Right person, right place, right time.

When you are a grownup, you work all day long and it mostly goes unnoticed.  Or, if you are in my house, it always goes unnoticed.  But that’s not what this is about.

We think that people are watching our every move.  That they can tell if our socks don’t match.  Or that we lack confidence.  I mean, I don’t know how many times I have sat in a waiting room and caught someone looking at me and I think that it must be because my children are misbehaving and I’m not doing anything to remedy the situation and I think “Lady, if you only knew my story…”  Turns out, she wasn’t looking at me.  She was watching the door for a friend.  And here I thought she was being all judgey.

I think it’s animal nature.  We all want to be noticed (unless you’re that bug that looks like a stick) and we want others to be impressed.  Like the tiny kitten who arches and hisses…the world is unimpressed.

People don’t give a shit about the day you’ve had or that you’ve worn that dress seven times since it’s been dry cleaned.  Nobody cares but you.  You think people are watching and they aren’t.  People are all wrapped up in their own heads and are not distinguishing you from a crowd.

Honestly, that’s where I like to be.

I said that on the first day of fat camp.  I was not the oldest, not the youngest.  Not the fattest nor least fit.  And I was the thinnest or most fit.  I blended in perfectly.  I didn’t say shit to anyone that first week.  I took my beatings.  I went home.  I came back for more.

But you spend x number of hours a day or a week or a month with the same set of people and you can’t help but do a little bit of watching and wondering and talking and commiserating.  Okay, lots of commiserating.

And in a situation like fat camp, we really are all in this together.  What I like about this particular class is that they don’t let just anyone in.  They would never allow someone who “Just has 5 pounds to lose before we go to Tahiti.”  Because that’s just like every other fitness class and club and gym out there.  That?  Right there?  Is why people like me are spooked out of making that first step. 

For me, the first step (the signing on the dotted line) wasn’t the hardest thing.  Not by a long shot.  I have a long history of starting things in earnest only to be abandoned weeks or months or years later when it got hard or not fulfilling or whatever. 

Here’s something about me that probably not very many people know:  before I met Stephen, I had been proposed to.  Twice.  Which ended up being deal breakers.  Not immediately.  But soon after.  In fact, the final deal was being broken just as Stephen and I started dating. 

I wanted to be married.  I wanted the home and the life and the family (but, oddly enough, I could have cared less about the actual wedding).  I wanted all that.  And when the former suitors stepped forward, I would accept.  And then take a moment to consider.  And then back out.  You know, before our parents could even be called or rings exchanged or anything. 

So when Stephen proposed and when I never once hesitated and when it was days and weeks and months into the engagement and I was still excited about the prospect of spending my life with him…I knew it was real. 

I was, finally, finishing what we had started together.

And we know how that ended.

Okay, maybe that’s a bad analogy.

I’ve been kicking this around all day because I got a note from Molly today. 

And I was beginning to feel like all the work and the sore legs and money and hours are going to waste.  That this, too, is going the way of (almost) everything else in my life.  Unfinished.

You see, I’ve been a little cranky because the scale hasn’t been moving.  I was doing so well there for a few weeks and now…nothing.  It’s been 2 weeks.  I had gained 4 in a matter of days (hours?) and now only 2 of them are gone.  Still 2 pounds ahead of where I was 2 weeks ago.  And we weigh in tomorrow and get measured.  It’s the mid-point of Fat Camp season 2.  I, of course, am fearing the worst.

In the grand scheme of things, it is decidedly NOT the worst.  But it sucks to do all this work only to have it be for not.

So I get this note in my email box, written right about the time I was sweating my ass off.  It is Tuesday and on Tuesdays I do strength training on my own.  It’s terribly therapeutic.  And I haven’t dropped a weight on my face yet so yea for me!    Molly gave me permission to paste it here.  These are her untouched words.  She said to excuse the spelling because she forgot to spellcheck but I think it’s fine.

And, Molly, if you are reading this…your words mean more to me today than any number on the scale ever has.  And if you’re not reading this…I’ll tell you someday.  You just don’t know…

Jen,
Hey girl, I was thinking about you today and decided to send you a little message with everything that I’ve been thinking about you:
First – GREAT job on your sprints.  You are inspiring to many people in the class.  I appreciate the way you push yourself in class and your ‘can do’ attitude.
I am proud of you for choosing a 5K and setting the date.  You seem to choose your goals and not let anything get your way of achieving them.  (The 5K, the capri pants you bought at the garage sale, the new shorts and tops that you ROCK at the gym)
You have an energy about you that you may not even realize.  You are a smart, beautiful, independent woman – a born leader.  I feel like you set the tone for the class.  Over the past weeks, I see you smiling more, joking, and engaging with people and I love it.  I know that you have been through very tough times, you’ve had to experience things that I hope I never have to, and I respect your perseverance.  And I know that the same perseverance that got you through what most people would call a “living hell” – will get you through your struggle with being overweight.  You will do it, and I think you know you will.  You are now a gym rat!
 
I also am thankful for you as a friend.  I have learned from you as much as you have learned from me.
 
Molly

Talk about the right person, the right place, the right time.

I have been blessed.

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5 thoughts on “Right person, right place, right time.

  1. I’m crying happy tears for you Jenn. Thanks for sharing this journey and this note. So many people blah blah about their bumper-sticker-faith,etc., but this letter to me was a total gift of grace and love (and not one “religious” word was mentioned.)Okay, I’ll get off my soap box!

  2. The right person helping you with the journey of healthy weight loss makes all the difference in the world. It will either leave you energized and wanting more, or discouraged and feeling like a failure. Molly is the right person for this job. Sounds like the two of you are a great fit. Blessing indeed.

    Congrats on signing up for your 5K. The feeling you have when you cross that finish line is one of best feelings in the world. I can’t even find words to explain it, but you’ll know what I mean soon enough.

  3. Last June, I decided to become a Marine. I wanted to help in Afghanistan. But, my Officer Selection Officer said I was too weak and too old. Not to be deterred, I bought P90X and worked out like mad. While working full time, I ran every morning and lifted weights every night. Every Sunday, I hiked through the snow with 50 pounds or more on my back. I cut my 3 mile run time from 29 minutes to 22. I increased my dead-hang pull-ups from 0 to 15. My age waiver was approved and, to my delight, I was invited to Officer Candidates School and quit my job. I arrived in Quantico and found hell. I was Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket, only this was my actual life. I was the slowest and weakest. I was so exhausted, I routinely fell asleep standing up. I couldn’t drill. I couldn’t assemble my rifle. I couldn’t report properly. One evening, I stole away into the head and cried. I hadn’t cried since 1988 when my grandmother died. I was ten then. But, I cried at OCS. I cried because I had put my family at risk, quitting a perfectly good with health insurance, so I could see what I was made of. I cried because I really did want to be a Marine, and I wasn’t going to make it. I cried because I had been shown what I was made of, and it was less than I had hoped and as much as I had feared. And then, after seven weeks, I was sent home. When I got there, I told my wife that I loved her, which was true. I told her that I was sorry that I hadn’t made it, which was true. And then, broken and jobless, I sat on the couch for days and felt that those were the most miserable seven weeks of my life. And thank God for them.

    • Dude. Somehow this comment escaped me. I had no idea. (I didn’t even know you’re married!)

      Thanks for your story. And curse your story! My biggest fear is of being last, slowest, weakest. I usually am but that’s not the point.

      But, my friend, the journey…the experience…completely unforgettable!

  4. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

    Amazing story and sacrifice. Such a brave thing to feel so pationate about something and alter your entire life to achieve it. I was touched by your story.

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