Warning: Cheese ball alert! Sorry, I’m feeling all the feels. I just came from getting my butt (and quads and abs and hip flexors) whooped in a spin class for a writing gig. Class was held in a big public place in the city with a room full of uber skinny 20-something writers and a physically perfect male specimen on the front bike.
At this time last year I was sitting at a desk (likely pounding a bag of Dove dark chocolates into my face) wondering how I’d moved my scale so far over the 200 mark (Duh, hello, did I mention Dove dark chocolate?) and trying to accept life in the very unhealthy, too big for my skin body that I found myself in, because I thought there was no way to change it. I had eaten my way up and down the scale multiple times over the years and had never, not once found an accompanying physical activity that would keep my attention and my fitness level intact. So, I never stayed a healthy weight.
Last year, I was so big that I didn’t recognize myself. I was so heavy that I was too intimidated to even lace up walking shoes, much less get onto a bike or a yoga mat. I knew how to be healthy and fit. I just couldn’t figure out how to get there from where I was, which was farther away than ever before. For the first time in my life, I didn’t believe in my ability to change. I was broken and sad. For the first time ever in my life, I didn’t like me.
Then in an impulsive moment of pure disgust I called an old friend and said, “Caitlin, sign me up for Isagenix.” I had spent years thinking about food and how to “use it” and I was tired. I just wanted something simple to ensure I was nourished without making me work so hard that I’d hate food and cooking and everything else that used to bring me joy.
A month of 2 shakes and one meal later I was less afraid (and fewer pounds) so I walked into The Mega Cycle and Amy and Megan made me feel like I belonged there. Like I belonged on a bike, no matter my size or my history or how many chocolates I had consumed. A bike? Here’s a secret: bikes scare the pants off me. Always have. But Amy and Megan made me forget that just long enough to believe I did belong.
These three outstanding women were there exactly when I needed them to be to remind me who I really was under the extra weight: a girl who used to be confident and unafraid to try new things. The girl who was an athlete. The girl who used to believe in herself.
A month after my first spin class I returned to yoga and Lili helped me remember to love that girl and accept her no matter where she is along the continuum of life.
Spin cycles and yoga mats, that is where I found myself again.
Today the confident girl who isn’t afraid to try new things walked into the super intimidating room full of cute young fitness people. That girl more than held her own on the bike and didn’t even mind if she wasn’t the fastest or the fittest or the best. Because she was her best and that is a pretty good way to be.
I’m so grateful for remembering the girl that I like to be. And I’m even more grateful for the four women who helped me find her again.