The other day as I was thinking, I thunked, "I should record something about the various women who've impacted my life." There's lots of men, too, but particularly women who have affected me and changed the course of my life. Mostly I am grateful for them. Generally, I'm pretty sure that my "experiences" with them have barely blipped on their radar. In an effort, though, to record more of my thunking, I think I'll try and use Wednesdays to reflect on some of those women. There will be no particular order to my thoughts (I know, not a big shocker there), so please nobody take offense if I don't get a chance to acknowledge your contribution in my life until the year 2056. (And yes, to Tyler's chagrin, I hope to be blogging when I'm that old.)
Tonight I'd like to thank the blond woman who dropped her kids off at the precise moment I dropped my kids off about two and a half years ago at LVAC's gym. I don't know her name. I only talked to her that one morning and perhaps one other time in a brief passing in the locker room, but somehow I felt we were kindred spirits. I was in a particular funk about my body and my overwhelming ONLY-A-MOM life with four small kids, saggy boobs, and a big butt as my main accomplishments. Since we had been religiously been paying on my gym membership, but had only used my membership about ten times in two years, I thought I'd work up the gumption to try it again. BUT, of course, getting my three kids TO the gym was a huge feat; having it go flawlessly was another story. Brock, at the time a baby, was not so into the random strangers who took him from his mother's flabby arms and he was scream/crying as I walked out of the daycare door to walk to the members' entrance.
I must have sighed or something. Maybe I was crying, or fighting back the tears, at least. I probably had peanut butter wiped across my forehead or a cheerio smashed on my backside. Somehow I projected a neediness to this blond, fit, shorter-than-me (but, really, who isn't) mom. She had a gym bag over her shoulder and I remember the compassion that lathered over me when she asked, "Is this his first time to the daycare here?" Kinda caught off guard I just volunteered our entire gym history (which, remember, it was pretty short). I think I finished with something like, "It's just so hard and I need it to be easy," and she said these life-changing words, "Okay, what you do is the next time you're at Wal-Mart get yourself a lock. Then pack a gym back with everything you'd need to shower and get cleaned up. You can book that daycare for two hours, so spend your first hour working out and then go get showered and cleaned up for the day. At least this way you know they're not opening up everything in your pantry while you're trying to get cleaned up."
For some reason her advice resonated with me and my experiences at the gym became vastly better. Sure, Brock still cried and sometimes I forgot to make the appointment or something annoying like a poopy diaper pulled me away from my workout. BUT more often then not I could go workout and get changed and ready for my day. It wasn't that what she said was profound, but her calm, together attitude really influenced me to see that it was possible to take care of my kids AND to take care of myself.
So, thanks, lady. I don't know who you are and I could be blow drying my hair right next to you and I probably wouldn't even know, but I'm grateful for you speaking to a completely frazzled stranger. And yes, more often then not I will pack my gym back and get it all done before I have to go be ONLY-A-MOM (still with saggy boobs, but with less of a butt . . . thanks to HER!)