Friday, November 23, 2012

I Made A New Friend

Working out takes up the majority of my time, my life.  I prefer it that way.  I like the way breathing hard makes me feel.  I like waking up the morning after a long run with sore legs and hips.  I like the way the sweat drips from my chin.  I like the results.  And I like the like-minded people.

Recently, I attended a special edition spin class at my gym.  A 90 minute session hosted by my favorite Spin Warrior Princess, Alyssa.  If Alyssa's there, count me in!  I inadvertently arrived 40 minutes early.  No problem, I was certain to stake claim to a bike that way!  Coincidently, 2 others got the times mixed up as well so the three of us hunkered down to wait till kick off. 

While we were waiting, the three of us were chatting and passing the time.  During the chit-chat, the other lady made reference to herself - "Joyce".  I asked, "did you say your name is Joyce?"  "Yes, it is."  "I'm Joyce, too!"  "You are kidding me?  I never find a YOUNG Joyce!  I rarely meet another Joyce, let alone a young one!"  We laughed and from then on, we were Joyce Squared.  And gym friends for as long as we both attend.

In the short visit we had together, I learned this about my new friend with the same name as me.  She is almost 20 years my senior.  She's been married more than 30 years.  She referred to that marriage as a "30 year long date".  Can you imagine feeling that way about your spouse/mate after all those years?  She feels she's earned the right to say to you "I just don't care what you think.  This is me.  Take me or leave me."  She is satisfied.  She treasures that she has the ability to come to the gym, that her body is healthy enough to take on a good work out.  She loves good, CURRENT music.  She likes to wear doo-rags. 

I'm so glad I met Joyce #2.  I don't know that she will ever know that she is a great inspiration to me.  I'll have to make it a point to tell her. 

I just hope I'm hanging in a 90 minute spin class when I'm "well into my sixties".

Bitch, you're fabulous!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do You Ever

Of late, the days are hard for me.  Some days require A LOT of effort on my part to even get my feet to touch the floor.  I am not in a happy place.  I am not where I expected to be at this time in my life; I am not where I want to be on many levels.  When I look at myself, I see someone who was/is not good enough.

Do you ever wish you were...different?  Even someone else entirely?  There have been times when I wished my nose was smaller, that my eyes were any color but brown, that my hips were narrow or non-existant, that my legs were longer and my arms shorter.  There have been times recently that I simply wished I were any one else but me.

I play this game with myself.  I pull myself down to the level of the dirt on my shoe and then I berate myself for the pitty party I just threw!  Back and forth in my head I go like a professional ping pong ball tournament.  "You are a such a loser, Joyce."  "Really, Joyce?  You're going to go there when you are surrounded by loving friends and family that have been there for you ALWAYS, to say nothing of the last 6 months?"  You get the idea.  I suppose I should be grateful for this internal fight because if I weren't fighting, I'd be losing...and I absolutely wouldn't put my feet on the floor in the mornings.

I'm planning on participating in my first Tri next summer.  In preparation, I have been shopping for a road bike.  Over the last 3 months, I have learned more than I ever thought possible about bicycles.  Tonight, I strolled into yet another specialty shop to check out their pricing.  As usual, I met an awesome athelete more than willing to share his love of the sport with me.  He told me to consider my bike on other days other than training days.  He said I need to be sure that I love it just as much for a pleasure ride as I do during a competition.  He said, you know, you want a bike ride to be an option when you get up of a morning and think "hmm, do I want to ride, run or swim today."  He said a pleasure ride shouldn't be a chore on my road bike.

Without even thinking about it, I said to this stranger, "You know what?  I am at a point in my life and my physical fitness level and my health that I actually have the good fortune to CHOOSE what type of exercise I want to do that day.  Do you know how lucky that makes me?  Not everyone has this same good fortune, either because of failing health or an ailment or pure laziness.  I'm awfully glad to be where I'm at right now." 

I walked out of that store starting yet another game of ping pong in my head.  "Did you just hear yourself in there, Joyce?  Did you pay any attention to the words you just said to that guy?  Do you believe in the platform you just shared with him?"  I needed a drink!  Thankfully, a coffee shop was within walking distance.  I approached the door at the same time as a guy in a wheelchair... 

That Karma.  She's a real bitch.

I've resolved myself to the fact that I am where I'm supposed to be - right now.  I don't like it.  I'm not happy about it.  I cry over it almost daily.  But I do believe it.  There is something I'm supposed to do, witness, share, learn, experience and when that happens, I'll move on to where I'm supposed to be AT THAT TIME. 

But in the meantime, I know I will be sad and frustrated and seem ungrateful and curse those who have hurt me and love just a little more those who have reached out to me and feel sorry for myself and feel like a complete failure and put on a happy face becasue that's what I do best...and wait.

The guy in the wheelchair will never know that he slapped me in the face.  He'll never know that, because of our very brief encounter, I will get up tomorrow morning and welcome my nose, and my hips and my frizzy hair and my unusally long arms and the situation I am in...and my two legs that work beautifully.

Do you ever?