I almost froze when I pulled up to the door.
The shock to most would be that I agreed to go to Nashville on a Saturday night to a party AFTER my bedtime. Yet, as sick as I was, I felt a need, a pull to go. I wondered if this was it but, if it was, I wasn’t amused by God’s sense of humor. I took a deep breath and said to my friends, “This used to be the dance studio I attended years ago.” No big deal.
Except that is where I struggled to keep up in my first studio dance class. Most of my classmates were high school students. I was twenty four. They were size 0’s. I wore a size 18/20. Their parents paid for their lessons. As a single mother, I struggled to pay but knew my sanity weighed on my decision.
It was also where I first begin to battle anorexia. It was also where I was denied the right to dance in the show after starving myself, paying my last money to attend classes because I could not sell tickets. I felt the inadequacy racing through my head. And I hadn’t even stepped on the dance floor yet.
I looked around and tried not to be so obvious. But the memories of being in that studio for eight hours, drinking a V-8 and then going to the gym for two were on my back, heavily. I looked at myself in the mirror, wearing a junior’s medium dress and thought the entire idea was insane. I tried to dismiss it. But every now and then, the thoughts kept racing back.
On yesterday, after I finished preparing my children for school (yes, I AM a happy parent this morning), I went out to a less fortunate neighborhood and participated in Love, Food and Cutts/Got Your Backpack, a joint venture spear-headed by my friends Joy and Don. As I was standing in that empty field, looking at those houses, I remembered what I felt like when my book bag tore in between pay dates and I had to carry them in a plastic bag. I went back in my mind to all of the times I felt inadequate because of where I grew up and because my classmates lived in big houses and wore Guess Jeans to school. I tried to dismiss it. But every now and then, the thoughts kept racing back.
I then headed to my son’s football banquet (late) and when I got there, his football pictures were lying on the table. I took one look and thought “why today?” My son looked JUST LIKE his dad. My ex-husband. Whom I married 17 years ago…yesterday. All of my failures came rushing back. I looked at my son. I looked at the pictures. I looked across the table at my husband and tried to dismiss it. But every now and then, the thoughts kept racing back.
The vote was in. I was inadequate and it sucked and why was this happening to me THIS WEEK?!?!?!?!?
Because it’s Warrior Week. I am doing the Warrior Dash in Ohio on Sunday. I’ve been sick and I’ve been stressed and now I feel inadequate.
But, WARRIORS fight. Warriors rise above and conquer new territory not necessarily because of what they managed to “avoid” but because of what they faced HEAD ON. When I get to that wall this weekend and I have to climb over it, my thoughts can keep me from climbing it but they aren’t going to get me over. I can stand there and think of all I’ve been through, have a meltdown and let people run around me (or over me) or I can pull from the strength it took me to marry again, raise my son, conquer anorexia and provide a decent life for my children and climb like my life depended on it.
Because it does.
You’ve faced many challenges. And perhaps you are standing at that wall. It isn’t going to disappear. Pull deep from all of the hurt, the pain, the feelings of inadequacy, the disappointments, the rage and put yourself in position to start climbing. Once you get up there, remember everything else is BEHIND you. You may remember it but it won’t pull you back down.
We’ve got this!
#6Days and Counting