Could You Describe the Ruckus, Sir?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Slayer Training For Losers

Some of you may know that I'm about 15 days into a 6 week long fitness challenge, part of a team-"Buncha Losers"-competing with other teams for a cash prize and bragging rights.  The team that loses the most collective weight wins the pot, which works out to a nice sum of $500 each.
I suspect most of us aren't in it for the money so much as the chance to develop healthier habits and, hopefully, a healthier body.  In that, of course, we will all finish as winners.  No matter where we were when we started, our trainers are seeing to it that we'll finish stronger, more fit, and having developed a new set of habits with which to continue.

This week, Brian, head honcho over at Inspire Fitness, asked team participants to consider their goals and, for extra team points, write essays describing our own personal "ultimate" selves.  Brian's kinda big on the idea of setting goals, visualizing where you want to be and then living into your vision.

But here's the thing. I'm nearly 52 and I still don't have a freaking clue who I want to be. I mean, I used to. I did. A long time ago.  A long time ago I wanted to be a certain kind of mom. I wanted to be the kind of mom who raised kids that were happy and playful and intellectually curious and fearless and strong and kind and good hearted and interesting to be with.

And, against the odds, I was. I was that kind of mom, with those kinds of kids. And the lion's share of credit goes to the kids themselves, of course, along with a fair amount of luck, and the rest owing to chance and fate and a tiny little bit to my husband and me, and that only for doing a good job of holding our breath while the universe worked its magic and our amazing children grew up.  And left me with my heart overflowing with gratitude.

But. Then.

Boom. I was done. DONE. The road ended; the gate came crashing down.  It's a familiar theme- you've heard it before- but empty-nesting while menopausing?  Nothing prepares you for that shit-- no amount of being psychologically minded, of having things to do or meaningful work or hobbies or a grown up social life-- nothing- nothing prepares you to be done with the day-to-day, on-your-toes, problem-solving busy-ness of active parenting.

It is, literally, depressing.  AND IT'S NOT MY FAULT.  I didn't forget to get a hobby. I just reached a turn in the road that I thought might be interesting but which, it turns out,  I find absolutely AWFUL.

Soooo.  So I spent some time licking my wounds and playing Spider Solitaire and wishing I could fall down a rabbit hole.  Then I took my husband on a Zombie Walk. Then I licked my wounds some more.  Finally I went for a physical which revealed low vitamin D levels and high cholesterol.  So... I started walking and running a little more, like I used to, taking some supplements, and feeling a little better. Still clueless about who I wanted to be, but the fog at least was beginning to lift.  When I learned about the fitness challenge it seemed like just the right thing at just the right time.

My ultimate self?  Ask me again in a couple of years. For now, I'm happy to be putting one foot in front of the other, to be getting stronger and healthier. I want to have a body that will carry me into my future, one that will afford me the time I'll need for figuring out how to make my second 50 as fun and interesting a trip as my first 50 have been.  I don't know where my path will lead me; travel, writing, art, teaching, ?

What I do know is that I won't be sitting around waiting to find out- I'm going to be out there somewhere, actively meeting the future in front of me.

But there is one other thing--I call the boot camp classes "Slayer Training" for a reason.  I want to be sure that if the Zombies and Vampires arrive, or if the Capitol takes over-- I will be ready.

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