Friday, January 7, 2011

I am Woman, Hear Me Meow?

Ok, so I don't think it would be fair to say that I am ready to ROAR just yet. I mean, I CAN roar when I am tired and need to get, (excuse my language but!) shit done. I CAN roar when my children are not cooperating. I CAN roar when I wake up to find my husband has left 3 loads of laundry for me to put away. I CAN roar when the roads suck and I just wanted to get out and breath some non country air and bask in retail therapy even if it's just for a gallon of milk. You notice how all that roaring I just did was all centered around the negatives one might encounter in their lives? Notice how men act when someone mentions a woman yelling, nagging, bitching, moaning, whining, groaning, get the point. Why do we do this to ourselves? Ladies, we don't need to scream to be heard. We don't need to take the men's approach either. Staying quiet only gets you as far as sleeping on the couch or stuck in the garage. I am finding out that I am really a loud person in comparison to others I know. I don't mean that I scream all the time. I just mean that I have an extra excitement over life, love, family and the standards that one should have as a decent HUMAN! I step on toes and I find that the ones that scream out in pain are the ones that are guilty of being something other than they actually want to be. I use to be the person who could silently protest when someone is acting dumb. Now it seems when I see a hint of stupidity it's like someone sounded an alarm within that provokes me to pounce. I read an ad recently that sounded like an awesome deal. So I called to get in on the deal only to find out that the business was running a slight scam on technicalities that were no where listed anywhere in their advertisements. I had been a loyal consumer for nearly 5 years and was deeply disturbed by their lack of integrity. Do you think I could just let it go? Heck no. I didn't. I called. I emailed. I made very sure that I was heard and understood. Sadly, I can no longer be their loyal customer by way of their response.... "Sorry, Ma'am, but most people aren't really smart enough to ask those questions or notice the slight difference in price."   Really? You are going to run a business this way.... Needless to say, if you plan on tanning, I DON'T suggest that brightly colored building centered in Red Wing. You might be wondering right now, what does this have to do with anything!?  Well, when I heard this person's response I was so shocked I had no response. It also made me wonder how many of us women are standing face to face with being taken advantage of and how many of us notice or are in too big of a hurry to care or just don't feel like standing up for ourselves? I think that is important to note that when we allow ourselves to be 'taken', aren't we just telling the 'taker' that it's okay to keep 'taking'? Aren't we allowing the 'taker' to 'take' from some other woman by allowing the 'taker' to believe he/she has gotten away with 'taking' from us? Women in general get the stereotype for being yelling, nagging, screaming hags but yet many of us don't do anything when the situation actually might call for it. I am challenging myself to no longer stand by. I have stood by and watched others destroy me. I am sure you are nodding your head right now and reflecting back on your experiences. We have all been there. Whether it an older sibling...being an older sibling. Or maybe it's that co-worker that insists that they can do your job better than you but yet they sit in the corner doing nothing all day. Or maybe that church member that insists on giving you dirty looks as if to say I am talking about you and talking about you and you can't stop me because you are 'holy'. No matter who it is, the hurt is just the same. The words, the looks, the all goes to the same place and if it's family it goes deeper. For me, if it's family, I tend to do nothing but will spend hours sobbing to my husband about how it's so unfair to hurt so bad and go so unnoticed. It's not healthy to hold so much bitterness inside. I challenge myself and anyone reading, that when you are exercising, to let out some of this inner rage. Picture these people in your mind and sweat until they are cleared from your thoughts. Sweat so hard it feels like they are actually leaving through your pores. Sweating feels so much better than letting these things fester in your soul. A happier person is a healthier person. Let this be another step for all of us to becoming the healthier people we want to be.

So my workout journey last night was quite possibly another hard realization. I decided I was feeling the strength of an ox, remember? Well, up to Level 2 I went and down to the floor I fell. It hurt. I mean, it was like first day hurt all over again. I was feeling empowered for the first 2 minutes and then slowly felt my self esteem crumble to bits around me. I can barely do a push up. Don't laugh. I have boobs. It makes anything to do with upper body an interesting experience and because I always feel like they are in the way I might always get my upper body worked out the way I should. So basically, my push up skills are suffering. Most of Level 2 require you to be in push up position. I was dripping in sweat but I maintained my trying attitude for the full 20 minutes and spent my cool down quietly weeping. I still managed to do 5.5 miles on my bike afterwards only because I felt guilty that I had to stop so many times during my work out to wipe the sweat (tears) away. The greatest inspiration I could possibly have had was staring at me from the corner of my eye from behind her baby gate with her big sister looking on with panicked eyes. It was beyond glorious to see my 11 month old doing squats right along with me. She was even panting like me. I love that she mimics me, but let's hope she keeps that one for when we are home....alone. When I was really getting into my movements, she was offering joyous claps and squeals of delight while big sister was rolling on the floor in laughter. I am still trying to figure out who she was really laughing at. Last nights work out will be one I will remember while I am working out on Level 1. I know just how much harder I have to work to progress further. In the mean time, I am seeing glorious results. I know that not everyone will have the same results. Please don't lose hope. Remember it is better to be healthy and active. Think of the blessings you are receiving by taking care of the greatest gift we could be given, our bodies. Treat it as you would treat a temple and I know that the Lord will bless you in your lives and in your health. When I laid down last night, I was convinced I would need to take today off from exercise. God had other plans. As usual, I pray in the mornings for God to give me the wisdom and patience to be a good mother to my stubbornly adorable Gladys and my 'I can't hear you la la la la' Rhondalynn and asked for the strength to continue this journey while thanking Him for the many simple blessings I have discovered along the way. Like always, I grabbed my book and snuggled in after Rhonny was off to school and Glad was still sleeping but this time I couldn't concentrate on a single sentence. I had to reread the page 4 times before giving up. I set it down and looked up at my most prized exercise bike. It seemed so appealing to me this morning that I just HAD to get on. So I grabbed the book and started my journey. 5 chapters....33 minutes later...16 miles done, I looked up and realized I was dripping sweat and my legs were on fire. I did a brief cool down. Jumped off. And did a quiet happy dance. Looked in the mirror and seen myself transforming into the person I said I couldn't be... I am grateful that I had the courage to follow quiet promptings and to not listen to the aches and pains (and hurt feelings). I am grateful that I could start my day knowing that my Heavenly Father cares for me and loves me unconditionally and He desires me to do good. Yes, even if that good is for me, myself, and I. Meow.