Sunday, October 28, 2012

Come to the Pretentiously Healthy Side, Luke. We Have Kale and Gu-Gels

I think I've been brainwashed.

That's MY pod!

Rather than spending my free time writing super fun blogs in the past few weeks, I have instead been training my butt off. Literally. All my skirts are getting too big. Oh my god, it's soooo annoying. Do I sound pretentious? Good, that is totally what I was going for.

I guess I have also been doing that "school" thing 30 hours a week and attempting to complete mounds of homework in the rest of the time as well, but let's just ignore that because we all know that is ingrained into my genes and is never going to go away. I will always strive to be a straight-A student--even though I probably never will be again, thanks to art school--because I will have an aneurysm if I take a test and can't answer any of the questions, so I try anyway. But I have never found myself in the position of striving to be...

...wait for it...

... an athlete.

Dun dun dun.

How have I always defined myself? Super ironically-awesome fake red head chick that can't do a push-up for shit and really likes pasta and draws and writes stupid stuff because I get bored and want to passive aggressively complain about my life? That is who I am, man! That is who I have always been. Now I am finding myself in a very awkward position where I have become the person that I have always made fun of, the person I never ever expected myself to be, and I have been focusing all my excess time and energy on getting further down that path. Obviously because someone has started drugging my water. Oh excuse me, I meant drugging my fancy energy gels that I finally know the real purpose of and actually use for their intended application on my longer runs.

Yup, definitely brainwashed. And I'll let you in on a little secret. I've only had pasta 3 times in the past three months-- when it was being offered to me for free and already prepared no less (my kryptonite). And what is more is that when I ate it, I felt as if I really haven't been missing out on much.

...Seriously, who am I??

I have an obsessive addiction to peanut butter and consider a spoonful of plain peanut butter my dessert for most meals.

Not only have I started paying attention to all the inspiration fitness posts that show up on my tumblr dashboard, but I've started "liking" them too. Because I actually relate to them.

I went into a sporting goods store and nearly died of desire. I wanted everything.

I spend time on running forums online.

Running 3 miles has become "taking it easy" and really is an enjoyable activity. No really.

I go out to normal people places like theme parks and get upset when I can't find anywhere I can buy a roasted veggie sandwich. I have to settle for churros! Woe is me. (Society is so messed up)

Alternatively, I found a semi-fast food restaurant that was all vegetables and quinoa and kale happiness and got really excited. I proceeded to get probably the least healthy thing on the menu (sweet potato fries), but it was just the thought that I could get my portobello sandwich on a bed of kale that was so thrilling.

I actually manage to drink the recommended daily amount of water almost every day. I need to pee every 5 minutes, but apparently now I am functioning normally.

Instructors, for the first time in my life, tell me that I have the strength for the move I am trying in classes, it is just something else in the way, like my shitty-ass balance or fear of commitment... I wonder what that says about me as a person? 

I can touch my toes to my head in a variety of positions, particularly where back flexibility is involved. People have called me "bendy." To my face. And it wasn't even a joke.

When I get new running accessories, I get really excited to go running and try them out and start wishing I could go right away instead of doing all the other stuff I am supposed to like, such as art. Pft.

I went into a Whole Foods and even though I was still disgusted by the excess of blonde yuppie moms with their peach-shaped butts pushing carts around in yoga pants I still wanted to buy everything I saw. Coconut sugar? What's that? I don't know, but it sounds pretentiously healthy, so I want to try it!

When I go to new classes, people are surprised at what I am capable of. I am not extrapolating this from one of my fanciful ego trips. I know this because they actually tell me. I have even finally been dubbed as an "upper level girl" at my pole studio.

I don't struggle with tricks and spins like I used to, and I don't struggle to pick the simpler ones up, either. I'm not the "battler" anymore. People in class ask me for advice sometimes, as if I actually had wisdom to impart or something. Weird.

I have real running clothes now. And running water bottles. And look totally super legit when I go running. Seeing myself in the mirror is surreal.

My life long fear of heights all but disappears when I am 15 feet in the air, suspended only by my own strength, and spinning faster than I can make myself go on any ordinary office chair. You think it would only get worse, but I kind of feel a thrill from it. (The dizziness/nausea is another story unfortunately)

I actually genuinely enjoy doing yoga. Not with the frilly soft voices of skinny middle aged women taking me on a journey through a beautiful imaginary meadow, but stretching on my own at home, at my own pace with a little indie rock going in the background. I see and feel it's purpose and it is good.

I wake up before 8 AM most days to have more time for longer workouts. And it doesn't bother me a bit.

I can finally see a marathon as a conceivable accomplishment for myself, considering I've already run half of one for "fun."

I found my heaven the other day in putting ice packs on my knees and eating peanut butter toast after a long run. It was legitimately one of the most beautiful moments of my life until I realized how lame I had become.

90% of my Facebook posts have become about exercise. I am boring the crap out of my friends, I am sure, but I don't care.

And about a week ago, I considered voluntarily getting frozen yogurt over ice cream...The ultimate sin...

Fortunately that time I came to my senses and got real ice cream. Totally worth it too. I have fallen into the annual autumn marketing trap of pumpkin flavored treats and Coldstone had this new pumpkin flavor that was was a close one though. Who knows what could happen in the future. Frozen yogurt is the devil trying to ruin the good name of ice cream. (Fat is not necessarily a bad thing, people!) Don't let it corrupt you, kids.

But let's think about it. Who could think that I, Meri Moose Gooey Boogers, would ever become this kind of person? I have been one of the least in shape and least athletic people I have ever met in my entire life. It is a part of my identity to fail at physical exertion. What do you think Red Face Syndrome is all about? It is God's physical stamp to mark you as one of the chosen few to legitimately suck at exercise for all time! Sports in school never made me give a damn and while I never wanted to be as limp as the noodles I so worshipped, I never really cared enough to change that about myself. That just wasn't who I was. And yet here I am. Being called an athlete fitness girl. Not just by myself either, but by others.

I'll even admit that I harbor secret dreams of running away to join the circus. Literally. I would love to be a brilliantly dazzling cirque dancer and become the best damn pole dancer in the world. I don't even say that as a joke. I think with enough hard work, I could do those things. I watch pole videos and get excited. Not in the way that guys do when they watch pole videos, but in the way when an artist sees a painting they like. All I want to do is go try out half the things I just watched and practice and train until I can do them as gracefully. And I am ready to do whatever it takes to get to that point, even if it means handing in doughnuts and pasta for kale and peanut butter. Which I've already kind of done, so you know, it isn't that hard for me to do. But there are plenty of other totally hardcore and badass commitments I'd have to make! Like being obligated to flex or check my butt out in the mirror every time I walk by! Or buying all of the fancy, expensive fitness accessories whose function appears to be too vague for me to figure out! Yea! So hardcore!!

I realized on one of my 3 mile "easy" runs the other day that I haven't felt like this ever. I have never been so functional on a mental level. I have never so easily gotten out of bed every morning, and I have never so easily fallen asleep at night. I still have my problems (art school stress is no joke), but that stupid little stone weight that I have always felt myself lugging around inside has almost completely disappeared. Or maybe I've just gotten stronger and carrying it has become easier. Whatever. It's just a metaphor. The point is, the sadness that has also been a part of my identity has disappeared as well. Even though I always feared I wouldn't know who I would be without it, I have not had to worry because I have taken on a new role as super obnoxious fitness lady (also super badass, too, of course).  The only thing I am worried about is letting that slip away. Because if I am not here to brag about my fitness achievements and be the super-obnoxious-but-also-badass fitness lady, who will be?? Admit it, you people need me. And I need you! So that you may respond to me and tell me that I inspire you and I can feel validated. It's the circle of awesome-ness.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I am pretty sure the bodysnatchers got me or something, because I am feeling like a completely different person, inside and out. It is weird and terrifying but ultimately kind of cool because I like to think that I am truly a part of some alien hoard trying to take over the United States with our all-natural health brands and sappy fitness blogs. The masses will bow to our superior physique and bring us offerings of running gels and dry hands! It shall be glorious I say, glorious!! Bwahahahaha!

...Perhaps I've revealed too much. Just disregard everything I've just said. Unless you want to join us on the pretentiously-healthy side. And you know you do. (We meet under DIA. Shhh, don't tell anyone, we have them fooled into thinking we are actually political-terrorist lizard people when really we are just a bunch of fitness freaks. Why do you think Boulder, Colorado is the way it is??)

Nothing ominous about that.

P.S. I didn't do any illustrations because I was too busy dancing. Oh yea and homework. I'm doing that that too. Right. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

This Loneliness is Killing Me-- Oh Wait. No It's Not.

Pure truth.

Ah singularity. Isn't it fun?

It seems that lately it has become the season of breakups. Maybe the planets are out of alignment. Like  maybe Saturn or something. Or Uranus. And by out of alignment, I mean people have their heads up it. Heh.

But stupid jokes aside, I have recently seen serious couple after serious couple flip the kill-switch on some pretty long term relationships. They have my sympathy, for I am sure that it has got to be rough. At least, I think so. Being the jerky unemotional badass that I am, I would have no idea how it feels to have a sucky break up. The only thing I ever felt after all two breakups I have gone through is guilt for not feeling worse about it. I guess you could say I am not exactly the expert in knowing what breakups feel like. But TV says it sucks, and we all know TV is the ultimate authority on reality, so let us just decide that it sucks.

As self declared official wisdom provider of the internet, I feel it is my duty to be there for all those newly single people out there--and all the old ones too, of course. I shall be your support, your shoulder to cry on, your helping hand...whether you want me to or not. Because I can stand here, in this metaphorical room of the internet, and with a metaphorical straight face tell you that being single is awesome and I truly do enjoy a lot of things about it. If you can't picture it, here is my rendition of me telling you that I like being single:

I want to go into why I like it and why it is good, but first it is confession time. In all honesty, I have had some trouble writing this entry. I have been working on it here and there for over a month now, desperate to try and get it done so I can spread the message before it is too late and people get into more relationships that they don't actually need to be in. Oh, the horror!! Unfortunately, as I said, I have found it difficult. I was worried that it was because I didn't believe my own words; two years of singularity was taking it's toll of desperation and I was lying to myself in saying that I still enjoyed it. However recent events slash possible opportunities that have been spotted on the horizon have only helped further reveal my terror at actually being in a relationship. After some deep pondering about what it would actually be like to be "with" someone, I have realized that I am not just shy or scared of rejection, but I really just don't like or know how to deal with other people on an emotional level. It is probably because I am such a selfish jerk, but that is another story for a different time. So the problem in writing this blog has not been that I couldn't believe my own words. I have no trouble in feeling comfort in being single. So what was it?

I tried writing this fun little list of reasons why it was awesome to be single, see? I came up with lots of reasons why I like it, why it is awesome, why you should like it too, etc. The list included things like not having to text someone pointless messages all the time, not having to tell anyone what your plans were, having the freedom to look and think about other people (including imaginary ones), not having to share your food or your bed, not being obligated to deal with someone else's life problems and emotional issues, having tons of free time to pursue hobbies, not needing to shave, the constant thrill of potentially meeting someone new, dealing with one less what-the-hell-do I-get-for-your-birthday gift every year, not having to hold in your farts in bed, and so on.

However, as I was writing I realized that most people probably like all of this stuff. There are likely many people who love to constantly tell other people about the mundane details of their life, or who like to spend all their time taking care of other people, or people who like to shave their legs all the time! People would simply not be able to relate to my list. Even I couldn't fully relate to it! I love shaving my legs. I will shave my legs warm or cold weather, shorts or pants, getting laid or not laid, because I cannot for the life of me stand that prickly cactus feeling down on my pale, flabby calves. I was the girl at summer camp who would take out a razor, a water bottle, and a washcloth and sit in the tent doorway during nap time and attempt to shave because it was a week since we last got to shower and the agony of my monster legs was too much to bear. So, as you can see, my list had problems. Hell, there are even probably women who like to hold in their farts in bed, who see each and every strange, discomforting pressure in their bowel as a new joyful challenge to try and suppress, as an act of love and loyalty to their significant other. Not that guys ever do the same for us, but you can only ask for so much.

So what could I do? My list was no good, but I still wanted to get the word out, to tell people it's ok to be single! Nay--it's great! Because I am definitely important and they will definitely listen to me. Or maybe not. Maybe I am just a weirdo who holds the unpopular opinion and it doesn't matter what I will say, because TV--who as stated before is the true ultimate authority on reality--tells us that we should always, always end up with our love interest in the end and that no matter how important or badass our mission and goals in life are, there must always be a romance on the side to help fulfill us and make our lives complete. Because without it, our ratings will suck.

Maybe it was all the conditioning for loneliness I received in high school-- eating lunch alone in the hallways, spending my weekends alone teaching myself new skills like how to sew or snowboard, going to almost every school dance without a date-- that taught me to like singularity. Or maybe it is more innate than that. After all, I did spend most of my time as a child running around the playground on my own refusing to talk to other kids who wanted to play and instead neighing or whinnying in their face and then "galloping" away, or sometimes "fly-galloping" away, if it was a pegasus kind of day (mondays). Perhaps I just could not convince people that it is a good thing to be alone. If they don't already have that innate desire and comfort of being alone, they won't ever have it.

But no, I didn't want to give up that easily. I truly believe that anyone can find joy without needing someone else to give it to them, that you can find joy in yourself! And I don't just mean the kind you find in yourself with a fancy toy from the shady adult store downtown, either. Sure, there are a lot of little perks to not having to deal with someone else laying heavily into your life. Maybe some things you will miss, maybe some things you are glad to be free of. But at the end of the day, it is about the bigger picture. Whenever I see people jump from one relationship to the next without taking some time off, I feel sad. I cannot understand why the population is so terrified of being single. It is like giving a baby a cane to get them to learn to walk and then they grow to be reliant on that cane and never learn how to balance properly and walk on their own. As soon as they outgrow one cane they have to get a new one and suddenly you have all these weird senior citizen-babies hobbling around. Soon they'll be calling everyone whippersnappers and complaining about their bad hips and buying nothing but cigarettes and cottage cheese and it will be so weird and all that tilted food consumption will probably take a huge toll on the economy insofar as the food industry is concerned and next thing you know it is a major campaign issue for the 2016 election. Hey, you never know.

This could very well be reality in 2016 unless we all spend some time with a relationship status that says "single." Beware. 

...What was I talking about again?

Ah right, standing on our own. What I mean to say is that is important that we learn how to grow on our own. You can grow in a relationship too, but that is a different pony all together and it does not quite give you the same results. Sometimes we need those special results that come from standing on our own. Learning how to deal with life independently is crucial to becoming a functional human being (whatever that is). There are just some things you are going to need to be capable of dealing with by yourself, from fixing toilets to deciding what your next career move is to finally realizing how stupid romantic comedies are. Plus, I never liked the idea that we are incomplete until we find our "other half." I call bullshit on that idea. Who the hell has the right to call me half a person, give me half the value I deserve? Who the hell thought it was healthy for us to start thinking of ourselves that way? It is really kind of fucked up, if you ask me. There is a lot of awesomeness within ourselves, and we need the chance to spend some quality time and get to know it better. If you cannot enjoy your own company, how can you expect others to?

We get this idea that being in a relationship will fix all our problems (ahem, probably from TV), when really, getting in a relationship is just a the first hurdle, which like any track and field relay, will be followed by many more. So why even bother with the first one? Just stick on the other side of the hurdle and you don't have to deal with all that shit and can enjoy life. In theory, if you wait long enough, someone will eventually come along that makes all that hurdle jumping business actually appear to be worth it. I have my doubts about that theory, however. Apparently you have to wait a really long time. I just don't have the patience for that. I'd rather wander out of the track and field stadium and find something better to do. Like pole dancing! Because track and field is fucking boring. Or maybe I am gonna go out of that stadium and let out a nice big fat fart, just because I can. And there will be no man I have to worry about impressing, no one I have to hold it in for in an unspoken devotion of love. I can be free in the best kind of way (the farting way of course!) and if any man choses to join me in my pole and fart filled path, then good for him. He is obviously making an awesome choice. But I am not going to worry about it in the meantime.

Me and my future soulmate, relishing in our fart heats...our fearts. This is the true image of love.

I can only hope these words may inspire at least a few lonely hearts out there. It's hard to put it into writing, this importance of learning to be on your own, and sometimes you just don't get something until you live it. It's painful to be alone sometimes, I of all people would know, but pushing past that and seeing the silver lining is an invaluable gift that I believe our society does not appreciate nearly enough. Being single is certainly not a permanent state of existence (unless you happen to be me, apparently) so there is no need to fret if it happens to you. Just sit back and enjoy it! I promise it will make your life so much easier. Besides, it is not like you can't have friends and family to support you in the ways that you cannot manage on your own, if you want them to. So I want you all to look deep down inside yourself and find your selfish, egotistical center that just wants you to do whatever you want to do for yourself, and connect with that. Trust me, you will become a much better person.

I have high hopes you will take my wisdom to heart, but then again, maybe all the fart jokes were too off-putting for you to take me seriously. I am sorry for my crudest blog yet. Next time I'll try to be more classy. Until then, go have some happy poots.

(Poots are fart-poop hybrids. It can be either or, really) 


Oh, one last thing. If you are part of that sliver of the population that happens to be like me, that is, you are someone who is so stuck in your single ways that the idea of being in a relationship completely baffles and/or terrifies you, well, first of all, good for you for already knowing all this. You can just disregard the entire above blog post. And second of all, I hate to inform you, but we have some serious problems we need to work through. Bleh. Problems. Gross.