Everyone who has spent a little bit of time around me hopefully knows a few things: #1) I love Jesus, #2) I love my family & friends, #3) I love most things fitness/movement related & #4) I love nerdy things like memorizing historical documents and scripture and watching scientific debates. It would be the #2 category that this particular blog falls into...
I love my family & my friends, I want them all to be happy and feel loved and not have to be alone. What this means is when I see an opportunity for friends of mine to connect with like-minded souls... I like to facilitate that connection in anyway I can.
I’m a wing chick!
I enjoy the role! I’m not cupid but a couple friends have scored a couple dates, I can’t say anyone has gone to the next level… yet but, there’s hope! There’s always hope where Love and Light are concerned! I thought I was a good wing chick until I watched Matthew Hussey’s video on being a bad wing chick… and it hurt my feelings! According to this guy, apparently I owe some of my boys and babes an apology for my crappy wing chicky-ness.
I apologize (and I sincerely mean it from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry if my wing chickin’ has been an epic fail for anyone, y’all know I love you and only mean to connect people that might not have otherwise met) I would like to take a moment to defend my honor and explain my motives.
Watch Matthew Hussey’s video to fully understand my defense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATL01kP0Uh8
#1: The Houdini: OK here’s the deal, if you’re a girl and I’ve ever done this to you, that’s on you, you didn’t signal that you needed me to stick around and rescue you from a guy you weren’t interested in. Guys, trust me she knows what signal I’m talking about, we have a woman sense we communicate with. If you’re one of my guys, well... I figure you’re a grown man and can handle yourself, so find me later, and tell me what your signal is for next time.
Seriously though, I always thought my job as a wing chick was to facilitate a meeting. If I introduce two people and they seem to hit it off talking and I’m just standing there it feels weird. I feel like if I say anything I’m butting in and being rude, and I’m trying to connect you two, so it naturally made sense to me to find something else to do while the two of you talked. Apparently that’s more rude than butting in is, who knew!? I suppose this is something I’ll have to work at because to stay where I’m not necessary feels uncomfortable to me. Moving on…
#2 The overzealous cheerleader: Well, yeah I’m overzealous! Have you met me?!?! What am I not overzealous about? That’s just me, and I’m pretty sure everyone I choose to spend any significant amount of time with is a pretty awesome, amazing, positive, fun and cool person too. Why wouldn’t I tout their sensational characteristics or arms or eyes or intelligence or fitness level? Would it seriously be better to be like… “Hey, friend, this is my other friend, they’re OK… I guess. I mean, if you like people like that...” Nah! You want to hear me tell you something cool about them, right? Or is it stealing their thunder? Or even worse, making them look desperate? I really hope I haven't done that to anyone. Sorry if I have, and to anyone who felt like I was cheerleading for someone, they’re not desperate, they’re cool and you should talk to them to improve your own life and network if nothing else, I promise I won’t bail on the convo this time ;) And finally…
#3 The overprotective bodyguard: This is all I’ll say about this one. I am most definitely over protective of the people I love. Since moving to Chelan county I have invested time, energy, love and life into my community, my friends and my passions. The people that I know aren’t just friends, gym-mates, co-workers, fellow advocates, dance partners, running & hiking buddies, church compadres, etc. these people are pretty much my family. I love them! I want the best for them! … and if you hurt them, you’ll answer for it and… I am a short, feisty Italian and if you hurt my friends I’ll bust your knee caps capiche? :)
So, if you need me to wing chick, I am at your service! But, I’ve decided that I need to dial back my busy-bodiness and won’t initiate anymore connections ‘cause sometimes being a wing chick gets you into awkward situations and I’d like to not have any more of those.
Trust: A firm believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something
Her voice was melodic and well worn. I could tell, even without seeing her, she was at least a septuagenarian (in her seventies). She left a simple voice mail but her closing statement gave me pause...
“I trust I’ll hear from you soon.”
She trusted me. I know it was, like she is, an antiquated relic from bygone days, but it struck me. She trusted me.
With ADHD, simple things like calls are difficult. There’s nothing to “pin” the moment to. Fact exchanging phone calls are the worst… post-it and paper at my desk, notes app on my phone, Subway napkin on my counter, never sear the facts in my brain quite right.
But she trusted she would hear from me. What was it about the phrase?
Ahhhh, it was Jesse Collver in eleventh grade. Trust flooded back, setting my heart to beat wildly and calming my anxieties all in the same sweet memory. Full disclosure, I had a high school boyfriend and Jesse was not him. Also, I think it’s safe to say almost every girl in high school pined for Jesse – these facts may come in handy later, so hang on to them and follow me on a journey into trust.
The year was 1994 and the high school boyfriend (I later found out) rigged a survey allowing me to become a Natural Helper. I remember little about the group except for the retreat where Jesse became the definition of trust for the rest of my life.
All new Natural Helpers went on a weekend getaway to a lodge, in the middle of nowhere, to learn how to be better helpers. There was a bus ride and other workshops and food and girls like the gregarious Gwen giggling in bunks far too late into the night, but I only remember Jesse... and trust.
I trusted few people back then (or now if I’m completely honest). I knew people meant well but rarely followed through. Bad things had happened to me and people let me down. I trusted few, but I watched everyone. Words and actions, over time, could eventually transfer a person into my “safe” category. That didn’t necessarily translate to “trusting” them, but at least I felt a measure of safety around them.
Jesse was safe, probably because he was precisely my definition of handsome and had never said or done anything to me to make me doubt the quality of his teenaged character. And there we were, a bus full of kids, in a wooden lodge in the forest… and we had to play a trust game.
It was simple; one person steps into the middle of a human circle and falls backward with arms across chest and eyes closed, the others catch. It was all fun and games to catch. I was well acquainted with catching what falls and trying to manage it. But when my turn came; I couldn’t fall back. I don’t know how many times I couldn’t fall but I remember the instructor coaching me to trust, prompting the kids to assure me they were trustworthy and still I couldn’t. Then Jesse made trust real.
He walked up behind me, this big, strong, safe young man; his heat, at my back, blocked out the noise and giggles and frustration building inside me. His nearness, his presence thrilled me. HE was at my back! HE whom I had admired from a far for a year and a half of high school days, which was pretty much forever at sixteen. He was with me. And he spoke…
Lips pressed gently to my ear; two hushed, warm words whispered… “Trust me.” His breath tickled and teased and pulled at my insides. My breath caught somewhere between in and exhale. In that moment, everything in me belonged to him. HE was trustworthy. I knew there was absolutely, 100% no way he would be there, if he intended to let me hit the ground. Heart beating wildly; I nodded. I would trust him. I crossed my arms, closed my eyes and fell… into arms at the ready.
That was trust. That is trust. To this day, when I think of trusting someone, I go back to falling into his arms. I don’t know how it would have played out had a girlfriend or boy with whom I had no secret affection or attraction to whispered to me. But it happened the way it did, and I know trust because of it.
My sweet septuagenarian trusted that she’d hear back from me, and though the facts of that call-back conversation lay scribbled on a bright yellow post-it I may soon forget, I didn’t break her trust.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” From the moment I read this verse in Isaiah (30:21), I thought of Jesse at my back, strong and warm behind me, gentle and safe beside me, completely assuring inside me. I’m so grateful for this picture of trust and humbled to say I honestly trust the LORD this much. I don’t understand the circumstances of my life, but… I trust Him. He is my strength and my hope and my confidence. I trust the LORD with all my heart, mind, soul and spirit. May you also come to know something so trustworthy in your own life. If ever you want to talk about trusting Christ, I would be honored to speak with you!
Just a fun guest post I wrote up for a friend a while back. It seemed to fit this rainy day too...
If I close my eyes and listen… really listen, what do I hear?
Today, Chopin and Brian Crain’s rendition of “Hallelujah” and Fur Elise, Clair De Lune and… water.
I hear water… in my ears and in my soul. It’s a rainy day. It won’t rain for long, just long enough to wet the soil and refresh a restless soul. Days like this beckon the busy to rest, relax, breathe in reprieve… and blow out the electric buzzing of a million things that must be, should be, ought to be done.
But no, not today. Today I shall be still, quiet and calm, which is something quite foreign to my hurried nature, but necessary and nurturing every time I do it.
As the water rolls from the roof-top…
down… to plummet into a puddle of brother droplets in rapturous ripples, I scroll and click.
The water rolls and drips and I scroll and click… through hundreds of pictures, memories, moments stolen from forever and captured on a phone that is running out of space to hold much more.
I suppose I am a compulsive picture taker. Somehow freezing a moment in time helps me feel more connected to humanity. Someday, sometime, decades, maybe centuries from now, years after I am long dead, perhaps… perchance, these digital snapshots will give the future of mankind a glimpse into the simple individual life of she who was from the past. Like fragmented potsherds in an ancient dig site, I fancy these humble moments could be dusted off, refined with futuristic enhancements still unknown, and archeologists and their protégés will speculate on the life of a layman of this era based off these photos that were left to find.
What can I say? I am a creative, idealistic soul, nothing, not even a picture taken of me, my family, my friends or my world, is just for a singular, selfish purpose. And yet, in a singularly selfish, self-centered way, each photo is nothing more than narcissism... proof that I exist. Evidence that I am someone. I matter, even, if only to myself. I am here. I am alive. I live!
And what a life it is that I live! Drip… click… ripple… scroll…
Click… a selfie, and my tongue is out… hmmm, I ought to delete that, and be more mindful in the future of both selfies and my tongue’s penchant to make an appearance in my pictures.
Click… a night out with my ladies and gents. These people who once were strangers, now friends, their smiling faces and recollections of our good-natured antics bless me, and I smile back at their digital reflections.
Click… A hike with my youngest son and fellow gym mates, to work out and watch the sunrise over Saddle Rock. Sweet, savory, sweaty fellowship with God and man.
Delete… because neither myself, my Facebook feed or the future of humanity needs to see the meal I was so proud of making from scratch a month ago… or do they?
Click… a photo of my grand-daughter, a precious mix of her mother and dad; a gift of a child I somehow helped create even though I adopted her mama. Were it not for my infiltration into her mother’s life, this precious babe wouldn’t be here today. Like Tim McGraw’s country song, I let myself feel the pride of being a grandma and am humbled that I have them in my life. I say a prayer for my girls... all of them.
Ripple… how strange our lives are, rippling out, away from ourselves, puddling, muddling into the essence of others.
Scroll… A series of photos from a mini-vacation with my eldest son where we rushed to find as many waterfalls as we could and capture them into digital treasure boxes we could open and share later.
Drip… they’re slower now, the clouds are moving away, almost time ‘to do’ again and not just ‘be.’
Click… my friends, my family, my world, these souls and places I have opportunity to experience and embrace.
Ripple… I am grateful.
Scroll… What a good, full, blessed life the Lord has given me.
If I close my eyes and listen… really listen, I hear the heartbeats of countless souls like drips and drops that dance their way into my simple, layman’s life … this precious, priceless puddle of humanity I claim for myself and for posterity!
Do you hear the Rocky music? No?! ‘Cause it’s playing! OK maybe that’s a little dramatic but… It’s time! I try to let my actions speak for themselves, so I’m nervous announcing what the focus of my next year will be but… This is it! I have one year to 40, 16 months until I’ve been at the gym 5 years. I’m 3 ½ years into this redemption journey. It is time to push the limits!
There’s this meme going around it says something like, “Whatever feels good … do that” and another one that says something like, “And now… I’m gonna do me!” and while I get the sentiment, the truth is I can’t like them.
I did what felt good. It felt good to cut lines and breathe them in and feel the euphoria as chemicals swirled and twirled in my veins until I was nothing but a mass of feel-good emotion that could go on and on for days. To toke it up, soak it up, hold it in and feel the rush that led to mindless hours of watching the clock tick while thinking about the sprockets making the hands move.
It felt good to eat whatever I wanted; rich, thick decadent chocolate... filling me to the brim with sweet satisfaction. One more, or seven more scoops of the creamiest Parmesan artichoke dip. The cuppa calorie laden caffeinated or alcoholic yumminess. I put it all “in ma belly” and it felt real good!
... until the come down... until the fiending… until the withdraws… until my toddler child asked what the noises were… or who that person was (because another stranger was in the house)… until I looked in the mirror… until I saw my beautiful cousins at family gatherings and knew I was the “fat one”… until the next size didn’t fit… until my stocky (ex)husband’s pants fit snugly…
It felt good at the time, but it wasn’t good. The consequences of feeling good and doing me sucked!
It’s hard to push my body to failure day after day at the gym knowing I can never fix the damage of decades of misuse. It is hard to hike at 4:30AM when the rest of the county sleeps. It doesn’t feel good two days after a hardcore leg day at the gym. It doesn’t feel good when I have to say no, to chocolate, to walking, to quitting the reps, to anything that “feels good” in the moment … but …
It’s pretty awesome to look in the mirror after 3 ½ years of leg days! Week after week, month after month, year after year seeing what the body God gave me can do feels good!
It’s something to be proud of to say that because of a second chance, I have 17 ½ years clean!
It feels good to say; I AM STRONG! I honestly never knew how strong I could be! All I’ve got is what God gave me… this body, this mind, this soul and this spirit. That’s it.
And now, it’s time…
I’ve worked to reclaim my body from the mistakes and bad choices of my past. I can’t take them back, but, to the best of my ability, I can redeem what God gave me. It’s time to focus!
The easiest rung of the human ladder is the body. Control of the body is step one. Wanna sleep longer? Nope! Get up! Wanna eat that? Nope! Food is fuel (except on 10% days). Wanna quit/cheat that work-out. Nope! It’s only me I’m letting down. I’m about to step out of “normal” and into “extreme (for me) fitness” for a while. But … I want to do this! I want to see what my body can do.
So far it’s been about reclamation and redemption. It’s time for reconstruction. I can’t compete with those who have always honored their bodies, or who are 20 years younger than me, and I can’t get back what I lost to poor choices. But the good thing is I’m not a competitor, I’m a learner. I watch those I admire and embrace and apply what they share. I soak up their wisdom and walk forward on my journey.
I will ever and always wonder what I could have been capable of IF ONLY I had gotten into sports and not drugs in high school. I will always regret the wasted years. But I’m grateful for my second chance. Not everyone has the genetics, ability or health I do. My physique is a gift from God that I squandered too long. It’s time to exploit it, to push it to it’s fullest remaining potential. Lord willing, I won’t hurt myself, but will make it the best it has ever been. It’s going to be pretty cool to see how much my body can do!