Monday, July 25, 2011

First things first...

Growing up, I knew that long hair meant beauty. I don't know if I should blame it on the Barbies or the Disney princesses, but for as long as I can remember long curly hair made me feel glamorous, and all put together.

When I was little I begged for bangs and curly hair. My stringy straight locks were a handful and spent most of their time in a ponytail, and the cowlick in the middle of my widow's peak on my forehead laughed at any attempt to tame it. No amount of curl would ever stay and even if i slept all night with my hair wrapped in curlers it was straighter than a board the next day.

So I begged and begged, and my mom gave in to the curls. And I ended up with a Jew fro. There are all of two pictures from the stage in my life, and they were taken by my neighbor. Okay Okay you say, think about the situation, my mom was at home with three little ones under the age of five, there was no time for pictures, but it's easier to blame it on the hair.

So after the misadventure I moved on... the perm grew out and my hair went back to straight. I had a bowl cut for awhile and cried and cried after, and then I was over the hair. It stayed in the ponytail. I cut it off in the winters, only to immediately regret it, and life went on. Even though every time I went in to get it cut I thought about the bangs.

Fast forward 15 years to a summer spent far far away with amazing water. At least that is what I'm going to blame it on. I came back with curly hair, ringlets even, if it is humid enough (the one blessing to this god forsaken heat)

So the Barbies and Disney Princesses have been passed over and my dream for luscious curly locks has been achieved. And yet I still have a ways to go. Tonight, after a three mile run I decided I needed a haircut. So I borrowed a pair of scissors from my roommate and trimmed the ends a little, the whole time thinking about how easy it would be to cut the front short into the bangs I've always wanted. I was feeling brave, my hair was looking good, and even the back was cut in a straight line. I combed out the bangs, fought the cowlick, brought the scissors up to my eye line, and thought about the Jew Fro. Bangs just couldn't happen. Not by me anyway and especially if there was any possibility of the outcome looking anything like the last attempt at my dream hair.

And with that the scissors were put away and instead of bangs, I walked away with hair even curlier, with a borderline Farah Faucet cut. Not bad for a first timer...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

who are you?

I've knocked off three weeks of kickboxing. I'm generally feeling pretty good about life. I fit in a dress that made my back look like I had cleavage and I'm selling sweet tickets to the gun show.

The classes go in the same manner. We warm up, we sweat, we squat, than we punch and kick, then we squat some more. We punch bags, balls even an occasional person, and then it is time to go home.

It's just, for the last six classes, I've been called the wrong name. The first night I walked in with a Courtney who has since dropped the class, but her name has stuck.

Three people attend the class. It's pretty intimate and hard not to have your named called. So the classes go on and the instructor says something like, "Courtney, kick higher." And I stay oblivious until about 30 seconds later I comprehend in my oxygen deprived brain that she was talking to me, and I pant something like "That's a long way for these legs to go." And the class moves on...

But then I started losing sleep, and I couldn't blame it on the sore muscles. I was playing out the scenarios about how I was going to approach the issue at hand. It was past the appropriate fixing stage...

So I got my courage up. I spent the whole day pumping myself up, getting myself ready for "The Conversation" I make it to class and there are 10 people in the class. 10 people. No way was I going to get this one out. So I left dejected and even more sore. It hurt, and I still wasn't sleeping.

Finally last night, I made it 15 minutes early to try and catch the instructor. I awkwardly approached her and tried to bring up the subject. Her entire frame would fit into mine, twice. She has maybe 5 feet on her. I can't squat lower than how tall she is, and yet it's still intimidating and the subject keeps getting skirted. I hear people talking out the door and I blurt out way too loudly, 'you've got my name wrong.'  We do the obligatory back and forth, i'm sorrys and the it's no big deals and talk about always getting names wrong.

Class starts, we kick and squat and squat and squat and squat. As we wrap up, gather our things and walk out the door, the instructor yells after me...

'Shelby, see you Thursday...'

And so, the show starts again....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I can kick, I can punch, I can kick...

I’m gonna wear you down, I’m gonna make you see, I’m gonna get to you, You’re gonna give into me...I’m gonna start a fire, You’re gonna feel the heat, I’m gonna burn for you, You’re gonna melt for me...
The sign up sheet said the class was on the third floor of the Health Pavilion. The third floor was deserted. No lights, no class, nothing. As I meandered around the corner i ran into a man pushing a huge laundry bin. He directed me to the fitness center. It was on the second floor, under the escalators in the opposite end of the Hospital. I walked around corners, past people nervously waiting, through a couple of swinging doors and finally made it to the center. The door was locked and the people inside were all furiously pushing themselves on treadmills and ellipticals, unaware of my dilemma, lost in their own fitness playlist. 

I slipped in behind a nurse and found the front desk. By now I was fifteen minutes late and had already been worried all day. See, I signed up for a kickboxing class. It is in the Hospital and I was imagining little old grandma's with their walkers kicking and punching for an hour. I was worried. 

I hate any type of class in a fitness center because of the mirrors.  These legs often make others jealous, and even take a few breaths away, and definitely get a few extra looks, but they add up to an ungraceful gangly mess. Especially when you are doing dance moves, or yoga, or kickboxing. Mirrors in these situations are my enemy. I not only have to concentrate on the steps, but I get the joy of watching my gangly mixed up self do it. Not attractive. Especially when you add in the extra active capillaries on my face that make it redder than a tomato the minute I start any type of physical exercise. 
After sneaking in and getting the directions to the right class I am off on another goose chase, hoping this time I'll end up in the right place. As I get off the final elevator and jog around the cafeteria I hear the music blaring. It's pumping, the instructor is yelling kick, punch, side kick, squat. I muster up all my gumption, wish I would have brought my walker (just in case) and swing around the corner to see a room full of average age, very mobile people sweating and kicking in time to the beat. 
I dropped my things, merged into the line, and smiled at myself because when i looked up all I saw looking back at me was a blue carpeted wall and a very energetic instructor. 
...I’ll use my eyes to draw you in, Until I’m under your skin, I’ll use my lips, I’ll use my arms, Come on, come on, come on, Give into me....