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Crack pipe for the fitness obsessed

F you Nike Fuel.

My husband was a bit of an obsessive compulsive before.  Raised in a military household, you could almost hear Revelry playing in his head as he rose at dawn.  He literally jumps out of bed into his clothes every morning, and before the water has heated for coffee, plans for the day are strategized and mapped.

This is not me. I’m a stare into space well into lunch kind of girl. I like a morning where speaking consists of “Sorry, didn’t know you were in there,” and “Just a little milk, please.” That’s it. Let’s keep all of our thoughts, ideas, wishes and agendas until after lunch. If God wanted to know what you were thinking before noon, he would have thrown mass later into the day.

The Nike FuelBand, for those of you Luddites, couch potatoes, or people like myself who have no idea that technology and physical fitness could get any more obsessive, is a tracking service that monitors your calorie intake, physical exertion and fitness progress.  The system does this by tracking your every move via a bracelet that is worn and collects and compiles data on the Nike fitness site.  The bracelet shows you through a series of red to green lights how much more you need to work out that day (you wake up each day on red, as if that isn’t instantly stressful), tracks your steps with a pedometer, reminds you of how many calories you are allowed, and thoughtfully also gives you the time – aka tracking the minutes until your demise.  On the Nike website, you are able to monitor your progress, compare yourself to other fitness minded people, and get resources to increase your progress towards The Ultimate You.

My husband purchased this additive of insanity just 2 days ago.  It is Sunday morning, daylight savings morning, which means we get an extra hour to sleep in.  But Nike Fuel says otherwise.  This morning he was up at 8am vacuuming the house and throwing away the children’s toys… all the while watching to see how many steps Fuel calculated.  Breakfast consisted of hot water with lemon and coffee, while he rearranged the living room and announced to our children that “Sunday is a work day if I’m going to get all of my steps in for the day.”  By 9:00 (8:00 DST), he had almost finished closing the pool – IN HIS UNDERWEAR – certain that he would burn more calories if he was working outside in 40 degree weather and had to maintain his body temperature.  By 10am, myself and the children were loaded up in the car, heading out to test whether or not bouncing on the trampoline at my parent’s house would significantly increase his “progress towards green.”

I’m excited that he is interested in getting healthy. I want him alive and kicking to watch our girls grow up and get married. I can’t imagine spending any time on this marble without him by my side. And, if I’m going to be completely honest here, I’m tired of cooking fantastic meals from scratch that are low in gluten, fat, and sugar, only to find balled up cheeseburger wrappers in the door of our car. I suppose that I should be jumping for joy that he’ll finally be joining me as I juice greens for breakfast and walk from the far side of the parking lot at the grocery store. But I’m less than thrilled. And here’s why…

Because a nagging fancy bracelet is more effective than his nagging not-so-fancy wife.

F you Nike Fuel. You win this one… for now.


My parents, my teachers, my friends, my siblings, my fantasy boyfriends, my less than fantasy bosses, my coworkers, my roommates, my therapist, the guy behind me at the grocery store checkout, my priest, my former priest, the government, the workout magazines, my husband, my children, the pets of my children, the parent teacher council, that crappy lady that I just pulled out in front of and now is riding my ass, the dentist, my deceased grandparents…

I walk around trying to please the world around me, often times ignoring the sacrifices of myself that I make, the little bits of me that I hand out to all those around without regard for what it is that I lose when I do that, and hoping to only gain through their eyes.

When I think about just sitting down to do something for me, to stop considering how I can affect and impact everyone around me, I draw a blank.  When I see someone who can easily tune out the world in order to give completely to themselves, rather than become inspired, I get bitter.  I know that I am the only one that can care for myself, and yet I continue to ignore my own needs because I fear that I would be considered selfish otherwise.  And in the wake of the constant bleeding of my spirit, lies the remains of the people impacted by my bitterness, my exhaustion and my inconsiderate behavior.

This blog is for me.  Not to read, because after publishing each entry, I’m finding it oddly difficult to return to re-read, but to just write and write whatever it is that I have to say, with simply no regard for whomever may read it.  I want the freedom to just put down what comes into my head without editing it to sound smart, well informed or even pithy.  Hey, if I’m a total moron, let it all hang out!!  Whatever bodies are buried, whatever secrets are locked away in closets… now is the time to come forth and expose yourselves to the fresh air and light of day that makes everything seem less sinister, less troubled, perhaps even boring.  I’m here to write it all down for me, and if I so choose, perhaps read as well.

If you have stumbled upon this blog, by some unknown mystical force in the universe – or simply a glitch of Google and WordPress – congratulations.  You are reading this not because I care or because I want you to, and therefore you might actually read something real.

Lost soles, lost time, lost words, lost faces.  Things feel lost, gone, out of reach.  As a budding HinduBuddiPagChriJew, I’m keenly aware that all things move in cycles and attachment to anything but a healthy dose of change leads to suffering.  But can’t seem to reconcile that which I KNOW and that which I FEEL.

I want to say that I’ve lost my way.  That would imply that I had a WAY to begin with… which I don’t believe I ever did.  Recently I’ve been trying on new and old identities like shoes, hoping that one will feel perfect against my psyche and I can wear it into infinitum, lulled by the false sense of knowing who I am.  But there, back against the darker wall inside my head, is this quiet, slightly sarcastic, righteous and yet hopeful voice, coming from a half smiling mouth and a questioning stare, out of large dark eyes and bangs that are too long, and it says, “Nope.”

While listening to stand-up comedy the other day, something I gave up years ago because it just pushed all of my “Really? This guy made it?” buttons in all the wrong ways, I somehow sipped the tea of inspiration and before I knew it, I had opened a spigot in my head that I had a hard time turning off.  Bits were writing themselves as I walked around the grocery store, drove around town, accidentally woke up at 4am.  “This is it!” I thought, “THIS is what I’m supposed to be doing with myself!  I’m going back to stand-up!”

But, then I thought back to the minutes before I went onstage, the forced conversations with other comedians so wound up with neurosis that neither of us was truly listening to what the other was saying.  I remembered the whispers of festivals and scout sightings that made my stomach writhe, badgering my friends and family to pay cover charges so that I could make my way onstage, and more often, standing on that stage so that I could undo all the good I’ve done by pretending that being judgmental and ripping apart others – strangers, friends, families – was ok just so that I could advance in this warped and revered world.

“Nope.”  This is not me.  At least, this is not the me I want to be.

I’ll have to find another way to be funny, to be accepted, but to be honest and mindful and kind.

I’ll have to keep looking.

Thought I was going to name this blog that – Life In The Margin.  Already taken.  Not surprising that I’m late to the game on that one.

Relieved of duty after 9 years of 24/7 care of two fellow human beings that I brought into the world, and now feel like a college grad whose been spit out and standing dumbstruck in an adult world.  In addition, I’ve also slid into a sea of limbo as the two businesses that I brought to life have moved out of my hands.  Where do I stand now?  In the margin.

Why the margin?  Take a look at any scholar’s notebook.  Where does their true spirit, their essence lie?  In the meticulous (or not so, if you are me) notes copied that were spewed out by some self proclaimed authority, dictated to lead one through a life of order, sanity and success?  Or is is in the doodles, the endless loops and circles, scratches and smiley faces, insignias and inspirations that lie in that 1 1/2″ space surrounding the page?

That’s where I stand, tossed out of the comfort of a carefully carved pathway, mapped idealistic views of purpose and identity, into a floating body of what ifs.  What if I just baked bread all of the time?  What if I became a Buddhist nun?  What if I had to detox from a food channel addiction? What if I just didn’t get out of bed today?  What if I just let The Universe decide who I am?  What if I just cry?

I don’t know what is next.  I just know what I feel and I’m going with that.  I want to write.  I want to bake bread from scratch with my hands.  I want to listen to music that inspires me and secretly write my own songs.  I want to meditate, for hours, and tour the inner worlds.  I want to paint. I want to move away and never look back.  I want to cry.

So this will be my detailed account of my margin life…. which in no way will be marginal, but starts from the doodles and the mindless connection to some other inspiration that is clearly bigger than us all.

Feels good to be out here.  Little chilly, and definitely exposed… kind of like peeling off a wet suit after several years, but only down to my knees.  I’m ready for what is coming next.  I’ll tell you this much… I had no idea it would start with a cold.