Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What-if we were all honest

Yesterday, I met some people. New people. I'm usually an easy going kind of person and am willing to accept whoever for whatever they are as long as they don't push their beliefs on me. But sometimes, every great once in a while, I have a strong reaction to new people. I get an overwhelming sense about someone that I just can't ignore. It's either an intense dislike for them or I decide immediately that we're kindred spirits.

I had a strong reaction to one person I met. The moment they entered the room, before they had even gotten close to me or in view, I had a feeling in my gut. It was like the muscles in my stomach all decided to hit the deck at once. Then the hair stood up on my neck. I swallowed the huge knot in my throat and scrunched my face in disgust as though I was rejecting a fowl smell.

My first impression was not a favorable one both intuitively and with what little interaction there was.

This person just happens to be a "friend" of one of my friends. I haven't been asked for my opinion on this person as is typically the tradition in friendville so I'm still safe. But it got me thinking...what on earth am I suppose to say to my friend if/when I'm asked for that opinion?

Am I to be honest? Or am I to give what I think is necessary to protect the friendship?

To be a good friend, I would have to say that I must be honest with my friend. When I ask people's opinions, I expect them to tell me the truth. If someone knew that my husband was being unfaithful or lying about something, I would hope that a friend would tell me. I know not everyone thinks like I do though. Others avoid the truth at all costs. They avoid the truth in others and they avoid the truth in themselves.

That brings me to another thought. What if we were all honest with ourselves?

Part of what I don't like about this new person is that I perceive them as being so insecure that they try and I emphasize TRY to put on a front of being tough and cool. I respect real people. People with flaws and strengths. People with opinions based on self awareness and education. I do not respect people who wear a mask. This person wears a very flimsy mask.

How can we as fallible creatures be expected to be honest with others when we can't even be honest with ourselves?

What if we were all just honest with ourselves about who we are and what we think, feel, and believe?

How would your life be different if you chose to face the truth about who you are?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fitness Fear Friday - Punk Rope

Oh boy. Here we go again. I apologize in advance for the long post but I've got shit to say today. Read it, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Do you remember my references to Punk Rope over the past year?
This one, This one, This one, This one, This one, Oh and this one too

I must confess.

I'm a scaredy cat!

Scared of what?
I'm so glad you asked. and complete rejection and humiliation...duh.

Elaborate please?
I've mentioned it before but if I must repeat myself, I must.

How about a quick recap?
Learned about Punk Rope from BitchCakes
Took instructor training workshop
Got my ACSM Personal Trainer certification
Started planning the logistics and stuff to bring Punk Rope to Seattle
Partnered up with one of the Rat City Rollergirls who I met at the instructor training workshop
Reached out to a couple YMCAs in the area
Got no response
Froze right there in my tracks

Thems are the facts YO.

But then there are some touchy feely kinda things that facts don't express...

It's the icky self doubt monster again.

Doesn't he make you just want to get out the color crayons and go to town? No? Just me huh?

I've talked all about the stupid negative self talk and beliefs I have about it before too.

Another quick recap?
I'm still fat and fat chicks don't teach aerobics classes
If I tried, no one would take me seriously
Just because I have a personal trainer certification, it doesn't mean I know what I'm doing
I don't know what I'm doing
Everyone who does know what they're doing are going to know that I don't know what I'm doing and I'll be a laughing stock
I have no right "teaching" other people how to exercise

Disclosure here: I don't actually think the above self-talk is accurate or helpful in any way. Quite the opposite actually. It's total and complete B.S.! All of it. Just crap!

The truth is:
So what if I'm still overweight. Fat chicks most certainly do teach aerobics classes and they can do it just as well as any skinny little gym rat. So there!
Well I'm not trying so of course no one is taking me seriously.
I know more than I give myself credit for.
Let them laugh if they're dumb enough to. Besides, it's totally unrealistic that people are going to point and laugh if/when I choose to fumble my way through my very first class as the instructor.
I have every right to do whatever I feel like doing because damn it, I've earned it and I deserve it.

If only I could get the truth to stick in my head.

I recently had a small series of coincidental events take place that brought the Punk Rope dilemma to the surface again. And I've been on this kick of watching for life's little opportunities then climbing on and riding them til they fall over. Oh and I should also mention that this series of events took place in a 24-hour period.

First event - My favorite Bombshell has been hounding me and nagging me and taunting me for months to do something with this Punk Rope stuff and so far I've been able to brush her off with the "ya ya ya, I'll get to it". Nothing personal...the power of fear is strong. I started thinking about all her little not so subtle hints recently because I've been slowly, one by one, facing some of these fears that have caused me to avoid things that I enjoy. I thought...perhaps it's time to think about Punk Rope again.

Second event - I write every single day now. Some days, I spend several hours spinning quips. I love it! LOVE! Love writing. But when I write, deep dark thoughts and feelings and ideas seem to just fall out of my head onto the page and there it is in black and white. It's hard to ignore what is staring you right back in the face. And guess what fell out and started playing the staring game with me? You got it. Punk Rope. Apparently, my brain decided it's time to tell me to get off my scared little ass and do the damn thing.

Third event - The morning after I wrote the glaring lines about it finally being time to face the Punk Rope fear, I opened my email and what did I see but a nice little message from Mr. Punk Rope himself. Psychic much? Get this coincidence! Not only was it a message that someone else had contacted him to ask if there are any classes in Seattle (since he has forwarded me about 3 or 4 in the past year) but this person is a writer for a newspaper in my area and offered to give a class of its kind some well deserved publicity. Um....ouch. That one smacked me right in the face. "Wake up STUPID!"

Fourth event - After reading the above mentioned email slap, I started thinking about where I would hold the class, how I would get it started, who I wanted to target to attend the class, what it would look like, blah blah blah. I found myself all confused and overwhelmed with the what-ifs swirling my brain into oblivion when I opened one of the blogs I check on a regular basis. There it was. Right there in all it's glory on Jack Sh*t's post of the day. Of course! Childhood obesity. Working with kids who want to get parents up off their mashed-potato lumpy butts and get their hour of play a day in. A class for kids and parents to play together. It's perfect! Jumping rope totally brings the kid out of any adult. It nostalgically shocks us back to grade school on the playground playing double-dutch and singing those creepy kid rhymes.

So obviously...that has to be the answer.

I've definitely decided that I must act NOW! I have to make this thing happen once and for all. I think it's going to be best to start it up with local YMCAs or already established clubs or gyms or whatever. But I have a problem and I want to ask for help. Here it goes.
  1. I need help keeping my inner-bitch at bay. AKA - Encouragement.
  2. I need help figuring out what to do to get started. Who do I contact? How do I contact them? What do I say? How do I prepare? Etc.
I'd like to ask everyone reading this to please comment, send me email, forward this post to everyone you know who might be able and willing to offer me any advice and/or ideas so I can finally face this stupid fear and finally make this thing happen. I really want to do this. I want to do this for me and I want to do this for the people (kids and parents) who are fat and frustrated and unhappy and want to learn to exercise in a fun way.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and for being here with me through this journey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What if I chickened out?

A few days ago, I started surfing online for organized bike rides around the Puget Sound area where I live and work. My expectation was that I would find a few but that I would have already missed them due to the rainy season upon us up here in the great Pacific Northwest. I was happily mistaken though. I found one in particular that was happening just down the street from me and it took place this past weekend. Without even thinking about it (or considering the weather report) I jumped. I registered myself and Jenny and we were ready to go.

Then I thought about it. I asked a couple friends if they wanted to go with me. They turned me down. I looked at the weather report and it called for rain, rain, and more rain. I don't have rain gear. I was invited to my grandmother's 80th birthday party the same day. I would most definitely be late to arrive. The course description for the 25 mile ride said to expect slight rolling hills. Jenny only has 7 gears and she's not so easy to maneuver up any steep hills and in my neck of the woods, "rolling hills" usually means "minor mountains". All of a sudden, I saw obstacles appear before me to pursue what I was originally excited about doing.

Here they come. Here come the self doubt, negative self talk thoughts again. I have no idea what I'm doing for an organized ride. Never done it before. And no one will go with me. What if I can't make it? What if it rains all over me? Do I really want to be soggy wet and miserable? What if I can't make it up the "rolling hills"? What if something breaks on my bike and I don't know how to fix it? What if I make a complete fool of myself? What if I stick out like a sore thumb because I'm surrounded by a bunch of northwesterners who live a bike life? You know the ones, the people who wear their full bicycle gear with their aerodynamic helmets, matching spandex outfits, and clicky shoes to the grocery store. What if I'm the only non bicycle obsessing freak there and they all point and laugh? What if they're all snooty eastside housewives who have private bicycle trainers and hire nannies so they can ride their bicycles with Mr. Rock Hard Abs?

But....there's the other side of the brain that started calling out the sissy in me. RIDICULOUS! What if I choose to stay home where it's warm and dry and comfortable? How proud am I going to be of myself? What about the money I spent on it? So what if it rains? Hello....I live in SEATTLE. It rains here. Big deal. So what if I do it alone, I'm a big girl. Since when have I ever been worried about being judged before? No need to start now. What if it will be fun? What if it will be one of those tiny little opportunities I've committed myself to take advantage of? What if I allow myself to chicken out?

Guess who won the argument?

Cheerleaders...and I didn't steal any pompoms

See the bell? I got a bell....finally. Love!

Funny. I couldn't go that fast if I was full speed down hill.

My flower. We all got flowers at the rest stop.

Soaking wet from one of the torrential rain showers

Just a flowery house somewhere

Look for the W with the directional indication so as not to get lost

Not sure if he was part of the ride volunteer staff or if he was just a cool guy beating drums under a bridge.

What if I finish the thing?

I ended up with a basket full of flowers because I picked up all the ones that others dropped

Notice the derby helmet, Via Spiga rain trench, and poka dotted rubber boots aka RAIN GEAR. I made do with what I had. I got soaked anyway but it was soooooo worth it.

This ride was by far the most challenging yet. I'd never done 25 miles before. I'd never done an organized ride before. I'd never ridden with traffic before. I'd never ridden by myself before. I'd never ridden in the rain before. I'd never done so many hills before. I'd never been so proud of myself for doing what would have been so easy to avoid before.

I can't even imagine missing the opportunity to feel about myself how I feel after having done this.

What if you face your fears and end up getting everything you ever wanted?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jenny's Adventures on the Green River Trail

The infamous Green River. Have you heard of the Green River Killer before? Check it out.

I was a kid when all those killings were happening but I remember it all. I lived with my family in some apartments south of Seattle. The apartments were right along the Green River. I remember there being a little foot bridge that led to a wooded area across the river and my parents and all the neighbors would hide Easter Eggs over there for all the children every year. I thought it was so much fun to hunt for the eggs in the woods.

Then one day, it all changed. There were helicopters everywhere over head and news cameras combing the neighborhoods and the woods. There were police officers everywhere. They even had scuba divers searching the murky water for victims of the then mysterious Green River Killer. He's not so mysterious anymore though.  

Perhaps it's time that Jenny and I revisit the beloved Green River?
Here are our adventures.

Scrounging through my horribly small and unimpressive wardrobe, I managed to find what I think is a cute first attempt at appropriate bicycle fashion. I actually bought this skirt to wear roller skating but still haven't managed to use it for it's intended purpose. So why not just substitute 2 wheels for the 8 (count them - quad skates = 4 wheels on each skate x 2 skates....ah yes)?
Bicycle Fashion

A closer look at just how cute I am. You're expecting me to click my heels together aren't you? Well I'm not going to do it.
I'm sorry but I must admit that I'm damn cute in my new tights and school girl skirt

One of my favorite things about riding bicycles lately is all the art you get to see. I've seen a lot more sculptures and paintings and gardens and plaques in the past few weeks with Jenny than I've ever noticed before and I just love it.

Guardrail Stencil

One of the things about the Pacific Northwest is that we get a lot of Native American art. I don't have anything against the Native Americans or their art but I just don't find it appealing to my eye. None the less, here are a couple pieces along the Green River Trail. Enjoy!

Native American Art

More Native American Art

Enough of that stuff. Ghetto art please? that's more like it. Graffiti anyone?

Why hello there. Normally I wouldn't taunt you with what you can't have but I will tell you that I was a little disappointed when I took this picture. There was a whole group of about 7 cyclists that came through right then but I only managed to get the last one. That wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that they ALL smiled and they ALL waved with the same hand at the same time with the graffiti in the background. My stupid camera wasn't quick enough to get it done in time though. Sad.
A opportunistic friendly passerby

More graffiti art...
I'm not sure what it is but I like it. A duck? A sumo? Hello!

I love all the bridges along the bike trails too. Green River Trail was rich with them. There were a couple really narrow ones and windy ones and old ones and tall ones. I couldn't take pictures of them all though I did try to get some to share with you. See how thoughtful I am?
One bridge

When I was a kid living by the Green River, my dad would take my brother and I down to the river to throw our fishing poles in the water too. I don't know why, but I completely forgot about that until just this moment when I saw people by the water's edge patiently waiting in their beer haze for the day's catch.

A beautiful day for fishing the Duamish/Green/Black River (whatever it's called)

Don't you just feel the stress melting away?
Just a nice peaceful ride along the tree-line river trail

Foster Golf Links is actually a decent course. It's relatively short but is well kept with gorgeous trees and fairways. They have decent food too.
What? Happy Hour!

Passersby who seemed a little camera shy

I know you were asking yourselves...that's nice and all but what about Jenny. Calm down, keep your pants on. Here she is. Like I would do a post about her adventures without including her. She wouldn't let me anyway. She's actually a little vain. Loves her picture taken. I'm probably to blame for that with all the doting.
Yes Jenny, you look very pretty in that light

You give the husband a camera and this is what he comes up with.
Uho....left or right?

It was my first time ever riding in a skirt and I must say that I really did enjoy it. Although, I will share with you that I noticed a few passersby drop their eyes to "down there" wondering if they were going to get a peak at what I'm wearing underneath.
We picked right.

Now where is that clip of the Laverne and Shirley theme song?
Now don't we make a cute couple?

What to do now? The trail is closed. It looks like an official sign and everything. I've been on that part of the trail before and it really is nice and windy right along the river.
No! Since when do I follow rules? Never.

Well, as you can see, we chose to bust through the official sign and take our chances with any legal ramifications because we live for ADVENTURE. After all, this is all about Jenny's Adventures.

Rules or not, none shall pass

But alas, the officials outsmarted us by stacking a few miles worth of sandbags along the river's edge just in case there is a flood. I checked the King County website and found that they placed the sand bags there a couple years ago where they will remain until roughly 2014. Great plan people.'s an idea.....don't build entire cities along a river that routinely FLOODS!
The trail was blocked

What is there to do when you come to a dead end and are forced to turn around than to strike a pose? Nothing that I can think of.

Oh, thaaaat's what she wears underneath

Pretty view of the traffic above and serene below. I love that kind of contrast.
Green green river

It's like a sign from the gods. Can you hear the angels singing? Okay, enough commentary. Just enjoy the pictures.
Soccer fans?

Two Bridge. Look at what I can do!

A little history? Get learned.

Three bridge

Show off! I can't do that.

Water district building I think. Kinda cool.

What a beautiful day!

There you go. No dead bodies. No helicopters. No news crews. And no paparazzi that I could spot in the bushes hoping for a money shot of Jenny. She really is a little full of herself lately but I don't care, I love her just as she is.

The next series of adventure photos will be posted shortly. Oh and it's going to be a good one too. Jenny and just did a nice long ride for charity in the rain. Stay tuned...

I want to know about your bicycle adventures.