Women are notoriously hard on other women. I’m not sure I get it. It must relate back to the cave women days and our innate need to compete for the best man to mate and reproduce with. I’ve seen it in the work place. I’ve seen it in the PTA. Women who climb over the backs of other women, and treat each other more cruelly than men would ever treat women.
Survival of the fittest, I guess. But it sure does make life harder…
As adult women…we tip toe in as we meet new women. Making friends as adults is soooo much harder. There’s no playground to go to, and just slide down the slide, and swing the swings, until you meet some other girl who asks you….”Wanna ride the see saw with me?” BAM – you’re friends.
Life doesn’t work that way when you are All.Grown.Up. Or Does It?
#39MinuteWorkout is a kettlebell gym, with 10+ years of history designing and offering workouts for women in their 40’s, 50s, 60’s and beyond. Walking in there every time is the closest thing to walking into a grown up playground. We don’t have swings, or a slide….but we Do SEE SAWS. LOL
Some workouts are stations, where you all cycle through different exercises for a few minutes each. Other times, we buddy up. This is one of my favorites. I’ve met so many wonderful women, each striving and thriving, against their own goals. Some, losing weight like me. Others building their strength and stamina. Still others, survivors of cancer, or recovering from an injury, or fighting aging by b.e.c.o.m.i.n.g. KICKASS!!
Each of these amazing women have given me something to consider, something that has helped me grow as a person. Once it was a kind word of encouragement. Once it was some help learning a move I hadn’t tried before. But a couple of specific times stick in my mind. Let me tell them about you.
Beth – she is a lovely, warm, generous spitfire of a woman. Ridiculously strong. She throws kettlebells around in a way that I aspire to achieve one day. She’s not the type of woman who calls out cheers and Rah Rahs….but she is always very approachable and generous with her encouragement. One day, a few months ago, just before the Christmas holiday….she and I came together as we were putting our weights away at the endof class. She said something to me, that touched a sensitive spot deep inside my woman-ness. (Is that a word? Woman-ness?) . LOL
I had lost 69 pounds at that point. Feeling good. Loving how my workout clothes were getting looser. But what Beth said, was different. Paraphrasing, she said, “You’re looking great Diane. Your shape is changing. You’re sexy“.
In my brain, I was kinda frozen in time. I probably turned pink and said something that sounded like a thank you, but I scurried away and finished putting my weights away.
But Beth severly affected me. That night, I sent her a FB message…because I was s.t.i.l.l. thinking about Beth, and her words, and how they made me feel about myself. I felt sexy. As if Beth’s words allowed me to step out of the Fat Girl persona I have occupied all my adult life, and become somebody else. Somebody who could be…well, sexy.
Women of a certain size will KNOW exactly what I’m going to share here. When women are b.i.g ….men treat them differently. No, not rude, crude, or mean. Different. And they probably don’t mean it. But it happens. I’ve experienced it as I’ve lost weight. Men, don’t hold the door for you. Men don’t step aside and let you enter the elevator first. They don’t smile at you. They don’t chit chat with you in line for the cashier. They just don’t. And we women…we feel it. And over time, you begin to feel like you don’t deserve it. Ugh, its such a deep topic. But as a b.i.g. woman, your woman-ness turns down like a dimmer on a light bulb. Feeling sexy….is hard. Your rights to that feeling got buried under the pounds.
Beth was like a 9 volt battery to my woman-ness bulb. She lit me up inside. I felt….like a woman. This was a gift from one woman to another. I mean, have you ever…e.v.e.r. said to another woman…you’re looking sexy? I have not. But I’m gonna. Because I can’t say it enough. It MORE than made my day. It made my year. Beth, thank you again.
Second story is Betsy. Betsy is a trainer and she is also a Physical Education teacher. She has a natural way of encouraging everyone, helping them work harder for themselves and recognizing progress. Betsy can make me feel like I can lasso the moon and pull it down to earth. I can’t explain it, but it’s just part of who she is.
One night, I walked into the studio straight from work. I was in my work clothes, a purple dress. I was heading to the restroom to change. I slip in, try to be unnoticed, so the class in progress isn’t ..bothered by me? [Diane, you are SO weird sometimes. Who are you bothering. Let yourself be noticed. People WANT to see you. It’s another Big Person thing. We try to hide in plain sight. Anyway, I digress.]
Just as I hit the restroom door, Betsy’s head pokes around the corner. With a huge smile and an I mean it voice she says, “Diane! That dress! You look amazing. I hope you own it in every color!”
The F.e.e.l.s There it was again. The gift, from one woman to another.
Ladies….if you have experienced pain, or rudeness, or shame at the hands (or mouths) of other women….I’m here to tell you, you are hanging out with the wrong women! Come find some kettlebell girls. They, We, are some of the best women I’ve ever met. Your goals mean as much to them as they do to you. Your progress makes them celebrate you. Your joy is their joy.
I joined a kettlebell gym? No…I joined a community of some of the best people around.
Ciao for now….Diane