“I woke up like this….”
Accepting that I would never be perfect has been one of the most difficult challenges I have faced. I think I was born a perfectionist. I was a straight A student, won just about everything I entered and lived to please my parents. And my after school teachers. And the girls in the “A” crowd whom I wanted to please. And my sister. And my aunts and uncles. And my grandmothers. Maybe I wasn’t a perfectionist at all. So let me start again.
Accepting the fact that I could never please everyone in my life has been one of the most difficult challenges I have faced. When you’re the trainer, the blogger, the choreographer, the teacher, the coach, the mom, the wife, the personality behind Instagram, when you’re the one people tell you they search for daily for inspiration, the pressure to be flawless is for real. And social media made me feel like I needed to get fully dressed in my best Under Armour gear (down to the shoes), with the bomb protein shake in my hand with no hair out of place before I even sat down at the keyboard. People wanted me to document my workouts, my food, (I have been asked to document everything that I eat every day so that it could be copied down to the grains of rice on more than one occasion), my playlists, my choreography, how many clients I trained in a day (complete with pictures), how long I held downward facing dog when I was teaching a class and could I help them look, think, and be like me. When you do this for a living, you are in a position where part of you is public and these are not really unusual requests.
I started to feel the pressure when I being criticized for my answers by the very people who asked them.
It’s true (o.k. here comes a confession) I love God with everything but he is still working on me over my personal workout playlist. I love Lecrae. I promise I do. But I work out to Jay Z, T.I. and Tupac. I love downward facing dog. But there are some classes where I don’t even do that pose. There are days that I don’t train. There are days that I don’t exercise. There are days that I don’t feel beast mode. I feel bed mode. I feel beat up mode. There are days that I’ve eaten popcorn for dinner. Or tablespoons of peanut butter. I don’t drink a protein shake every day. I only take pictures of my clients for special reasons. Sometimes my choreography isn’t set. I make it up on the spot.
And when the people pleasing part of me came head to head with the raw, unadulterated flawed Tasha, it got ugly. Real ugly. I didn’t want to blog. My social media posts became random. I literally became exhausted when I thought about writing anything. I’d end up reading other people’s tweets for two hours, hoping their words would sound better than mine (really banking on it) and I’d be inspired to say something “witty” because that’s what people expected of me.
Flawed Tasha said, “Tell the truth. Tell YOUR truth. This is YOUR voice. And with that, I surrendered the mask, for good. I surrendered trying to find a recipe for the best cookies to blog about because I don’t bake. I surrendered trying to post about increasing your weight on your squat because even though I’m a trainer that’s not my specialty nor my interest. I surrendered taking thirty five selfies to lie and say how flawless I am because from any angle you take my picture, I still need to work on my obliques, I still have stretch marks and my skin is going through this dry spell. (But my glutes are amazing, my shoulders are looking good and I still have my Guys-N-Dolls dance team smile! Just saying.)
I feel like I can breathe. I feel like I can write. I feel like I can just be my flawed self and all of who I am come through without a filter. I know that my words will reach who they are supposed to reach, how they are supposed to reach them.
Being authentic is what’s up.