If I can’t win…

Today, the technology that I was using in my classroom refused to participate and my students almost got a lesson on “colorful language in context.”

I stayed home from church yesterday. This was after going out after nine to find a neti–pot in hopes of clearing the pressure in my head. Sunday I woke up and simply did not feel good. So I sent out a mass text asking someone, anyone to cover me for kids community so that I could lay down my head and take a rest. Luckily I got some replies.

Saturday I got myself and the girls up and around in time to sign up for our trial membership at the Y. They have free childcare for members and I wanted to try this Yoga-Pilates strength class. I ended up at the class about 15 minutes late. Then twenty minutes after that I got called into the nursery because the Peanut was still crying. And she refused to be comforted by the amazing nursery workers. She wouldn’t let them touch her. But right as I got there they waved me back out. So I went back to the class. I didn’t want to. It was hard.

My body used to be pretty good at yoga and Pilates. I used to do a video three days a week or so; in High school I went to a yoga studio to get my gym credit (thanks Mom! what a good advocate!). I loved it. But now, two babies and too many years later, my body is unable to do everything it used to do even half of what it used to do. And it hurts my pride, to be on par with the white-haired woman next to me.

I know that my body, and the Peanut, need time. (Rooster however continues her streak and I was told by three different women what an easy baby I had.) In my head I get that. But that doesn’t make me want to walk out of the room any less. To just give up on the silly “in shape” notion. We are english teachers and rhetoricians in my house. We are speech teamers not swim teamers. We have a way with words, not physicality. So let’s just use those words to joke about how we are not the in-shape sort of people and please pass me the Girl Scout Cookies.

I’m not good at being bad at things. If I am bad at something I simply abandon it. I always have. It isn’t a very pretty part of me. It is prideful and selfish. There is an old family joke that our reunion t-shirts should read “If I can’t win, I don’t want to play,” But right now that doesn’t feel like a joke. It feels like me walking out of a yoga class because I wasn’t as good as I thought I was going to be. Or giving up on new technologies because I can’t get them to work right. It feels like resigning myself to the fact that I can’t get anything to grow in my yard and I should just deal with the fact that I will forever have dirt in the backyard and the flower beds or pay someone an arm and a leg to sod the mess.

It feels like me wanting to throw a big hairy tantrum right here right now because no one can give me the things that I want. And I want them NOW!

Then I get a reminder email that if it isn’t humbling it isn’t yoga. And it reminds me that if it isn’t a narrow path, then perhaps I am not on the right one. And then all the stars align and I am able to race to the Y to make the cardio-funk class. I drop the Peanut  and Rooster off in the nursery (where I remember to leave the big one with a snack) and when I think I am being all clever and sneaking out, she looks me dead in the face and waves, “buh-bye, see-ya.” Apparently we’ve adjusted.

I race to the cardio-funk class even though the only funk dance I have ever done is the funky chicken, and somehow I don’t think that counts. In the class are all shapes and sizes, and the front row isn’t limited to the clearly fit. There is a big man up front and he is killin’ it. And there is a woman right in front of me who looks exactly like my mom if she were to do cardio-funk. But the best was the guy in the back corner who is clearly a librarian and NPR enthusiast with his round metal glasses and his perfectly trimmed beard. He is having a blast in the corner.

I decide that if Yoga is only yoga if it is humbling, then Cardio-funk is only cardio-funk if it is fun. And I have a ball. I am just thinking it is too bad Jill couldn’t make it when she shows up right next to me. She still grasps choreography much faster than me. But today the goal wasn’t winning. It was fun. Which was good, because half way through I thought I was going to die. I wanted someone to come in and tell me the Peanut would not stop crying. But alas, I had to push through. And I did. And that was where the winning came in.

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5 thoughts on “If I can’t win…

  1. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing and reminding us all not to get too comfortable with our own strength… we need to be in a place where we depend upon Him. Grace and blessings, Vince

  2. Oh my goodness Abs, I’m totally with you on this. It’s so hard to not be obviously the best at everything and I want to quit at things that I have to work harder than others at. . . and then I realize God is with me in my struggles and he’s that awkward looking big man working out in the corner, just havin’ a good ole time!

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