Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Be You

My daughter recently designed and painted this mural in her high school hallway with the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance club at her high school. This is not her coming out story. She has not chosen to come out as any particular stripe of the rainbow.

But her message is important for more than just the lgbtqia2s+ folx. 

Be you. 

Unapologetically, transparently, authentically you. 

I like to think I already knew this and did this. But there are a few secret pockets of shame hidden away. 

Since I started working full time, almost two years ago, I have become shockingly sedentary. I got a full time job about a month after covid shut the world down. Before that, I was not really working out, but I was grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, and generally doing the things. 

Then covid hit. I started working 8.5 hour days and then 9.5 hour days. I got groceries delivered. The house degenerated into squalor until we felt comfortable having someone in to clean. We got lots of pizza and I did none of the things. I sat all day and worked. And then ate pizza. And then slept. Rinse and repeat. 

My body became a weak and soft vehicle for my brain. 

Nothing wrong with a weak and soft vehicle. My brain is a delight. I'm rocking this job and I'm a loving wife and mother, a good friend, a good human. My body is the least of what I offer the world. 

But. Like. So weak. So soft. Excellent for snuggling. Not so effective for living a long, healthy life. Not awesome for the making of the serotonin.

My work did a wellness challenge this month. It wasn't the usual ableist stuff like how many miles can you run. Not, thank goodness, a weight loss challenge (gag). It was inclusive. Yes, push ups and sit ups and steps, but also drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, reading for pleasure, journaling.

It was team based, so I added a couple of behaviors I wouldn't have normally done to get points for my team. I did the push ups almost every day, broken up into sets. At first, I could only do a handful. Two weeks later, I can do more. A lot more. 

The challenge is over. I'm still doing push ups. I'm doing bicycles. I'm doing squats and hand weight exercises (biceps, triceps, and rows), which weren't part of the original challenge. 

I'm getting stronger. 

I'm doing these exercises in 5-10 minute increments multiple times a day, so easy to fit into my day. Easier than 30 or 60 minute workout all at once. More fun. More joyful.  

I posted about this process on the book of faces and two people have reached out to let me know this made a difference to them, to see my transparent process. To see my secret shame and my process with it. It helped them to look at their own movement in a new way. 

Just by being me. 

Unapologetically, transparently, authentically me. 
There is so much depth of power in being you. Be you.