Those were the words I kept repeating in my head as I tried to keep up with my wife and the ladies in her class. That feeling took me back to ninth grade and two-a-days for football. Except that was outside in the August heat of Georgia. And I was definitely trying to prove I belonged on that field with those guys, many who had been playing since elementary school days. I had only ever played in my front yard at home and at family holiday gatherings. But, I could hold my own, and I was holding my own. I just wasn’t holding the contents of my stomach down.
Today was different, though. And a little bit the same. I wasn’t trying to prove I belonged in that studio with those women who were there, busting their butts, to lose the few more pounds they think they need to lose in order to feel better about their bodies. Or maybe they were there, like Steph, battling other demons like anxiety and depression. Whatever the reason, or reasons, I know this: they are warriors. They are fierce. They are strong. They are beautiful in the battle.
I’m not sure I belonged. I don’t think I even held my own. I had to cut it short, going to the bathroom while telling myself, repeatedly, “Just don’t throw up. Just don’t throw up.” I was afraid to move too much or too quickly. I had to take extra time getting myself to the car and hope that I could make it home without having to stop and puke. Even after making it home, successful at keeping the contents of my tummy within the confines of my tummy, I had to sit for a few (20-30) minutes waiting for my body to affirm that I was, in fact, not dying.
My oldest son, Neal, stayed nearby as I sat recuperating. I think he was worried. He gets that from his Mom. I took that moment to encourage him to never stop exercising and taking care of his body. It’s better than finding yourself in your forty’s fearing that feeling of nausea that comes from a hard workout when you’re out of shape because you quit taking care of your body. No one wants that. But, at least I didn’t throw up. Today. There’s always next time.