dare to be different

Rusty

She spent her time sitting in a dark corner, abandoned.

Most wouldn’t give her a second look as they passed her by.

Like many her age, she had seen better days.  No longer shiny and smooth, she sat slumped over.  Disconnected. Forgotten.

No one could quite remember the last time anyone had taken her out into the neighborhood or beyond.

So it was a surprise when that teenage girl, muscles to burn and ready to roam, asked if she could get her fixed up.

Next thing you know, some new tires, a new saddle, and a fix-up of the gears and boom! She’s ready to roll. Good as ever.

I bought my Diamondback Sorrento bike over 20 years ago. I was in one of my fitter phases. She was a blast to ride. But when kids and other responsibilities came along, she moved further and further to the back of the garage.  Years of neglect left her a mess.  But deep down she still had a strong skeleton.  All she needed was some investment.  Some attention.  Some care.  And someone to see what she was capable of who would take action to create change. Bring out the strong beauty she had inside.

In some ways, I feel like my bike. Over the years, since the last fit phase, I had let other things pile on.  I pushed my health and body further down, down, down the priority list.  But over the past 2 years, I’ve had people encourage me to get back into better shape.  To invest in myself.  To pay attention and take care.  I was a mess, but not beyond repair.

I may be rusty still.  I’ve got scars, wrinkles, and signs of age.  But, I’m getting to the point where I’m excited about getting out and going for a spin as often as I can. I still have that strong beauty inside.  Surely, with some investment, I’m going places I can’t even imagine, coming out better than ever.

 

family

Words to my Mother

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I wrote a Mother’s Day poem for my Mom 27 years ago.  Just weeks before graduating from high school.  All the fighting and sneaking around and lying I had done.  All the awards and trophies and certificates, too.  So many things we had endured, loosely but inevitably connected.

I had chosen to go to college in Ohio, so I was facing being away from her for the first time.  I guess this poem, my gift to her, was my way of showing her that I had begun to understand what she had done for me.  What she had given up for me.  Our bond, which would now be stretched across state lines.

I remember crying as I wrote it, one line in particular.  I remember carefully writing the title in crayon, and smudging it with stuff to bring to mind the kindergarten creations of so many Mother’s Days past.

I laid it on her bed, always neatly made first thing in the morning.  On her paisley pillow, not far from her Pall Mall golds, her ashtray and lighter, the plastic tray filled with her earrings.  There was no fanfare.  I just left it there.

I don’t remember her reaction to the poem.  I’m sure she said thank you, but that may have been it.  With all the flurry of activity around my graduation, I’m sure it just got lost in the shuffle.

Nearly a dozen Mother’s Days came and went before my Mother passed away. At that time, I was pregnant with my first natural-born child and a new Mom to two toddlers. I was exhausted and overwhelmed trying to clean out my parents’ 25-year-old home.

I was sifting through the basket of papers she kept right next to her bed.  Underneath a few People magazines I found file folders with birth certificates, legal papers, these were important things…

then I saw the mauve paper peeking out.  And I knew just what it was. My poem.  Just next to some of the most important things in her life.  My poem.

My mother was not the type to gush.  I clearly got my sentimentality from my Dad.  But seeing my poem in with all her most important papers was all I needed to know.

I nearly lost that paper a couple of times, but eventually I had it framed and it still hangs next to my bed, just like where my mother kept it.  Some of it makes me chuckle now, the overinflated ideas and revelations of a too-big-thinking teenager.  But a lot of it still holds true.  I’ve shared a few lines from that poem below.

Hope you all are celebrating Mother’s Day in whatever way honors the women in your life the best.  Take some time to write words to a woman who has meant something to you.  Our words and our time are some of the most precious treasures we can share.

 

mother

I am born of you

out of a painful love that has

already outlasted my lifetime.

You surround me with your

words and your listening silence

and your arms…

 

mother

we are different stages of the same woman

who learn from each other like learning

from a separate self…

and that is why I say I am always with you – because

I am you

and happy to be, lucky to be

thankful to be

 

mother

what is to be is something we don’t know but I can see that it will involve distance

and I wonder how I will make it –

but I know your love can cover the whole world in its maternal infinity

and your wide arms will tuck me in each night even long after I am gone.

 

mother, (mom)

I would not have this future without the past you’ve so unselfishly given and given.

Thank you for my life. I love you.

-Beth

Mother’s Day, 1992

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dare to be different

Booty Shorts or Ass Eaters?

 

 

And so the story begins just like this…..

The nice weather is coming which means it’s time to reach into the shorts drawer. Oh no, nothing cute and fashionable is in there! I guess I just need to sweat my butt off in those leggings again. And please remember I sweat all the time when working out.

Three unlikely paired friends sync up on a Saturday morning. One with thick thighs, one pregnant and one with an amazingly cute figure. This all equates to small, medium and large or x-large buns. Yup buns-hun. Ass cheeks, booty, butt and so on.

Enter the convo on booty shorts and the brilliant idea to get matching ones for an upcoming competition. Oh, how much fun it is to shop for booty shorts! So many choices. So many options. Flair, flair and more flair. I almost forgot to mention the three girls noted range in age spanning about 20 years.  To put things in perspective those small, medium and large/x-large booties come with thighs attached and some have more mileage on them than others.

A decision is made. Lemons it is.  Big, juicy lemons on the teeny tiny booty shorts. A pinkish color to warm your heart for the sunshine weather that is fast approaching. I will have oversized lemons she said. I will have a muffin top another said. And the other said I’m so damn excited. The shorts arrive in a few short days as does the excitement and giggles. There is even a matching lemon (boobie) shirt. I am going to refrain from sharing that photo but it completes the outfit for all three of these ladies.

They fit! Surprisingly they are amazingly comfortable in the mirror and on the booty. I do my squat test in the mirror and all seems okay. Size small wears hers the next day. Compliments flow like a normal day because, guess what? She sports booty shorts all year, as in 300 plus days a year. No big news here but the new pattern is super cute.

We giggle some more and decide we need more matching pairs. One for each workout in the competition. I know we are a bit crazy but we said let’s just do it. Just like that we order a couple more pairs. What is wrong with us. Retail therapy? This time we go for cheetah print and pineapples. The cheetah were a bit outside my comfort zone due to the simple fact I am the one with the biggest butt or real estate one would say.

The new shipment arrives. I immediately gravitate to the cheetah print. All that print but I was dying to wear them. I never would have guessed it! The next day was the grand reveal. Oops, those mirror feels of comfort didn’t account for movement. Holy cow they ride up on my Clydesdale-like thighs! They ride up and you already saw the white of my legs. Holy moly the white of my thunderous thighs, oh my.

Too late. I already committed. I ironically meet a friend when I get out of my car at the gym. “What’s up, bootylicious?” she shouts. I was already like dying inside and now that she called attention me I was surely rethinking my wardrobe choice. Then the door opens and it happens. The shock and awe of “what the heck are you wearing?” from the crowd of regulars.

Oh, so many raised eyebrows. So many neck twitches. And just a few comments and giggles. I didn’t expect anything but I’m sure if somebody wore them aside from me I would be the first to make a snide comment so I moved on. The warmup is guess what? An ass bender. Yes, indeed it was. Pretty much every stretch or scoot imaginable that had your ass in the air with a gym mate behind you. The thoughts in my head are horrifying to say the least.

Did I scare the others in the gym for life?  Did they see more than they needed to? I scoot to the back of the group to be sure. I feel a chill. An ungodly chill in my rear leg/butt/crotch. What is it? It’s the rower! The poor guy finishing his row from the class before was literally air conditioning the entrance way by my thigh – every time he pulled the rower handle the air blew up my shorts. Yup, I had to move around again to avoid the chill and embarrassment.

All of this happened in just a few short minutes of my 1 hour class. I survived. My size small friend arrived and we were able to twin it up with our cheetah girl shorts. The jitters left and I owned my body and all its jiggles. The shorts were amazing in many ways. I even had the freedom to move and conquer a movement I was working on all week.

Today is just another Saturday where the small, medium and large/x-large girls connect for their Saturday showdown. A triplet trial run of the lemon shorts before our competition next week. How will it go? Will the same shock and awe happen out of the gate? Will the air conditioning issue arise again? Only time will tell.

Did we burn eyes with our lemon shorts or did we make refreshing lemonade? I think we each rocked them in our own special way. A terrific trio had so much fun flaunting their buns. Thank you Feed Me, Fight Me for the amazing comfy bootilicious shorts. What a beautiful Saturday it is when you spend time with friends laughing and being silly. #loveyourself

I hope you enjoyed this short story about my ass eater booty shorts. It’s meant to show that I test my limits often and I do get nervous sometimes but I mutter along. I push through. There are worse things in life than busting out of a pair of booty shorts.

I am starting a bootylicious challenge now. Hoping to get others to step out in those short shorts and shine their thunderous thighs no matter what size or shape they are. Pictures to follow in the coming weeks of the booties.

Until next time……

Part 2 is here!

Ahh this story continues. Of course it does. The life of the traveling booty girl shorts!

From time to time we may write a post but let it simmer for a while for whatever reason. It might not really be done or we just don’t want to post it for whatever reason. This story fell into that gray area. Do we post it? Do we hold it? Does it serve a purpose?

Time passes…..

After my first few pairs of 3″ booty shorts, I went with a couple of more conservative 5″ booty shorts for the days I run. Don’t need to have any chafing issues! and they work like a charm. No riding. No chafing. SUCCESS!

Now I get a coupon. The infamous coupon to buy more. What a sucker I am! Enter the blue shorts with white stars. I just had to have them since I think I am shining star on most days. I adore these but others find it funny when my stars expand when I bend over. It’s okay….I embrace the attention and commentary. I am such a big ham, that I can easily reply with the bigger the stars on my ass the bigger the stardom I am destined for. That normally makes people want to walk away horrified to say the least.

Then there are the donut pair. These may be my favorite pair. I don’t even really like the taste of donuts but they are fun to wear for sure. And what makes them so special? You can watch my donuts rise…..when I bend over. Too funny I know. On the serious side, my feed me fight me booty shorts are extremely comfortable and versatile when squatting, jumping and basically doing anything in the box. No matter what chuckles I may get, they are fully functional for me and that is what matters. My meaty thighs need the short shorts to get through the hot summer workouts without sweating up a storm in the gym. These shorts are also perfect for under a fun summer dress too. Talk about multi-purpose booty shorts. And if your dress does happen to blow up….well all one will see is donuts!

Then it happened! Chick 2 jumps on the booty short bandwagon. A few others did as well and that was exciting to see. Ok, so she insists on the 5-inch inseam.  So they may be more bike shorts than booty but I wear some 5-inch shorts, but they are still a far cry from the below-the-knee leggings she usually sports. A huge leap from the comfort zone but she did it. She did it with class and sass!

Her side:

It happened on a Tuesday morning.  5 am class.  Those poor people!  Maybe they’ll be too bleary-eyed to notice. (Chick 1 nods, I doubt it.)

Well, I run into a friend who immediately notices that I am wearing shorts.  What was it that gave me away?  The glaring white of my spongy thighs?  My embarrassed glances and slumped “don’t notice me” shoulders?  Who knows.  But, it was class time and I was getting it done. No turning back now.

Running was great in them, and I mean great.  It’s SO HOT running (even at 5am!) and it felt great not to be hemmed in by longer leggings.  But, they did kinda roll up on the third round of the run.  Still, an overall thumbs up.  And no one suffered shock from the sight of my thighs!  A relief.

I invested in 2 pairs but there will likely be more in my future.  I stuck with basic gray and black but maybe branching out into brighter colors will come in time.

Being comfortable is such a benefit when you’re sweating and working hard.  Feeling good matters. Check me out rocking a pair at my next Saturday class.

As this story unfolds, the beauty of women around us explode. Let’s take our friend Kim. She is amazing in so many ways but she is now rocking some booty shorts and she looks damn good in them. As a grandma in the over 50 crowd, she is setting the tone for so many. She inspires me to stay fit and keep pushing so I can be as asstastic (yes I made that word up) as her in my 50’s. Check out my pal Kim working on her booty in her booty shorts all while wearing a fashionable booty while her foot recovers from an injury. Everyone who is making up an excuse of why they can’t work out should just look at this pictures and say I can do it, too.

As we wrap up this post, I leave you with you can do it to. Get fit, get moving, and most importantly get that ass in some booty shorts. Even if you start in the comfort of your own home. Be bootylicious or asstastic today.

At the end of this story you can see that even the most confident people challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone. Be brave. Be fearless. Be you. Be-booty-licious!

 

dare to be different

Shoe Issues or is it Shoe Goals?

3 years of CrossFit and my shoes have evolved just like me.

When I was clueless as a newbie at CrossFit I wore tennis shoes. Plain Jane tennis shoes. Well they had a swoosh on them and they said cross trainers but were they good for CrossFit?

In a short time I found out I didn’t like to box jump in them because I bit it more than once. Could have been my skill level but I will go with the shoes. I didn’t like to run in them because they didn’t feel good on my shins. Whether it was the shoes or my excuses, I don’t really know for sure. Then before long I found out I didn’t like to lift in them. Just all around blah. But since I didn’t know if I would like CrossFit I didn’t invest in shoes just yet.

A few months passed and the new year came. I waited patiently and watched to see what others had on their feet. There was a good variety of brands and types. Some even changed shoes to run or to lift. I was fascinated. I asked questions. In no time, I bought my first pair of Metcons. Vibrant blue. Oh, how they seemed heavy when I ran. Like I was running with bricks on my feet. They just didn’t move well with me. Off they go to a friend.

“Don’t I just waste money on shoes?” I say to myself. I mean it happens to the best of us. I have bought heels before and they feel fine when I’m in the shoe store then I wear them for a day and I’m like heck no.  After some debate with myself, I ended up with some Reebok Nanos. I liked them. First I had a black pair. Black matches everything but then I felt goth. A new model Nano was coming out so I picked up a blue pair since I liked these. Then white. I was content but they were not my favorite to run in and in year two I started running a lot more.

Enter the new Nanos that were a cross between a running shoe and the other model. I saw a badass in the gym wearing them. I inquired. I purchased. First, a black pair. A conservative option. Oops, I ran a mud race in them which was a bad choice so I replaced them with black pair #2. Then, fun colors came out and so did the sales. I snagged pink, navy blue, turquoise and a grayish green color. I could match most outfits and I liked to run in these. I wanted to buy a few pairs in case they went end of life. Of course, it helped they had fun color choices.

I ventured out and bought a pair of of the new Nanos…7 or 8. I hated them. They had a weird coating on them and they had a small toe base. Gave those suckers away to a friend quickly. So then I said I’m gonna break the hundred dollar spend limit and invest in some No Bull shoes. Purely because the name was cool. They were red on the box but had an orange glow. Just didn’t feel comfy in them so I passed them on to a friend. Barely worn shoes can easily find a second home.

I went on shoe restriction for a bit. Just counting above will explain why I put myself on shoe restriction. I mean I still need flip flops, heels for work and cute tennies for my everyday outfits.

Okay, so it was maybe 3 months later when my son started CrossFitting with me. He needed some new shoes. He bought Camo Metcons. He loved them. We wear the same size so I tried them and guess what? I liked these. Either they got lighter or my legs got stronger and I didn’t think they were too heavy. I checked online and darn it they didn’t have cool girl colors. What a let down.

Then I flipped over to the dude colors and was like what the heck? They have a much better selection. I couldn’t decide between the grey Camo and orange or the red and army Camo. I just bought both on a whim. Then I decided I would wear one of each shoe together. That was a lot of fun. Then I switched back to just orange and grey and red and army Camo.

Then the phone ads pop up. The girls line just came out with baby blue with shimmer Metcons. Seriously, just after my men’s order shipped. It was Valentine’s Day so I gifted them to myself…sneaky, I know.

Then the chalkboard and whiteboard versions. I wanted both but I passed on them. I just figured too many would have them and I just like to be on the edge of different.

A few more versions were released for girls and I wanted them bad but I refrained. It was hard. Then I saw a bright pink, white and black pair conveniently around my birthday. Gift time again. Nobody ever knows what to get this girl so Metcons it was. These were preorder so I didn’t get them for another month. I just love them, all of them.

Then today I see a new flashy pair. Golden with floral pops. A must have! Did you say Mother’s Day is just around the corner? Sure did! Look a perfect gift for Mom. Metcons for Mom. Preorders rock. A little delayed gratification for this girl but now I have the run of the closet floor to choose from for my daily WODs.

To some, I am sure they see me as wasteful but I seriously choose my outfit down to my socks based on what movements we are doing that day.  Shoes are included in this regimen. Crazy girl I am but welcome to my world of shoes. I absolutely refuse to add up the dollar amount spent but I seriously work hard so I can buy shoes.

And, I almost forgot I also have a pair of Reebok lifters. White with pink. Only use those for special occasions. And I just ordered a pair of Nike running shoes for my spring/summer running goals. Colorful and full of flair just like me. I guess you can see I am not your simple, basic girl.

My goals are big. My shoes are expensive. I work hard to afford my shoe fetish. #kt.247

I also have a t-shirt problem but I will save that for another post. Chick 2 may contribute to my delinquency in this arena. To the extent I probably need to open a t-shirt company. (Enter a big sigh.)

balance, perspective

When You Get to the End of the Track…

 

This is a time of year where lots of things are wrapping up. The school year ends. Spring teams finish their seasons. Social media timelines fill with cascades of graduations, parties, ceremonies, awards, and more.

Endings give me all the feels. Joyful, sentimental, reflective, bittersweet. And yes, even nervous and a little overwhelmed about what comes next.

When that nervous feeling comes, I think back to our first book, “The End.” It reminds me that yes, every ending is a new beginning. This is a door that will open to new opportunities. I can be appreciative of what has happened and also embrace what is coming next with anticipation and energy and enthusiasm.

So, when I come to the end of a stage and the road ahead is unclear, instead of looking down or just stopping in my tracks, I need to see that it’s time to fly. To soar into something new and different. New challenges. New paths. New chances to succeed.

 

awareness, perspective

My Reflection

When I look into the mirror, I see me. I see my strengths, I see my weaknesses and I see the stress I carry from my short life in ways others may not see, even if I’m right in front of them.

What does my reflection show to world? The face of good of health and nourishment, a smile that can light up a room, and eyes that are as blue as the ocean. Some may even say I am cute.

Cute only gets one so far as you age. Cute doesn’t define or shape who I am on the inside. I have a chronic medical condition. I even have a pacemaker-type device in my chest. I have dealt with this medical challenge and it’s rippling effect my entire life.  My life hasn’t been easy. My implant surgery was major and I almost had brain surgery a few years ago. Despite all odds, I have worked hard and persevered in most areas of my life. I have accomplished more than doctors ever thought I could. But nobody knows that I struggle each day.

Only my close friends, family and medical team are my inner circle and know me inside. I don’t even have many close friends because most people shy away from those who are different. Not because I am scary, rather due to lack of
knowledge and willingness to face the unknown. 

I like to keep my condition private to avoid judgment from others. This has been my choice thus far in life. This choice has come with consequences. I have had to miss out on events over the years and lost close friends because I couldn’t do all the things they could do or wanted to do. Social acceptance can be hard as you grow up and missing out on some milestones in my youth days has hindered my development. I can only imagine what challenges will arise in adulthood when you are like me.

As I age, expectations are placed on me that mirror those of others my age to do this or achieve that or even perform a certain way. Basically putting me into a box. A box of what my life should be like for somebody my age. The problem is I don’t fit in that box or any box for that matter.

No box needed! I am special. I am special like a fine jewel, not special as in incapable, stupid, or even retarded. I sometimes have to think differently or take a longer path to complete something due to my medical challenges. Unfortunately, the high-paced hustle of today’s world doesn’t adapt well to people like me.

I’m simple. I don’t really like to use the internet. I barely text. I’d rather talk to another human face to face. I don’t like voicemail either. My communication skills are one of my strongest attributes yet it’s almost a lost skill in today’s technology world.

Getting a job is almost 100% online now. I am a number. If I don’t type well, I fall into the dumb category. If I don’t have a resume full of fancy graphics, I fall short on the tech-savvy qualifier. This list could go on and on about the negatives of being me and being different.

Thankfully, I have been taught not to dwell on the negative but it’s getting harder and harder. I’m emotionally spent every time I need explain the why I’m different or why things take me longer or why I can’t do something even if I look like the person next to me!

My insides are different. I’m wired for me and I just wish the world accepted me for who I am. I can dream that one day people will understand me and appreciate my value because I have value. Sometimes you just have to look beyond the surface to see my loyalty, my trust, my kind soul and my incredible work ethic.

Where do I fit in the world today and where will my future take me? Why does being different have to be so complicated? Why do I have to explain to ignorant people how hard my life already is without adding the stress of their ignorance to my plate?

If only people saw my insides in the mirror instead of my outside. Would they see the time bomb ticking in my head? Would they see a hamster wheel running 24/7? My insides are a mystery to me in a way but would my insides help people tolerate my differences? Should I have to broadcast my life to the world to get acceptance?

In my short time on earth I have learned a lot about people. Some are kindhearted but the vast majority fall into the ‘other’ category that normally puts their own needs and wants ahead of others.

I hope my open letter hits home with somebody on the internet. I hope that one person chooses to be kind today, tomorrow and the next day. This world needs more kindness and hope. More positive messages to overshadow the negative that can weigh a person down.

My life is changing in many ways. I can’t see far ahead because I keep hitting road blocks. I restart over and over but how many times can one restart before they give up?

I want to restart. I hope I can restart now and prepare myself to restart again because all I can see ahead is restarts. I am different in a world of predesigned boxes. Mine apparently has the reject stamp on the box and I’m desperate to reconfigure my box to adapt to my special qualities.

Mental toughness is a battle everyday to some. It gets harder and harder to adapt when roadblocks are tossed at you in abundance. 

One day you may find me floating by on the highway in my not-so-fancy RV or home on wheels. Out to adventure and see the world my way. If I can’t fit in a box I’m going to have to define my alternate path. From what I hear, the road less traveled can be a fun one, since most stay in the box that was designed for them by another. 

Thank you for reading a glimpse of my life. And it’s such a small glimpse it’s like a small hair. Maybe I will share another story or hair of my life again soon. Until then, I will seize the day and tackle all the adversity that comes my way. To please the world as it sits today, I will have one foot in my predesigned box and one foot outside while I figure out my life. I may or may not be flipping the bird to others around me who are ignorant to my differences. 

This story is honest and heartfelt. It is written as a tribute to all those who need a little hope when life gets hard and keeps you in that dark place. Get up, get going and prove others wrong.

fitness and nutrition, hustle

My Why or Why Not

I was asked for my favorite CrossFit quote today and boy did that set my mind on an infinite loop for words.

Why is that such a hard quote to put on paper? Because my CrossFit story has a beginning or an initial launch, but really I relaunch or a reset happens each day at CrossFit thanks to the constantly varied programming. Also, what I think is somewhat in the middle of my CrossFit journey is still really undefined since I have no end date in mind. Why no ending? Simply stated, I want to do CrossFit for as long as my body will allow and I hope that means into my 80’s. All of the above translates into the fact that my quotes can change daily, weekly, etc. based on where I am in my CrossFit story. Also, did you catch me on a high success day or an I need to work harder day when the quote question was asked?

Well, today this was my answer:

Snatchy, sweaty and sometimes sassy is part my CrossFit story. I love everything about CrossFit and how my story continues to evolve.

There are many highs, lows and everything in between when I reflect on my CrossFit journey, all of which has made me stronger, leaner and wiser.

I have thick and thunderous thighs. Some will say CrossFit makes you bulk up. Why do you do that?

I have strong shoulders, arms and back. Does that mean I’m not feminine? 

Nope. My gait, my confidence, my aura reflects how I start my day. I start my day grinding with a diverse group of insanely competitive, motivational and overall badass-type people at CrossFit. Together we sweat. Together we push to limits beyond initial reach. Together we document our stories. Collectively different stories but each story packs a punch. Living a great story is part of my love for CrossFit.

Each new day brings new adventures, challenges, and friends. Embrace today. Build for tomorrow. Say goodbye to the past by leaving any negative vibes in the rear view. Live like today is your last day on Earth. Make that difference in you.

Hard work requires dedication. Dedication requires time commitment. Time commitment requires prioritizing. Prioritizing means investing in you. You make the difference you want to see. Only you!

No matter what doubt others may cast on you, they have no direct impact on creating change in you. Motivation to prove others wrong? Maybe, but the reality is the power is all in your hands. You can choose to harness the power however you want to.

Remember the mind is a powerful tool. Your should only focus your mind on what matters. Don’t get hung up on what matters to others. #goalgettermindset