Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
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  • Sport Skort
    I’ve decided this summer I’m going to learn how to like running. And to motiviate me I picked up a new running “skort” at where else, Target. Skorts have moved beyond the tennis court ladies!

Sweat the Small Stuff

December 31st, 2007

Over the past couple of days I haven’t been able to pick up a paper or channel surf without being reminded of the highlights from the year we’re about to leave behind – political headlines, box office hits and misses, fashion fads and disasters, and of course the antics of the tabloid trifecta that is Britney, Lindsay and Paris. But it got me thinking. What have I accomplished over the past year that is noteworthy?

Well, my husband and kids are happy and healthy and they all still seem to think I’m pretty fabulous, even if they’re legally and genetically required to do so. When several inches of water flooded into our garage last spring I soaked up every last drop with a wet vac all by myself. That was pretty cool. And I helped a friend shop for a new dress and shoes for a wedding, and I must say, she looked divine.

And for the first time since the late 80’s, I actually sprinted.

By that I mean I ran really, really, fast…voluntarily.

It started a couple of months ago in a fitness class at my gym. The instructor, “Sweaty Betty,” as she jokingly calls herself, is a friend of mine. She’s got rock hard abs and long blonde hair that swings in a ponytail as she runs around the room, kicking our butts for a full hour every Tuesday morning. It’s like re-living those fitness tests in P.E., only I’m there of my own free will and I won’t get detention if I skip it. If my middle school gym teacher could see me now, surely she’d choke on her whistle.

The first time Sweaty Betty made us sprint in class I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked absolutely ridiculous; my less-than-long legs flapping to the side as sweat was flying off me. I felt about as graceful as an elephant. My face was beet red. But sweat was flying off me! And I was running! Sprinting like the wind even! Well, metaphorically speaking anyway, half-price cross-trainers can only work so much magic.

“Dig it out!” Betty yells over the music as she makes us jump rope like suburban prizefighters, “Gimme more!”

We do push-ups and boot camp circuits and when we start to lose steam she’s in our face like a drill sergeant (only much prettier).

“C’mon! Use it up! This is what you came for!” I find myself welcoming her shouts of fitness tough love.

When we really start to feel the burn of the 47th bicep curl she bellows,

“You should be uncomfortable!!! C’mon, PUSH IT!”

And as we’re about to hurl our breakfast on the floor and our heart rate is in our throat…

“If you‘ve got anything left, I want it!!!”

When we leave the aerobics room, the floor is spotted with big drops of sweat. Sweat from girls and mommas who, for that hour each week, leave their inhibitions at the door and push it to the limit. It feels pretty fantastic. Being a student of Sweaty Betty has taught me a thing or two about pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. That, and I could totally take Lohan in a street brawl.

So when the ball drops in Times Square and the book of 2008 is turned to the first page, I plan to toast Betty and thank her not only for my body parts that are a bit less jiggly but for perhaps a new way to look at life:

When life digs you a hole or when you get in a rut…Dig it out!

When life presents you with an opportunity…Use it up! Gimme more!

When you need the courage to try something new…C’mon, Push it! You SHOULD be uncomfortable!

And if you’re waiting for the right time or the right place or that perfect moment to make a change; if you’ve been putting something off, maybe the time is right now…If you’ve got anything left, I want it!

And when another year goes by and you look back, make sure there’s sweat on the floor…

Because isn’t that what you came for?

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