It was the final straw.
There I was, fresh out of the gym, early in the morning, having trained three clients before 8:00 o’clock A.M., hadn’t had any Starbucks and someone who NEVER steps foot in a gym had the audacity to say something to me about my HAT. My HAT. While it seemed so harmless and so apart of the conversation, I started having a Gabby Douglas moment. Here I am, busting my butt to NEVER see the number “2” in front of my weight again, giving of myself constantly to keep others encouraged, limping in the gym at O’Dark Thirty EVERY DAY when I’m hurting, sleepy, hungry, tired, mad, stressed and still eager, with a smile on my face, ready to get the party started with those who have entrusted me to help them get to another level and what I do with my head is up for public discussion? I had to catch myself.
I can be remember being discouraged from changing my diet (“you’re gong to die if you don’t eat meat”) then teaching yoga (“that’s devil worshipping”), then working at a gym at all (“you need to get a REAL job”), then even working out (“girl, you are getting TOO skinny.”) I have had quite a few comments about my hair (“why are you wearing that scarf?” “why are you wearing that hat?” “why did you cut your hair so short?” “why don’t you curl your hair more often?” why don’t you just wear weave?”) and the truth is, for the last time, I am MORE concerned about my health than I am my hair. Period. Sticking conditioner in my hair is not a problem for me. I do love getting my hair done and having someone else wash it and curl it. My former manager from the gym is one of my stylists. My other stylist works out at my gym. They know how I roll and they know what I do. They’ll put some extra spritz on it because they know in about two hours, I’ll be on the floor doing push-ups. That’s MY lifestyle. Why is that so disturbing for people?
My friend, personal trainer LaQuesha of Fire Fitness has the same discussion with people about her hair. It just came up in a conversation on Facebook yesterday. It’s funny. That woman looks fabulous and she has come a LONG way (all the way to competing in fitness competitions) but people are still concerned about her hair. It leads me to wonder where everyone was when we were overweight and killing ourselves with food and things that weren’t good for us. No one EVER discouraged me from eating those two cheese danishes daily. No one EVER discouraged me from going to Happy Hour. No one EVER discouraged me going to Dairy Queen every single day. Was it because my hair was done?
In the greater scheme of things, my appearance reflects my priorities. If you see me on the street and I have on some Vibrams and a Nike shirt with some shorts, don’t assume that I do not care about myself. Assume that I DO and I just left the gym. Assume that I have on a hat because I didn’t want to be late and that my hair would have been just another excuse for me not to get out there and run. Assume that those headbands keep sweat out of my eye so I can maintain contact with my students when I am teaching my group fitness classes. Assume that the do-rag is because I was on the phone with a potential client, encouraging them to take the first step and I didn’t have time to put conditioner in my hair. And if you see my hair “done”, assume I had a few hours off and it will be “undone” very soon.
LaQuesha and I are on a mission. And it has nothing to do with our hair. It has EVERYTHING to do with how we decided to change our lives for the better. And it was a personal choice. And so it what I put on my head. I might just buy another hat……..