I started working out three weeks ago. The saga of how I came to be a workout person starts with who I am at my center: a lazy person.
A while back I was watching the show Younger (read: binge-watching), and that spiraled me into a weird Instagram rabbit hole of stalking the main characters. (Don’t judge me…we’ve all been there). I read an article about Nico Tortorella, one of the actors on the show, and his wedding to Bethany C Meyers. She was starting a fitness app (aptly called The be.come project) and for the first couple of weeks I followed its launch, impressed with its body positivity approach to exercise. Despite being small, I’ve always struggled not to hate my body (me and every other woman on the planet, I think). After a couple of weeks I decided to sign up and commit to working out three times a week.
Three times a week turned into pretty much every day, and suddenly I was an exercise person, planning my days around when I would do my workout routine. For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t use my busy schedule or exercise-induced asthma as an excuse to be a lazy lump of lard (I keep an inhaler close by just in case now). And man…it feels pretty good.
I am continually trying to be the best person I can be. And I fail at it almost 100% of the time. But I am trying. And I like the person I am becoming. She is strong, and kind, and resilient. And she perseveres.
I think one of the hardest things to do is to love who you are. It’s so easy to see the things that are imperfect. To wrap yourself up in all the mistakes you’ve made and all the people you’ve wronged and all the ways you’re not good enough. To find your identity in a flawed past instead of a promising future. To nitpick the bad and ignore the good.
My friend Peter and I had a conversation recently about the standards he holds for himself and others. And how literally no one can live up to them. But that’s the thing, you’re not really supposed to.
I have an image in my head of who I’d like to be. And she’s perfect. She can cook healthy meals and understands what “season to taste” means. She doesn’t have anxiety or know what stress feels like. She’s happy and bubbly and has flat abs and strong arms and bangs that don’t stick up like a crazy person each morning. She doesn’t waste time or check Facebook 14 times a day. She’s a real 10/10.
I will never be that person. Because I’m a seriously flawed human. But she is a reminder to me that I am capable of more. That I can strive for more. And little by little, I can become more like her.
I think one of the most beautiful parts of life is the ability to change. To reinvent yourself. To see the very best in yourself and chase after it. Today it’s fitness. Maybe one day it’ll be cooking. But the thing that feels the most important is that I am constantly, consistently, becoming. I am a hot mess of a human being. But slowly, surely, I’m becoming a little better. I think that counts for something.
Here’s a picture of my favorite dog the very first time he tried swimming. Even Teddy’s becoming a better pup. What an inspiration.