Monday, November 30, 2009

Home for a first "post BTWG" holiday

Driving to New Jersey for a week at my mom's house is always a mixed bag. I enjoy some of the time on the road, as it forces me to be still and allows me to catch up on book club reading. (Read Pat Conroy's newest, "South of Broad," and it was wonderful) This road trip threw us a little curve this time when our water pump busted in mid-pennsylvania. We spent nearly 6 hours at a Sears Auto outside Williamsport getting it fixed. Two kids, one dog, and one crowded mall - not my choice of Sunday outings but better than being stranded elsewhere on Route 80.
Once there, I get into "Jersey" mode: Big family, lots of energy (teasing), lots of fun for the kids with their cousins, lots of food and booze. I went prepared - running shoes, weights, Project workouts and food journal. I used everything but the food journal (started again today) and overall I did OK. I ate everything on Thanksgiving (in surprisingly decent portions) and everything all over again on leftover Friday. Happily, my biggest fears proved false: I didn't swell to the size of Kelly pre-BTWG in two days, and I didn't eat to the point of moaning and flopping on the couch in a semi-comatose state!
And I worked out. There's a 4-mile run near my childhood home that I always thought of as "the run those runners can do, but not me." It's 2 miles up, up, and up again (to my brother's high school) and two sloping miles down. I did the run, in the dim of 4 p.m. and a light, chilly rain. My glasses were so fogged and splattered on the way back that I could barely see the sidewalk, much less the bumps and cracks. I followed Matt's feet and we made it back over the railroad tracks before the next commuter train rolled in. I was glowing with accomplishment when we got back to mom's, only to have her retort in her thick Joisey accent "it really isn't 4 miles, it's less than that, you know ... " (okay Matt GPSed it, and it was 4, but you really don't argue with my mom these days...)
And I enjoyed a lot of folks telling me that I look great and asking about my diet and exercise habits. It felt fantastic to socialize with my glass of red wine in my 2-size smaller jeans - until I broke the wine glass. It slipped, I caught it, and it slipped again, crashing to the white tile and scattering shards of glass and merlot-stained splatters. (No, it was my first glass - honest - a half glass even) As I wiped up the mess, I heard my mom saying that it wouldn't be a party if Kelly didn't break a glass. Amid the laughter, she followed that up with a family fave about how Kelly would always bound down the stairs as a child and then hit her head on the overhang above the stairway. (I did.) Now, this isn't a 'my mom is horrible' blog: Teasing comes natural to the Rotas, mom is no exception.
But in that moment, I was taken back to the clutzy, chubby girl who could never that 4-mile run. I'm almost embarassed to admit how much it upset me. There was just something in the moment that wiped out my confidence, along with every crunch and counted calorie. I felt like a fake - okay, Kelly, just go upstairs and put some baggy sweats on and fill your plate again and maybe spill some on yourself for grins. You are not fit: that is all fantasy.
It took some time to work this through (the long car ride back to Indy) and a lot of willpower not to give in to the old voice in my head that wanted to eat my way out. This is the demon I wrestle - will I ever believe that I am this woman who can lift heavy shit and run PRs? I want to, and most days I do ... It's just a week home again in NJ really put it all to the test.
When we got back to our home, Matt and I unpacked, unwound, and registered for the mini-marathon. Tonight, I started Crossfit training again with Chris and loving every stinking minute! This is me, and I am grateful. Perhaps I can learn to be a fit clutz?


  1. Hey Lady,

    It sounds like you processed the "memory" ok. Holidays and families can be such "loaded" events. So psyched you decided to run the mini. I am signed up as is Ginger and several others. We will have a real BTWG contingency this year. It will be so much fun. Can't wait to catch up with you. Alison

  2. Kelly,

    It's hard for me to see you as anything other than what you are since I met you: a spirited, intelligent, friendly, open-minded friend, WHO in the last few months has worked her tail off and become a hard-body babe.

    As for this clutzy, chubby girl of years past who you mentioned, I don't know her (but I have no doubt that she was as special as you are today).