My husband has a motto: Err on the side of action (as opposed to sitting on your butt doing what’s comfortable).
I ran into an old friend yesterday and it turns out we’re working in the same industry. While catching up I discovered that he had grown and changed so much as a person. He was more confident, happier, and really great at expressing himself. He used to seem quite sheltered and self-conscious.
While catching up I discovered that he has gone out of his comfort zone to meet people, try things, travel, and generally broaden his horizons. He endured the awkwardness of new experiences and changed for the better because of it.
I can’t help but be proud. And I guess I should listen to my husband more and act instead of just thinking about the things I want out of life.
Last night I had the displeasure of logging onto FB only to see that someone had changed their cover photo. The photo was from high school of 4 girls sitting on a staircase. My bestie was on the photo and wearing a dress. The camera’s low placement made for a rather provocative image for her while the rest of the photo was innocent and adorable. I immediately commented that it was inappropriate and should be immediately removed. Since the girls are about 16 in the photo it could technically be considered child porn.
The photo was replaced by another with some snide comment in the description aimed at me. That’s fine. Just as long as my friend’s reputation is protected.
I found later that the Poster had sent me a barrage of text messages about keeping my nose out of other people’s business and that my bestie could fight her own battles. Then I got texts from my bestie thanking me for saying something and telling he that the Poster is notorious for making her look like a fool in public and is sort of a bully. Well, I took that opportunity to text the Poster back. I told her that although I’m sure it was meant in good fun, photos like that can end careers. Making them public allows anyone to have an opinion or get in your business. So posting it made it my business. And everyone else’s too. That is kind of the point.
She lashed out in texts and I ignored any after that point. Clearly this is not a person who holds them self accountable.
Have you ever encountered this kind of thing? How would/did you handle it? What was the result?
It was monday morning. I was cranky. Abused by the bitter cold of the San Francisco Bay Area winter chill, I waiting for my BART train. That feeling that I may run into someone I grew up with was always in the back of my mind. My husband and I lived in the same town I grew up in so it occasionally happened. I never thought I would be back, but here we were living only miles away from my parents; surrounded by the streets, shops, and people so laden with my childhood memories.
So here I was completely caught off guard when the train doors opened and I found her sitting before me with her big fake smile judging me to carefully discern whether or not she was better off than me at this point in our lives, Miss Snarky herself.
You might think that I am incredibly judgmental to assume what she was thinking. But I know her, and I know better than to believe her intentions were good. She was a part of my inner circle in high school against my will. Her demeanor, underhanded remarks, and snarky disposition made the rest of us all feel small on a daily basis. I couldn’t stand it. We all talked about it when she wasn’t around, but Sweetie who held the group together was a bit spellbound and naive; believing we all had something valuable to offer each other and were all worth friendship. The rest of us followed Sweetie’s lead for her sake. Until one day it all imploded.
The group fell apart with one single outburst when Miss Snarky made one very public, very personal judgement too many to the wrong guy. A switch flipped and he suddenly burst out in vehement opposition to her disgusting display of self importance. “Why do you always have to be such a bitch?!” It was rhetorical of course. But after such an outburst the issue was exposed and sides were chosen. I stood by him. Sweetie was torn between all of us. From then on we all hung out separately. Miss Snarky must have assumed that she and I were still ok somehow. I think her ego was too big to consider that I actually chose the other side because I agreed, not just because of my allegiance to a longer standing friendship. She could not be further from the truth. I would have stood next to a complete stranger if the side was in opposition to her.
In any case, here we were 10 years later, trapped together on a train with no where to run, no way to avoid this conversation. She proceeded to approach me. Though I wanted nothing to do with her I didn’t dread the interaction. I am proud of myself for where I stood all those years ago, for standing up for myself. I rather like who I turned out to be too.
The conversation began with a typical underhanded remark about how tired I must be because I was wearing my glasses. This was a jab at my appearance, the kind I was used to getting from her. It wasn’t straightforward, “you’re wearing your glasses, you must be tired.” I never wore glasses in high school. Bitch.
Without skipping a beat she lunged into the normal inquiries into where we were living, what we were doing these days and so on. Her answers to the same questions were vague which led me to believe she was fabricating or at least embellishing parts of her life, which she was known for in our high school days. Then she asked if I would be attending our upcoming high school reunion. She didn’t wait for me to respond. Instead I stood there waiting patiently to get a word in while she barraged me with all the reasons she couldn’t wait for the reunion, “aren’t you so excited to see all the losers we knew would do nothing with their lives and then rub it in their face that they are still living at home and doing nothing with their lives?” Same old snarky girl.
I had heard that she herself was, in fact, living with her parents and doing some volunteer work to take up some time before she figured out a job. This was true for two years now. I run on a trail near her parents home where I often see her car parked outside. It could be purely coincidental. It could. But the truth is more likely. Not that any of it mattered. I would think nothing less of any other person who was honest about there predicament. Life happens in ways we can’t possibly predict. All we can do is our best with the situation before us. But to lie about it to make yourself out to be better somehow? Shameful. Tisk, tisk.
Suddenly I had a sort of epiphany. This is what psychologists call “projecting.” The things she was projecting on all those “high school losers” were actually her own insecurities. I felt a tinge of remorse for a moment then realized that remorse is what kept me at her side for far too long in high school. Some people do not change. I will not associate with people who make others feel small to make themselves feel bigger. The train stopped. She made her way toward the door saying we should get together. I made no advancement to make that happen. I just nodded and told her goodbye.
For the rest of my ride I reflected on our interaction. I thought about why I had no desire to go to my high school reunion.
In high school we were all just a portion of who we are today. But when you are with people from your past who have not been in your present you tend to revert back to the person you were when you knew them. I have made so much progress, learned so much about myself and others. I’ve made a solid effort to become who I want to be in life; to leave behind a legacy I am proud of. I don’t want to go backward. I kept in touch with everyone I cared to know from high school. With social media it’s easy. I hope they are all doing well and finding their way through life’s ups and downs. But I do not wish to compete with anyone in a setting where people feel obligated to impress each other whether that’s with lies or truth. Although some people are genuinely just excited to see people they enjoyed from their past, I don’t want to be in a social situation that feels anything but organic. I would be happy to run into most people in the supermarket, but putting myself in a position where I feel I have to defend my life choices? That’s just silly.
Genshai is an ancient word with a powerful meaning; to live in a way that never makes anyone feel small, not even yourself. - I read about genshai in “Aspire,” by Kevin Hall. A great book full of important life lessons and finding your passion in life.
It’s TURKEY DAY! Happy Thanksgiving: “gobble, gobble, gobble” and all that. I just wanted to share a simple Turkey recipe with you quickly:
It’s from Martha Stewart and if you read the comments below the recipe you’ll see that others recommend actually skipping brining (steps 1 and 2) in favor of just roasting the turkey. Click here for the details and enjoy!
Here is the recipe without the first two brining steps:
Recipe from MarthaStewart.com
In Our Home
This Thanksgiving we are hosting dinner for the first time ever. Granted we will only be serving four people, it’s still an undertaking from an entertaining perspective. I hope my future-mother-in-law and future-sister-in-law are impressed. And just in case, there will be plenty of alcoholic beverages on hand in the form of spiked apple cider and Bailey’s-n-cream to ensure that their memory is just foggy enough to remember this meal fondly.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Many have tried to lose weight or get in shape and failed. You might agree that the hardest part is staying committed and motivated. All I can say is that it is all worth it when you do your part. And your part in Crossfit is showing up.
I recently moved away from Diablo Crossfit and had to find a new sweat box. For the past week or so I have been making the industrial storage space called Lamorinda Crossfit my new home for fitness. Many of you are already familiar with the start-up Crossfit gym motif. It is usually nothing like your typical Globo-gym (to read about another first-timer’s experience click here). Undesirable locations near nothing, in the outskirts of Anytown, USA are common with Crossfit locations, but when it comes to fitness they mean business. And that is sort of the point. The equipment you’d find at a Crossfit gym is anything you can lift, push, pull, or use your own body as leverage on. There are no ellipticals, treadmills, and definitely no mirrors or saunas. These primitive gyms are designed to be just that: primitive.
The goal here is to use your muscles the way you would in nature if you actually needed to hunt, gather, run, jump, climb, push, pull, carry, lift, and heave things and yourself in order to survive. Technology and convenience have brought us to a stale point in our industrialized, modern lives where we are featured sporting pancake asses (those wide, flat surfaces that used to resemble buttocks), and extra value sized muffin tops to compliment our many chins. We jump at the opportunity to ride an elevator, escalator or drive two blocks to the store. There are few opportunities left to walk, run, jump, or do much of anything physical outside of pressing buttons on keyboards, remotes, or a slew of other fancy devices.
That’s not to say I discourage technology. I’m a tech geek myself. But, balance is essential in everything from food, to relationships, to being physically active. If you are serious about getting in shape, get off your butt, stop making excuses, and join a Crossfit gym. Most do not have contracts. You pay monthly and can get a discount if you join as a group. If you don’t feel results in a month stop going. Until then, just show up and let the skilled and passionate trainers take it from there.
This is a photo from two nights ago. The skill training portion of the workout was push-press 6 rounds of 2 reps each, increasing weight until you cannot lift anymore. I topped out at 60 lbs. Thats half my current body weight and a personal record. I’m a beginner. Others were lifting much more than this and the workouts are scaled up or down depending on your fitness level and goals.
My personal goal right now is to be able to do a pull-up unassisted (no bands). I am just starting my 3rd month of Crossfit. The results are staggering as far as strength and body composition. My loose, soft, rolls of fat have been replaced with lean tight muscle. Though I have not lost much weight (maybe 10 lbs.) I’ve lost inches and no longer have a muffin top.
I’ll post before and after photos of my progress soon.
Stay motivated friends. Remember, what gets measured gets done, so set goals and keep track!
At times I feel like Life is a greedy, unrelenting, bitch that just takes and takes and leaves me wondering when it’ll start to give. At other times…times like these when things seem to be going well, I find myself wondering if now Life feels that same way about me. But somehow the all that wondering never inspires more than just the thought when it should inspire action, progress, and a new beginning. And then I am consumed with resentment for my “good fortune”. Others are not so lucky in these hard times. I can only hope that there are those who will be more brave than me and act on such thoughts. Imagine the possibilities.
I would have qualified my teachers before accepting their lessons as truths. I have gotten advice from everyone about everything in life. From financially distraught “grown-ups” telling me how to make money, to friends without relationships of their own giving me advice on mine. What I’ve learned from this is to qualify my teachers and advisers in life. If you seek advice on parenting, ask great parents who’s kids turned out to be as you hope your kids will turn out. If you seek advice on fitness ask someone who is fit. If you seek advice on your lovelife, DO NOT ask someone who is divorced, or who is always bitter and bickering with their partner. Ask someone whose relationship you admire. It’s the difference between an ivy league education and a junior college. The professors at ivy league universities have spent their lives building their experience and achieving renowned success in the field they are then hand picked to teach. The professors at junior colleges are hired to teach subjects they have studied or may have a degree in, but may not have experienced great success or much experience outside of a classroom. That difference is miles apart. And it will determine your own success in using that advice. Yup, I definitely would have done things differently.
In San Francisco, the hipsters who claim they can’t stand all the hipsters call the commuters, “The Bridge & Tunnel Crowd.” Which is just fine. We call them hipsters after all. I think it’s time I begin to explore this glorious city some more and earn my keep amongst the hipsters. It is one of the most picturesque cities in the world.