Many years ago, I was running around doing inappropriate things with a boy. We had sex in a car while his teen-baby-mama delivered in our hometown hospital. Obsessed with the love affair of Good Will Hunting (a 1997 film starring Matt Damon), I thought he loved me, I thought she was history, and I had no idea what having a child together actually entailed.
My small town gobbled up the affair, especially after the baby mama got her cousin involved and the two followed he and I to a parking lot, and attempted to beat the living fuck out me. It was quite the spectacle, but the worst part of it all was that I had WRITTEN ABOUT IT.
I had carefully documented our lies, our tricks, and our foolery in a small pleather journal. Oh, it was a New York best-selling compilation, I’m sure - well, at least my mother thought so.
While I was busy scrappin’ in a parking lot, my mother was consuming my innermost feelings over a cigarette. The descriptive nature of the document was college level work – the ‘night of the broken hymen’ is likely the chapter that pushed my mother over the edge.
Upon my arrival home, my mother burst out our front door, blaring that she had read the. entire. journal. What happened next beneath our tiny wood-framed house, well, you can only imagine.
The point of this whole invasive story is to explain my disgust with journal keeping. I never kept a journal after that – I mean, who would? The trauma still seethes.
And so, when it came to this fitness journey, it was difficult to persuade myself to document it. It took exactly six weeks for me to get the courage to do it.
So here we are – six weeks in to me eating right, working out 4-5 days a week, and I’m only down two pounds. Two.
I know, I know, “you’re building muscle” and all those other, accurate things. The problem is: the struggle is real. It is a major life change, one that I was more than willing to make, but when the change on the scale is nominal, it’s hard to keep going.
I’ve not measured my thighs or taken those near naked Before photos you see all over the internet. Had I done that, perhaps I would see a change, but then again, maybe not.
Consistency is the number one thing you must adhere to when attempting change. The only thing I’ve ever been truly consistent with is never missing an episode of SNL or Dateline. It’s a ghastly commitment, but I manage.
My issue with consistence is that I get bored. Things become too routine, and I lose interest. We could delve into the list of boyfriends I’ve had over the years, but I’m sure you can imagine where those breadcrumbs lead.
So when I got bored with my Pilates classes about 20 sessions in, I changed it up: I signed up for three back-to-back Wednesday classes. Really push those boundaries of sanity.
Class at 10am. Class at 11am. Class at 12pm.
Let the torture of squats, planks, and bicep curls commence.
This was a great idea last week. I was fully charged, ready to go, and a few of my Pilates buddies were there for moral support. The instructor even gave me a shout out on that third hour. I felt like I was in school again, holding that flimsy Honor Roll certificate in a room full of proud parents.
I nearly gloated when I logged in and scheduled the three classes for the next Wednesday, and that Wednesday was TODAY.
The first hour was a breeze – I did my inhale/exhale as I had been taught, focused on aligning my spine, held my plank a few seconds longer than the rest of the class. Hour two became rough. My coffee had worn off and I watched the clock feverishly. I knew if I could make it through the second class, I was home free – the final class of the day was a stretching class, and those are soothing and light.
As the second class filed out, I refilled my water bottle, cleaned off some of my equipment (the Pilates machine, not my genitals, although I’m sure they deserved it), and began a few, light stretches on my own.
The new class filed in, the instructor took a big swig of water, and the soothing music began. With the first few exercises, I expressed confusion as I looked around the room. The lights had not been dimmed, and the tempo of the music began to increase.
Like an alley-way psychic, the instructor announced,
Time to burn, ladies! Welcome to Balance and Form!
Holy mother fucking shit.
I had signed up for the wrong class – the class that I’ve never taken before, the class I have no current desire to attend.
Balance and Form involves balancing on a wobbly rubber ball while doing squats, holding planks until you want to puke, and sweating like the inside of a Keurig.
I immediately regretted my gloating.
With each hold and push of an exercise, the anger in my mind grew. My irritability festered and brewed like a cauldron of stupidity soup.
Why the fuck did I think I could do this?
I can’t do this. It’s been SIX weeks and I’ve lost two pounds. FUCK!
My brain went nuts and my planks wobbled.
With each inflection of the instructor’s voice, my stomach turned. I was exhausted. I was hungry. I was done.
I just can’t do this. I can’t.
I crinkled my face, straining through a set of squats, and it hit me – I started a fucking blog about this shit.
Flashbacks of my angry mother waving around a pleather journal populated with teenage hormones began to burst in my mind like fireworks. I could hear her screaming. I could hear her telling me I was done – no more using the car, no more allowance, no more nothing. Talk about a tough crowd.
Right as Kanye started in about gold digging, I realized I’d have to leave this torture chamber for yet another one – the tiny space of my day where I would write the words:
I GAVE UP TODAY, THIS WILL BE MY LAST JOURNAL ENTRY
What a way to be – to give up. To add yet another ‘great idea’ to a long list of ‘I couldn’t do its.’
The pandemic has been full of them – grand ideas that lead to expensive investments and wasted hours, that, in the end, actually made great Tik Toks with their failure.
I was lucky that I had not taken on too much during the pandemic – I had been busy with my gluttony of fried chicken and peanut M&Ms – yet, here I sat on a sweaty yoga mat and a depleted bank account due to my pricey Pilates and spin class memberships.
How long until I get tired of this? I wondered.
How long until I get so frustrated one day that I walk out of a class, never to return – if not for my belief that I can’t do it, but out of pure embarrassment?
Kanye sang on. I balanced on the ball. It wobbled.
Great day, ladies! the instructor complimented.
Oh shit - it’s over.
I looked at the clock. We had three minutes left – the exact number of minutes it takes us to cool down.
I made it.
Did I make it because my running mind spun through the hands of time?
Did Kanye and Jamie Fox help out? I do love Gold Digger.
Whatever happened today, I’m here to report, live from my sweaty tights, that I did NOT give up today, and this will NOT be my last journal entry.
Let the torture continue.