Running on a reflection

Some mornings I wake up and I’ll look at myself in the mirror and think, “oh yeah.”

Other days I’ll wake up and refuse to make eye contact with any reflective surface. I pile the red locks on my head, toss on a pair of leggings and a sweater that covers my bum, and keep my gaze promptly on my feet as the scrape the tops of the sidewalk as I stride on my way.

Most often, when I feel this negativity, it’s because I feel that my body has betrayed me somehow, or that I betrayed it. That because I didn’t run for a few days, my muscles have atrophied and my body has turned into a gelatinous blob. When I didn’t dance as well, it is because I have a terrible human form and if I were more sinewy and less muscular, I’d be the ballerina I want today rather than tomorrow.

This morning I awoke to temperatures outside of 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  Even the hardcore runner in me said, “no way you are taking these legs, lungs, and face from this cocoon of warmth and into that cold.”

I responded to my internal runner with, “it’s been 3 days since I last ran, I mustn’t miss another day.”

The logical argument sarcastically muttered, “Oh dear, who will play you in the movie?”

The stronger, irrational part of me said, “Jennifer Lawrence.”

I’m a supremely hyper-active person, who’s boundless energy needs an outlet. So generally, I run every morning, walk to work, and then hop around the office because I have no “off” switch. Although I exercise as a way to keep focus in the day and quell the volcano of energy that is always on the verge of eruption, I also get very focused and tied into its routine, fearing what happens when I stray from it.

A huge part of the fear of missing a workout is, that for so many years I’ve been exercising, and what if I stop and all that hard work is like, “fuck this, I’m out.”

There used to be a day I’d never miss a workout, even if I had to wake up at 3am to do it or miss an activity all together to squeeze it in. I certainly do not hold exercising in that high of a regard anymore. With that said, I still have anxiety about it, especially prolonged time away (yes, even if it’s a day or two).

This morning, I couldn’t decide if I was lazy or legitimately didn’t want to face the cold. Truthfully, it was both. Coming off a bad ballet class from the night before and an 11 hour work day, I couldn’t muster the motivation to brave the sub-freezing temperatures for a jaunt.

I texted my boyfriend, “I am not running today. I’m such a Fatty McCatty, like Pancake.” (Pancake is bf’s fat cat.)

His reply, “You so batty.”

I’m so lucky he gets me.

I decided to take the morning to throw on my hot pink leg warmers, and do some stretching and plies. Although not as rigorous as my running, I knew I needed the stretch, and now that I had no excuse, I could attempt to increase flexibility, which I seldom have the attention span or patience to do. And really, any excuse to wear hot pink leg warmers is a winning decision.

Now, I could go exercise at the gym after work, but I have plans (although the crazy in me almost cancelled). I know, deep down, that skipping a few days or a week won’t turn me into a troll or change my figure to blobbish. I am also very well aware of how annoying it is when people who are fit complain about their bodies, but no one is perfect and no one feels perfect in their skin.

So, now as I approach the end of the day, my hair is piled on the crown of my head, I’m in tight pants and a form-fitting shirt, I’m rocking some zebra shoes, and feeling only mildly fat. I’m going to go home, have some beers on my date, and get ready to go through this all again tomorrow morning.


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