy? sure, maybe, but so is getting your teeth pulled, and honestly it would make the drive to work more entertaining.

Once more, ..It’s amusing to me. 🙂

Just what is it that makes their behave like a toddler being fed bad-tasting medicine? Practically Swinging their heads wildly around, in any direction, to avoid the pink, icky stuff on a spoon, whether it be antibiotics, a toothbrush, or some dishes? What is it that lets them go against the rules of  society?

Well number one, I wholeheartedly side with a toddler’s behavior.  No one wants that pink, creamy stuff in their mouth, but toddlers are just obvious about it. They are real about it.  They don’t really know or care that it makes their body better, right?  They simply know that at the business end of a spoon lies a messy, stinky and all around nasty liquid that is being fed to them by someone they love.  And they think, “What the?  What did I do to you to get this punishment, eh?”    So they refuse to take it, based on what they are experiencing right then.

(as adults, we probably should try putting ourselves in our toddlers shoes for a minute about that, and take a dose of it as we try to get them to do the same thing. I am banking we would make those same squinched up faces, ourselves. Just thinking of it, I’m making that face now…)

So I have these friends, and they sound … odd, at least, but when I think about them, it’s because I am entertained by their behavior. And then I realize that I have my own ….THING. The thing that I avoid at all costs because of some negative memory, or bad mojo associated with it. And then I think, I, and my friends, we can’t be the only ones that live perfectly normal lives, except for 1 odd thing.  So I start watching and I notice that we are not alone in seeming to have some habit that society asks that we take part in, and yet it seems just too much to do.

And maybe this is where superstitions came around. Maybe people who said things like, “don’t step on a crack, or you’ll break your mothers back” just had the heebee jeebies about stepping on the lines in a sidewalk and didn’t want to look dumb.  Suppose the guy that made up all the superstition that a black cat meaning bad luck…. what if he simply hated cat hair touching him or his things, and so he went out of his way to keep that stuff out of his space?  What a great way to explain his aversion to hair on his clothes and sofas.

I would say that we all could make up a superstition to explain away our oddness.  If I were to make up a suprstition, it would look something like this: Don’t pick up that clutter, or your back will turn to butter.  Or Lounging in a hot tub instead of doing bills will bring good luck. …. Naw. My most fervent superstition that I would make up would be: COOKING CAUSE YOU NEED TO STUNTS YOUR GROWTH.

I hope those stick.

Because it would go a long way to explain why  I Don’t Cook.  I go to great lengths to avoid cooking. I have been known to kick my heels against the floor when dinner time comes. I have also been known to stare at the contents of the fridge, the cupboards, and the freezer with a completely blank look on my face.

Paella koeriernavarra

Paella koeriernavarra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will pare, chop, peel, boil, put together, open cans, spread, and open boxes, though.  These things are pushing it, and they will be something I am proud of at the end. Something homemade, to my way of thinking.  But I Do Not Cook.   I have ordered food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner before.  I have gotten a job just to pay for eating away from the kitchen before. I have hidden pots and pans in the backyard, just so my husband could see that there were not the pots available  to make a meal and we would, indeed, need to order pizza.

Does it make sense? Nope.  Is there a simple solution? Other than cooking, I mean?  I don’t see it, but then again, that seems to be a perspective that my friends should be taking. As for my friends, I watch and chuckle a bit.  And I realize that they are most likely chuckling now about something that I avoid.  And I am glad I am amusing to them. :0)

 

 

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A Millionaire Asked Me To Marry Him… and other moments of falsified bliss.


California Department of Motor Vehicles headqu...

I went to the DMV today. With my son. To get his driving permit. It was bliss.

And if BLISS is what you call standing in a packed room, or sitting in uncomfortable chairs next to a coughing/hacking/wheezing woman for 4 hours then that’s exactly what it was.  (Did I mention the 3 screaming toddlers playing World Wide Wrestling in the isles while their moms chatted it up in a language unknown to me?)

That is not the bliss that I mean, actually.  The bliss came in the sliver of a laughing out loud moment while a crowd laughed with me. It came in between numbers 118 and 129, I think. (We were number 139, and had been there since number 85.) The bliss came after the harrumphing at “those out-of-control kids”, and the glaring at “those-irresponsible-moms”, but before Clovis the cougher admitted that she was getting sick. And it definitely came while we were getting a bit restless. And so was the group around us.  There was a temper or two lost, just seconds before I blurted out to my son, “Did I ever tell you that I have been proposed to by a millionaire?”

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trai...

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trailer for the film How to Marry a Millionaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, in the middle of a meaningful glare at the two kids that were pulling each others hair and wailing at the top of their lungs, pulled back a bit and said, “What?”  “Did I ever tell you-” I started again.  “I heard what you said, mom. I just don’t believe it.” And, of course I had to tell him that he could be filthy rich. So I did. I told him that not too many years ago, a millionaire became interested in me. It was very flattering, and he lavished his attentions on me and my boys, for about a month. He told me he was a pilot and was one of the original owners of… Fill In The

I pondered the possibilities of being married to a millionaire, and it felt GOOD.  No money problems at all. Companionship with all the wealth that came with it and…and…and… and then I was shown that he was not what he seemed. At all. (Imagine that. Imagine my surprise.) He was a student in a small town that, apparently, liked to spin a good yarn. And all it took was a mom and sister hiring a private detective to bring me to reality.BUT FOR THAT MOMENT, I told my son, I KNEW WHA

T IT WAS LIKE TO BE COURTED BY A MILLIONAIRE.”Was I ridiculous to fall for an internet story?”, I asked him. “Oh yeah.” He smirked. “Did I feel like an idiot?” I asked him. “Um, Dur.” He said. “But for that 1 moment in time, you knew what it was like to be woo-ed by a millionaire. And not many people can claim that.”  My son stared at me. He gaped at me. He had no idea, and could not believe that any millionaire wooed me. But he laughed hysterically when he found that I had been had. As well he should. It was funny. In fact, it was funny to a few people around me, as well.

The DMV numbers had moved from 118 to 121, and I didn’t even notice. I must be doing something right. The couple on the right of us, and baldy to the front had turned their chairs to face us, smiles getting large. (Lets do it again, shall we? This thought goes through my head, and so I do.)

The American professional tennis player Serena...This time, I poll the group and ask, “What moments have you had? The ones that you know are amazing and you love, even if it is only for a moment or two, before it goes sour?”  The crowd looked blank. I just kept blathering away. I figured if they were listening, it was their fault.

“Ok, how bout this. I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A TENNIS STAR TO BECOME A TENNIS STAR IN THE MAKING.”

This perked up a few people, and a few others leaned closer (which wasn’t necessarily good because someone smelled a bit like a fart. Just sayin.)  I warmed up to telling my story, and it went like this:

“When I was 15, I went to the tennis courts to play tennis.  It is what I always did because at that time I ate, drank, and breathed tennis. ( I played mostly with boys because the girls didn’t like how competitively I spanked ’em.) And, tennis was the major activity in our small town. So I played . This particular day, I didn’t have anyone to meet at the court, so I went, hoping for a Pick-Up Game.  Which I got.

A man I had never seen before was also looking for a quick game until his opponent showed up. He agreed to play while he was unoccupied. I figured right off the bat that I could take him, because he looked a bit old. So I, in my cocky way, dHe whooped me.  He didn’t just whoop me, he pulverized me. After I amped it up, he just looked indulgent as he creamed me over and over. I felt ridiculous, and tired, and cramped up, but also I felt in awe. Who was this man who could be this good, and what was he doing here in small town tennis-ville…?

After his partner showed up, he gave me a card and let me know he was something called “a pro”. This obviously meant short for “Professional Tennis Player, Ranked and Successful”.  And that he would love to let me come to the city and  train with him.  And then I went home, and he went to play his new level of tennis that I had never seen.” (By this time, 10 or 15 people were standing/sitting/coughing around us, and all I felt was a bit of humor. Because of what I said next:)

“This man, whom I perceived to be a tennis star, a tennis pro on some tennis circuit that stopped in small town me-ville, had shown a singular interest in me. He had singled me out to be his prodigy, and I was on my way to making bank! Fame and Fortune were mine, as this had been the big break I had dreamed of.

I hummed the whole way home, fantasizing about how I would break the great news to my mom. She would be proud of me, and would even throw a party! (I forgot conveniently about how I had been wiped all over the court by this man.)

Sam Arnold - Touring Tennis Pro

At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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  • At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

    There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

    Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

    A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

    How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

    The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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Dear Bike, My Bum Will Not Be Able To Make It Today….


Because my tailbone is temporarily out of business. And here’s why.

As I was bringing my laundry downstairs, I slipped on a sock.  A rolled up sock. A dirty, child-size, turned inside-out in a careless fashion sock. It didn’t mind that my big toe snagged it, and that my heel kept it from moving. It didn’t mind that I lost my balance and whoomped right onto my bum, sliding down 3 stairs before coming to a stop on the 1st stair from the bottom, still holding my laundry, and heaving the air in and out of my lungs. 

Stupid Sock. I just added it into the pile of laundry and was glad no one saw the grown-up fall. That was 3 weeks ago. And that sock has stayed with me every day since then, with my bum and back area getting worse and more sore each and every day. (I choose to blame that dag-blasted sock, and not the hard edge of the stairs. Go figure.)

So I now have a sore tailbone and bum, in general.  The doctor let me know I couldn’t wrap it up. (There is no cast for a bum, apparently. I asked.)  And no reason to get an x-ray because, lets face it, it would just be a pic of my bum with a sore tailbone. And nobody needs to see that.

An xray of a person with a intestinal volvulus.

The prognosis is officially, “strained tailbone and surrounding muscles.” A strained tailbone.  I would call it, however, “A pain in my …” Just sayin. So, recumbent bicycle that lets me sweat at 24 hr fitness…You will have to wait. 

I did try using you, if you will remember, just last week. Just 2 weeks after this happened. And, if you will remember, it looked like this:

A. Swagger into 24 hour fitness because, hey, I have a membership and that is what people do. They swagger everywhere in the building that they go. They swagger as they move from machine to machine. They swagger as they take a sip of loofah-enhanced energy drink. And, they swagger as they put in their secret number that allows them into the building in the first place.  So there was a swagger. A purpose. A meaning.

B. Look around hopelessly for a recumbent bicycle. This consisted of walking up and down the endless isles, again with purpose and swagger. (Heaven forbid people don’t know what to do, or where to go.) So looking around and walking with purpose ensued until, looking like a shiny, secret nugget of metal, there stood the bike of my dreams at that time. And that was you, bike. You were in a corner. Unoccupied. And no one was near you for at least 3 bikes away. (granted, the person using that bike was about 17 years old, looked like a model, and was pedaling at hyper-speed.) I took you gratefully.

Gym at Work 2

Gym at Work 2 (Photo credit: The Killer Biscuit)

C. Looked at the you, bike, and then at the mandatory wipes, sitting 12 feet out of reach, and then back at you. Then at the wipes again, knowing that the minute I hoof it over to the magic wipes, someone will snag this prime property. But I must have wipes. You know, the wipes that are used to wipe away the previous person’s disgusting, hideous, copious amounts of sweat. At least, that is how it is portrayed. Those wipes sitting at every corner, except the one that is close to the machine you are using.  I run with a purpose to those wipes, bring back 4, and get back to the you, bike, just as Bertha, the 88-year-old work out queen zero’s in on my prize. I give her my “Back Off, ….” look and start to wipe you down.

D. Put in the paraphernalia that is a must for any gym rat: Cell phone with headphones. Enormous Jug of Water that just so happens to fit in the water bottle holder provided at the top of the machine. Car keys. Busy-Bug calorie counter (supposed to be on my arm 24hours/day but I get sweaty just thinking about the thing.) Half of a Kit-Kat.

iPod 2G Photo by Jared C. Benedict minus Backg...

Do you remember all those things? Well, it may be hazy because it is what every gym rat does. Or every aspiring gym rat does. (True gym rats don’t bring anything but their perky butt, their flat abs, and a book that they read as they use the machines for 4 hours straight.)

I got on you, bike, and started with my 5 minute warm up. I gingerly sat on you and started pedaling, and that was when I started feeling your betrayal. You asked me for my weight. Right out in the open. Blatantly asking how large I was so you could adjust accordingly.  I put my true weight in, but looked around to see if anyone was hovering over my shoulder with a clipboard or a youtube camera. Then I kept pedaling. And my bum started to hurt. “Push through the pain”, I thought.  It’s what you do at a gym.

I saw that people push through the pain by looking up at the 13 screens that are blaring every program from the Home Improvement Channel to Court TV. All blaring silently. I was supposed to plug my headphones into you, bike, and you would let me change the channel to the one TV channel that would let me forget that my thighs were burning, right along with my butt.  I opted to listen to my audio book instead.  

This listening of the book was what let me zone out for a bit, seeing nothing but the screens and gym bunnies that wandered around.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

Gym bunnies…Women who carefully apply makeup and hair and nails in such a way that when they walk into the gym, their job is to turn the heads of the sweat-soaked men that they are interested in. Never do they do real reps or cardio. Never do they cause a bead of sweat to mar their makeup. Their job is to go from station to station, looking like they came from the station before and just happen to run into the buff man straining his pecs and looking like an early Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This was all entertaining until I felt a sharp pain in my bum and realized it was you. I was sitting on your hard seat, and you were not yielding in any way whatsoever. I glanced at the clock, by the way, to see how many hours I had sat on you, as I was sweaty and disgusting. Your clock said exactly 7 minutes and 13 seconds.

Traitor.

So I stopped this agony, picked up my plethora of items, and kicked you by the pedal. That was me. The one that kicked you and walked away, with the next torturee grabbing for the wipes that would save them from my neglect and wetness.

I’ll see you in about 4 weeks.

-Sharon, beginner gym bunny. (I’m not wearing makeup to the gym, no matter what the gym bunny rules state.)

 

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