Shallow Thoughts Could Derail Something Good

I’m a tiny bit worried about this week.

I met a Peloton guy on line. We were flirting in a shared Peloton group and it moved to text, then to phone. Holy cow do I like this guy. Uh oh. I know my triggers.

Jerry hit every single button, twice over. I probably can’t even list all the things I like about him without meeting him. We’ve spoken for hours on the phone and by text – which I already know isn’t good before meeting and I can’t help myself.

He’s all he good things I’m looking for. Let’s start with his voice. It hits me the way my x-husbands used to back when I married him, or Tony’s or Bobby’s….I have always had a thing for the right voice. He’s got a slight accent which I adore. He’s very tall. He has two older children. He’s single. He has a great job. He motivated to have a relationship and is ready emotionally. He is fitness minded. He has a good foundation and support system of family and friends. His communication is like mine.

We behaved like teenagers. We began speaking on Saturday evening and we spoke on the phone for 8 hours. Even I have never done that before (could also be because I fall in love with married men??!!) We didn’t get off the phone until 7am, right through the time change! I lost a whole night, slept for 3 hours before I got started that Sunday, and I still felt like I was walking on a cloud thinking of him.

We are very aligned on so many important things, including understanding each others love languages. I could write a long list but the bottom line is he is exactly everything I’ve been looking for. Believe me, there is a red flag and a big one, but I’m not going to write about it now because its the kind of red flag I’m just going to have to see for myself with time.

It feels so right.

Except.

Except I’m unsure I will be attracted to him and thats disappointing to me. The physical pull is so important for me when I meet someone – its the one thing I have not been able to surpass, except with Tony. I keep thinking its possible this could happen with Jerry, and maybe I’m overthinking it, but I’m literally trying not to get too attached to how much I like everything abut him so I’m not disappointed when I meet him.

I’ve seen his photos. There is something appealing about him, but mostly I’m not particularly attracted. There are some bad photos of him that make me very unattracted, so who knows how he appears in person. My closest (and most judgmental) friend said “he’s not ugly M.” No he’s not ugly.

I’m going to have a very selfish and immature moment here, because this should be my safe space and I’m always honest here. I’m a very attractive woman for my age. Now I am also very fit and active. I bring a lot to the table and I (now) know my worth. Why is it I can’t get a guy of equal physical qualities? I want an attractive guy. I want the type of guy that my friends would compliment with a “he’s cute.” I don’t want to be the girl on someones arm and people comment the guy has a girl better looking than he is. This really bothers me. I realize this is entirely superficial, but it has stopped me from moving forward with a “nice guy” multiple times.

When dating Tony, I recall him looking down at me during sex with this completely euphoric expression, like, “I can’t believe I get to do this with you,” and I understand that “dating down” in terms of attractiveness can be a confidence boost in its own right. On the other hand, while I’m drawn to more attractive people, I’m just intimidated by the idea of dating someone hotter than me. So I don’t want to date someone too hot, just someone as equally attractive as I am, I don’t want to date down.

I am very open to meeting Jerry and trying to quiet this superficial side of my mind. I can see being his friend and confidant, and I love this. Our connection is strong emotionally, now I just have to conquer the physical part. I look at photos of Tony today and I don’t find him any more or less physically appealing than when I first saw his photo, but I am drawn to him, despite the fact he’s not super attractive. My hope is that this somehow happens with Jerry and we can explore the connection that we have.

Personally, the person I had the most deep, chemical attraction wasn’t conventionally handsome. The attraction felt almost indefinable, relying on everything from his looks and style to his mind and profession, to the smell of his skin and the sound of his voice. Deep attraction is, of course, a multisensory experience. But, as un-shallow as I have congratulated myself for being with Tony, I will admit that its mostly someone’s looks which overwhelm any need for a deeper compatibility at the start.

In the meantime, we have agreed to meet as friends with zero expectations. He is coming here to my city so he can go into the studio with me to run with my favorite instructors before the old studio closes and the new one opens. Jerry doesn’t live in my area, it would be a long distance relationship which I am very open to. He will come in Wednesday evening and depart Friday after class. We spoke about it and it is easiest for me to stay with him if I take the early morning classes – so he got a hotel room with two queen beds. I will meet him Wednesday afternoon and then have dinner plans with a friend and will come back to the hotel. We will run together with my other friends on both Thursday and Friday. We have brunch plans with mutual friends both days, and we will spend time together alone on Thursday afternoon and evening.

I am comfortable spending the time with him as a friend should the physical connection not be there. We’ve spoken about it and its clear there are no expectations.

Of course I know this is all risky, but we are both willing to give this a shot. The connection is unusual – when I met South Dakota, it was an instant physical connection, but ultimately we didn’t have anything in common and as the night went by, I could see him becoming less appealing. I wanted to pursue it further, but that didn’t happen so who knows. This type of emotional connection hasn’t happened since Mike and John and thats almost a year ago at this point. Clearly, there is no obvious reason for when and why I am physically or emotionally attracted to someone. I wasn’t particularly physically attracted to Dan and we ended up with some great dates, a mini vacation and some fabulous sex. I am struggling with this one and overthinking it for sure.

For once, I want my heart, brain and twat to fucking agree.

Freakishly Far Out of My Comfort Zone

I can’t even believe I am about to type out this story, and it does made me giddy happy in hindsight.

I had a Peloton class on Valentines Day, then plans for brunch with the girls to follow. A normal Friday for me.

As we were waiting for our class to start, the previous class lets out. People hang around waiting to get photos with the instructors and a handsome, very tall man just happened to be standing in front of me. My friend and I noticed him at the same time because he looked like he may have just died in the class because his face was so red! My friend made a funny comment and we began chatting.

Every single hair in my body stood at attention. I was immediately attracted to this man. His appearance, his smile, his voice, the way his eyes lit up when we engaged him. Bang. Hard and fast immediate attraction.

Wow.

I don’t know when that’s happened to me last. My x husband in 1991 maybe? Sure, it happens on a date when I have seen a photo, spoken to the person and then I’m excited to meet them – and it only gets better in person. But this was in the wild – entirely unfamiliar to me. At first I didn’t even know what I was feeling, I just knew I wanted to talk to this guy, even after my friend walked away. Slowly I realized he was feeling the same. But why wasn’t he asking for my name? I got distracted when he stepped away for his photo and our class was called in. That was that.

Until after the class, when we were at brunch, and my friend asked what happened. She saw the sparks flying. I was sad to admit nothing happened and bummed he didn’t ask for my name. I had looked for a ring and he was wearing none, so it registered he was potentially single, but it all happened so quickly and when they call you into class, you have to go.

We tried to figure out a way we could determine who he was. Our Peloton community for the tread isn’t that big yet and it might not be that hard to determine who he was. The ladies gave me some suggestions, but I wasn’t seeing how I could contact him through Peloton other than following him on the leaderboard. I knew he was from out of town in any case and was leaving early the next morning to visit his son in college.

As it turned out, one friend left something back at the studio and we needed to return to retrieve it. As she looked for her item, I logged in to the studio class at the studio (so you can see who was in the class IN the studio) to see if I could identify him. I’m sure privacy issues apply, but if you don’t want to be found, your screen name shouldn’t be as obvious as your real name! His leaderboard name was his real name and location, so I knew, by location (his was unusual) that it was him. I followed him immediately. I had to assume he would know it was me by my photo.

My friends, and the studio team, were super stoked – finding a Peloton man in the wild was exciting! But, we had no idea if he was single or not. As we headed home, one friend did some google searching for me and he came right up. All his story checked out, but it appeared he was married. As soon as I got home I found him on Facebook and was able to see his profile because we shared a common Peloton group. Bingo. I could now contact him.

As I was sitting there stalking, I saw he followed me back on the leaderboard. Talk about a little rush of adrenaline! It opened the way for what I did next.

I stepped way, way, way out of my comfort zone and took a chance. All the while wondering how I would feel if a man stalked me like this. I literally couldn’t help myself. I needed to know who this man was.

I sent him a FB message. I was blunt and straightforward. “Hi John. ok ,sorry if this is stalkerish….we met this morning at the tread studio….you just made me laugh so I looked up your LB name and then FB popped right up from the Peloton page. Not sure if you are single or married, I noticed you didn’t have a ring on, so don’t want to over step…Madeline”

His reply, within minutes: So good. Text me (phone #)

So, I did.

Here were the first few text:

M: Hey it’s M. I am a complete Pelo-stalker!

J: You don’t even know what I was thinking this AM. I was completely attracted to you.

M: Was? Over it already?!

J: Still do. OMG. I was trying to look for a ring but couldn’t figure it out. Where are you now?

M: I’m home. So, no wife or girlfriend then?

J: No. I can’t believe you left. Why didn’t you take a picture with me?

M: I don’t live in Idaho. You didn’t even ask my name.

J: I felt so awkward with your friend there. Where are you from?

M: I can’t believe I just Pelo-stalked you. I have crossed the crazy line.

J: I love it. I think its great. What are you doing tonight?

So, as you can guess, we made a date for the evening. He chose the place and it was perfect. He text me the rest of the afternoon, entirely engaged. Kept asking me where I was if I didn’t respond quickly enough and showing a lot of excitement to meet me. He expressed that he was dying to meet me and he was beyond attracted. It was endearing and not crass. I was singing and dancing when I was getting ready. I hadn’t been this excited for a date in a long while.

He gave me his full name and LinkedIN (not knowing we had already done all the ground work!) We chatted back and forth while I got ready to go back into the city to meet him.

I had to break a dinner date with a local girlfriend. I see her all the time and the plans were loose, but I haven’t heard back from her since I text her so I suppose she is mad at me. I had to follow this through. The energy I felt with him was incredible for such an instant.

He had a business meeting at 4pm and asked me to arrive by 4;45pm. I was a bit early at 4:50pm and I could see he was still in discussions. It was awkward, but I walked over to tap him on the shoulder and he asked if I could give him a few minutes. It was an unfortunate start that took off some of the shine, and I don’t know who felt worse about it – him or I. I waited at the bar and ordered myself a wine. He came to get me perhaps 10-15 minutes later and apologized and gave me a huge bear hug. Akwardness gone.

We spent about 4 hours sitting in one place talking. We laughed easily, we talked about many things, and we were both engaged. However, I didn’t feel the same intense pull from him that I felt in the studio. I felt the same, just didn’t feel it in return. He wasn’t doing or saying anything contrary, its just what I felt. I learned a lot about him that would make him less than an ideal match for me, the biggest difference being that he lives in South Dakota! He is basically a highly educated, well-bred, well-spoken, affluent redneck! He spoke about his cattle like one would speak about a lover and I hate animals. He spoke abut the flat, starkness of the land and the peace of sitting looking over his working farm and I like cities and hustle and bustle. He wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and I wear Louboutins and all black urban clothing. He is diabetic and doesn’t drink while you all know how I love my wine. He is separated and not yet divorced but they live apart for 1.5 years. Are these red flags or are this just differences? In the past, these would all be red flags for me.

He lives too far away. South Dakota doesn’t even qualify as a place I want to visit, where is South Dakota?!

Cowboy hats in the city? Yes, its sexy. Once. (but, OMG he was HOT in his hat and it brought me all the way back to Bobby wearing his cowboy hat!)

Animals? Oh hell no. I’m scared to death of all of them.

Hunting? A double hell no to dead animals.

Diabetic? I don’t know if I can handle the limitations.

Being at peace with the land? Boring. Bring me the city lights.

Chewing Tobacco? Now I understand why your teeth are brown (and I, unfortunately, blurted that one out)

Yes, I’m sill confused. I’m still drawn to him and its not a sexual thing. I just want to be close to him and know more about him. (KDaddy – you see, I’m trying broad new horizons here!)

Time rolls by and he mentioned he needs to leave to walk his neighbors dog. What? Wait. Your neighbors dog in SD? Nope, he has an apartment in the city.

Ahhh, maybe not such a redneck after all. I go through this with him to find he’s here abut every 2 weeks for work. Sometimes longer. His family is local (as is the x), his son is in VA in college, and the daughter in SD in college. His son will be working in the city come this summer, so he intends to be here quite often. He is absolutely a redneck at heart, there is no doubt of it. But, he has a very broad high level role that takes him traveling all over the nation and world. This is the most interesting dichotomy I have come across in a man. Im fascinated while wondering what the hell is drawing me to this man!

He tells me he doesn’t want the date to end and it caught me by surprise. I genuinely didn’t know. That is rare. I can usually pick up quickly if a man is attracted to me (beyond physically). I was caught off guard and told him so – he seemed surprised that I didn’t know how attracted he was because he hadn’t stopped staring at me all night.

Honestly, I was baffled. He never made above to touch me. Yes, he was looking at me all night, but staring? I didn’t feel that way. He never, not even once, crossed any lines beyond friendly. I really just felt like we had a super lovely time but no indication he was interested in seeing me again post the date until the moment he asked me not to leave him.

He hesitated and finally asked if I could come back to his apartment, then paused, and admitted he knew that was wrong but he didn’t know what else to do and he really had to walk this dog. The neighbor had started texting him more frequently in the past hour as he hadn’t replied to her with a photo of the dog. I suggested we just find a bar close to his apartment and park me there, he could walk the dog and come back to me. So thats what we did.

When we got in the uber I was very surprised how he leaned over to pull me in for a deep kiss. Oh my. Such a good kiss. And such a surprise.

We drop him at his apartment and then I head to the next bar. And here’s where I made an error in judgement. I drank too much. I was done at the first bar, three glasses off wine over the course of 4 hours was plenty. I didn’t need another glass, but because I had to sit and wait for him, I ordered another. Then when he arrived, yet another. The last one tipped me over to uninhibited. I became sexual.

We were joking about something and I picked up on innuendo and said “blah blah you can’t jerk-off like that” and he nearly died of shock. He asked me if I literally just said “jerk-off” in everyday conversation. I took it a step further and asked what other words I shouldn’t be using in everyday conversation and eventually we got around to something like “Fuck me harder, John.” I thought he was going to die on the spot and I couldn’t stop laughing. The error in judgement wasn’t that I didn’t get us both hysterical laughing, or that he thought I was crass….wasn’t that at all….but he had been so respectful all night and something inside of me needed more validation than the words at the first bar that he was absolutely attracted. It wasn’t enough for my ego that he didn’t want the night to end. I had to push it in a direction I knew I was more in control of the outcome. I am so angry I allowed this to happen, and didn’t really understand until hindsight why I let it go that way.

Now the poor man was turned on. I don’t think he knew how to handle me. I know he was fascinated and in that moment he reminded me of Tony. When we kissed goodnight, I could feel just how turned on he was.

But then, something. Something else unwelcome. I felt like I made a mistake as I got into the car. I don’t know what or why but its just the feeling I got.

I text him when I was in my own car on the way home, to thank him. I got back a few one word answers until I finally said “did something go sideways at the end? Did I say something to freak you out?”

I was pretty sure he fell asleep at that point so I didn’t see the reply until I woke the next morning. “Sorry, fell asleep. All good”

I waited til about midday to reply when I hadn’t heard more from him. Asking him if landed safely as he was traveling to his sons college. No reply. All day.

Now I’m sure I’ve done something wrong. I sent another text later in the evening. I’m so angry at myself for being unable to let things go. I am unsure how I even feel abut this man so why am I pursuing?

Why? Because I had to know why he went from texts all day Friday, words that indicated he was interested in more, and then – nothing all day Saturday.

He did reply to my second text, briefly. And the next change went like this:

J: Sorry. Just got done with the game now. Just a crazy day. Heading to dinner now.

M: ok. Your’e sure? If something did change, you just need to ell me what’s up.

J: Just a long day getting here with delays etc. Heading to eat now.

M: ok, maybe we can chat later if you’re up to it.

J: yes! Sounds good.

(later)

J: Still out catching up with my son.

M: Thanks for letting me know. I’m headed to bed myself. Text me tmrw?

J: Yes. So tired. I’m up past 9:30pm two nights in a row!

(the next morning)

J: Morning. Headed to services then bowling then airport, busy day!!!

M: Good morning! Enjoy church and bowling. Text me when you’re settled in airport.

The best I can infer is that he is interested and got the message he had fallen down in communication with me. I had my little foot stomp I suppose and I’m over it. If he continues to communicate, great. If not, I’m still glad I pursued the energy and had a date with him – we did have fun. I didn’t sleep with him, or even go to his apartment. At least some boundaries stayed intact for once!

This is going to be difficult if it move forward, thats clear. But, I am hoping gives me the opportunity to meet him again when he is back a week from now. The communication would need to sustain in the meantime, of course, so let’s see how it goes.

Also, a little more FB stalking in my anger phase leads me to believe there is quite a bit more to his separation story than he shared. He had a LOT of very positive posts about his wife right until 1.5 years ago, so I wonder how it all fell apart. Yes, he gave me a version of the story for a first date, but I’m curious to know why she wanted a divorce when he was clearly in love with her (according to FB posts and you always know how true those are! lol)

More to come? We shall see.

David – Non-Drinker #2

Well I didn’t even go out with David, it fizzled before it really got to take off.

David didn’t live close which would have been a challenge within itself.  He was sweet, friendly and kind.  We spoke a lot via text and also spent quite some time on the phone.  He was mild and low key, but I wasn’t sensing an immediate attraction from either of us.  We seemed like we would be fine as local friends, like mom and dad friends, but that’s ab out all I got from it.

When he told a story I had a hard time following it.  He sent text that would indicate a follow-up to something, but often times I didn’t get the original description of whatever the issue was. I found him a little flighty I guess.

Two things happened that sent us sideways.

I work out mostly every day and he seemed fascinated by this and asked a lot of questions.  I don’t mind this, but I often don’t talk about the cult of Peloton too early on as it will freak someone out who doesn’t understand it. It just so happened I was in the studio for a couple classes over the first week we spoke.  At one point, he sent a text out of the blue after a class that said “Why don’t you just date a Peloton person?”

Ok,  as we all know with text there is no intonation, but I read into that as a little dig.  Was he getting frustrated that I was so involved?  Was he actually questioning why I liked my Peloton community so much.

My reply was “Why would you say that to someone you potentially want to meet and date?”  Then I straight out asked if it was a dig.  His explanation was that if I was interested in dating that might be the easiest thing for me and there must be a lot of fit, single men and then, the clincher, “and we haven’t even faced timed yet.”  Yep, it was some weird dig, no doubt.  He was moaning about me being at the class when I hadn’t made the time to face time him.

I let it ride for the night it no answer.  Nor did I text the next day.  He finally sent an entirely random text on the second day around diner time “Ok, I have a new phone now and ready to rock and roll.”

I didn’t know he needed a new phone and I hadn’t heard a word into days – this is what I mean by confusing.

We text a few more times over the next few days and it fizzled away.  I don’t even know who text who last, and I didn’t bother to look.

So, no date with non-drinker #2.  He wasn’t making me laugh anyway.

Next.

 

 

Frame of Mind

It’s been a minute since I’ve written.

To be honest, I don’t have much going on.

Not much is going on. My sister got married and I’m glad the wedding is over and the relationship tips back to normal. I realized I didn’t feel very good through most of this prep. In some ways, I feel like an imitation sister. I’ve been adopted my whole life and never really felt quite like I did during the wedding. I felt like a throw-away, someone she had there because she had to, not because she really wanted to. I felt the strength of her connections with her friends and felt like an outsider. It’s not me she relies upon or me she calls for advice. I’m not even sure how to cultivate a better relationship with her exactly. I don’t get the sense it’s something she really wants – or wants more of. I’m unsure what I want from relationship with her. I suppose it’s just one more person I don’t feel important to and this seems to be a theme in my life.

I was asked to do a podcast, two actually. One was about life struggles and how individuals overcome them and the other is about strong, accomplished women. I finished the first one and found the process super interesting. In the first pass, I understood the interviewer wanted to focus on the Mexico story and travel weight-loss surgery. I was able to tell the sorry quite easily with no emotion and plenty of humor. In the actual interview, there was a significant change to my story because all my emotions were stirred up (made for a very good interview). The emotions caught me by surprise. I have pretty much buried Mexico and what happened to me. The horror of that experience is not something I want to revisit. I acknowledge I carry a great deal of shame for choosing weight loss surgery, wanting to die and subsequently what happened to me post surgery. In particular, I purposely try not to dig too deeply because of the one fact that continues to haunt me: no one came for me. Even when I begged, no one cared enough to come for me. I was dying at one point, I was terrified, and those closest to me couldn’t come.

Logically, I understand why. Emotionally, I can’t address it because I don’t see any other choice but to forgive them and accept what’s happened. They made a choice the same way I made a choice. I don’t think they didn’t come to penalize me, I just think they had other priorities. I don’t even know what I would have done had the tables been turned. Which leads me to a feeling I’ve buried most of my life and pushes me to the outskirts of my depression – I am not anyone’s priority.

We spoke about this in the interview and I definitely had a hard time working through this part of the story. In the end, we edited it out because I don’t want to upset the people who were there for me. And they WERE there. Just, perhaps, not physically. I am worried if I were to ever express the truth of how I felt that I would be considered ungrateful. After all, Mexico was my bad choice and I should live with its consequences.

Since the interview I’ve been struggling with these thoughts because, like I mentioned, I’ve buried them pretty deeply and they simply only cause emotional distress for me. I also don’t see a way to resolve these feelings other than learning to accept what’s passed and move on.

But then there are days, and unfortunately there are many of them recently, where the thought of not being anyone’s priority eats me alive.

My long time closest friend, the Spanish speaker who translated Spanish for me while I was in Mexico, changed all my bandages when I was home, my maid of honor and godmother to my son, is always too busy for me. I never see her or speak to her and I’ve grown tired of constantly asking to see her. She finds time for what’s important to her and I’m not it. Now, if I really needed “help” she would be the first one here. That’s because she finds her own value in helping others. It’s great to have a friend like that, but I love her dearly and would like to connect with her more frequently than once a month. Mind you, I’m not working and I’m very flexible so it’s twice as upsetting when I have the time to spend with her and she basically can’t find the time for me.

My closest cousin, the one who was very busy working to get me out of Mexico and who probably invested the most time in figuring shit out while I was there, comes from a massive tight knit family. Her family will include me in many functions and I love to participate. I’m so happy when I’m with them and I always enjoy myself but I go through some sort of let down once I leave them. I find myself wishing that was my primary family. Once again I feel like I’m on the outskirts looking in.

My kids have really been much better than last year and I am VERY thankful for this change. I try not to push them too far forward too fast because, again, I don’t want to appear ungrateful for the strides they have made. Logically I know kids are kids and boys are boys, but I often feel that I hold no importance. I know this isn’t true and this is just my neediness. I want more demonstrative love and this is just not their way. They really have been good kids lately and I am trying not to put them down in any way because of my own neediness.

I still don’t have a job and there has been NOTHING to be found. I am so over my head in debt for the first time in my life that I am beginning to feel panic rising at the back of my throat. I keep telling myself I just need to get through the end of this year and things will change. I will find a job and be able to pay down my debt. It’s the first time EVER that I am truly scared about the debt I’ve created. People keep asking “what will you do?” And this is becoming frustrating. I don’t know. I don’t know what I will do. Am I wasting time not “doing something else?” I don’t even know what that can be. If I have to become a realtor I would rather die. I am good at my job and want to stay in my industry and would even consider relocation. There are just no jobs out there. Not even consulting ones. I am officially out of money by Feb 1st and have to take from long term savings to survive. This is creating an angst in me that I’ve never experienced. All of this makes me feel like I’m not worthy of being hired. I’m too old. I’m too expensive. (Even though I would take half my last salary). I’m over-qualified. I’m so disappointed in myself that it’s becoming very hard to remain positive.

Then there’s the dating, or better yet, the lack of it. Before I shut down the apps I knew I had hit a low point with my last sex date with Chris. I knew I had to stop what I was as doing because it wasn’t how I wanted to feel. There were two men, both from out of town, that I felt would make good on/off dates when they were here because I could keep them (or keep myself is a better way to say that) at arms length and not invest in the emotional chase. Sex with Dan is pretty good and we have a blast when I see him, but his communication is so horribly inconsistent I still end up aggravated. The other guy, Tom (don’t even think I wrote about him) started off well, we had two fabulous dates, and then his communication and attention plummeted. This is so fucking frustrating to me and puts me right back into the thought pattern of “why can’t I be anyone’s fucking priority?” Not even a small priority. I don’t even think priority is the space I’m looking for as much as just being someone they think about and WANT to reach out to sometimes.

I’ve gained some weight – which isn’t a bad thing but it’s fucking with my head. I had dropped so low, most would say too low for me, that I needed to regain some weight. But I haven’t stopped gaining because I haven’t curbed my eating. Even with all my cardio I’m not losing because I’m eating all the time. I don’t eat much at once but I eat all day. As you can imagine, this screws with my head after weight loss surgery. There was the sick part of me that liked being so thin. That liked seeing that low number on the scale. My goal was always 150 but I loved seeing 130. Sitting around 140-145 isn’t unhealthy but I don’t like it. I want to stay sub 140. That space felt good in my head for the first time in my life. I’m so sick of struggling with the numbers on the scale that I just want them to stay put. Weight loss surgery doesn’t cut out the demons. They are all still there and the effort it takes to quiet them is immense. The only time they recede is under that 140 mark. It doesn’t seem to matter that I’m actually in the best physical shape of my life, my arms look beautiful, my legs feel amazing and I love being stronger than ever and rarely out of breath anymore. The numbers on the scale fuck with my head worse than ever. Especially since I saw what I needed to see for the first time in 20+ years. That number on scale “helps” me forgive myself for the damage done to my body and how badly my stomach looks with its wounds and loose, hanging flesh.

Speaking of wounds, here was a little bright spot. When having sex with Dan, he gently kissed my wound. I knew it was intentional. He also made sure to tell me post sex that he loved my body and the wounds don’t bother him at all, he doesn’t even see them. I appreciated that immensely. I believe him also. It doesn’t change how I think about my tummy, but it does help to calm me down a bit, as long as I can get my weight back down.

So that gets to me to my current frame of mind: not good. Not good at all.

Not working, not dating, not having enough good, consistent sex, not having any money are all very bad places for me to be. My ability to not be depressed is quickly eroding.

I am doing what I can. I actively look for jobs and network. I continue to exercise – although I should be stepping up my game considering I’m unemployed. I bought a studio 10 pack so that I get myself into the Peloton studio and interact in person. I continue to support others in my accountability groups though recently I feel like I am being false. It’s an effort to Log into social media to be positive and emote positivity and gratefulness when I don’t feel it. I do logically understand I have much to be grateful for but I am horrible at making this a practice I believe in. It’s also why I push myself into my accountability groups the same way I pushed myself to get dressed In Workout clothes at the beginning – I will fake it til I make it. This is taking way longer than the 100 days I committed to making fitness a priority. Wayyyy longer.

This time of year warms me and depresses me all at once. I want a boyfriend. I want my person. I want the person who is going to make me a priority. I haven’t had that since pre marriage, since a childhood boyfriend. When I think about it I only feel more damaged and broken. There too many things keeping me down, and too many things making me feel like I’m not important to anyone. I know all about self love and it’s not working for me. Sure, I haves plenty of moments where I am doing a decent job taking care of myself and my family, but I don’t feel any reward in it. It’s. A horrible place to be as I think about this being the 5th Christmas and New Years that I will once again be alone.

When I Don’t Care Enough – Part 1

Sometimes, not often, I don’t really care about how I am going to present on a date.

There are some men who I get the sexual tension from quickly, and I want to impress those men with sexy heels and a hot outfit.  Other men don’t seem to give off the same vibe and I don’t get as excited about the first meeting and what I am wearing, and perhaps a little, how I look.  Frankly, I tend to prefer the men with whom I get the tension with – even if the date doesn’t get legs, the initial date and flirting is just more fun.  I love the sexual tension and I love to look sexy.  Especially now….sexy now is an entirely different thing than it was before.  My body requires little to no effort to appear sexy to a man who likes a lean, fit woman.  This is a major head trip, for me.  I love the fact that nothing is uncomfortable when I wear it any longer.  Most articles of clothing are going to look good on me no matter what.  I can wear heels all night long.  I’ve always had the feeling of “being” sexy, but now its much more prevalent since I am proud of my body  (well, the exterior, the wounds and loose skin get compartmentalized when I am getting dressed because they are under wraps).  I don’t think my behavior is any different, but removing the physical self doubt is a massive relief.

I did choose weight loss surgery after all.

And then I chose to take care of the gift of life I was given post all the trauma.  I’m super fit and lean now.  I feel better physically and find that the working out helps me redirect a lot of negative energy.  I never thought I would be the one to say it but I love how the fitness makes me feel now.  It has changed my life.

This is a bit long-winded story about how I didn’t care how I looked on a first date. I had matched with someone who wanted to meet this particular night.

I had planned to do something quite out of character for me – I decided to go into the Peloton studios and do 3 classes in a row, in costume, for Halloween.  Alone.  Why?  No reason at all.  More like, why not?  I could. I love my Peloton classes and getting in studio is always awesome.  Plus, not that I admit this to any of my friends or family, but there is probably some attention factor in here.  Going to the studio gets me noticed by my instructors and creates a more personal bond when you interact with them on social media.  When I’m not working, the Peloton social community is my primary source of accountability.  If I make a post that I will do something, I do it.  I don’t know how the logic of that works for me, but it does.  So when I feel like I need a little push to step out of a comfort zone, I post before I think about it too much.  Then I’m committed.

The classes started at 6:30pm and would end by 10:30pm.  It was a pretty big fitness commitment and when I am in studio, it also means a push effort – I don’t want to “take it easy” on myself in studio.   All classes have a “spotlight” bike, tread or mat.  In the past, I have chosen this spot knowing I would be on camera for the studio taping of the on-demand classes.   Unexpectedly, I ended up in this spot in 2 classes -in full costume – doing classes that were so far out of my comfort zone that I questioned the sanity of these spontaneous choices.  I did a 45 minute run (I have never run that long) and a 30 minute yoga class (I never did a studio yoga class and I can’t do half the poses).  Of course, in the end, it worked out amazingly well and I had a blast and did just fine.   I loved being on camera (sort of, off to the side and in the dark, but still! Lol)

I did trip on the treadmill towards the end! Whoops! No one saw, right?

It reminded me that I like the spotlight and the competition.  My personality feeds off these things, but I forget that it does.  I should really consider how to tap into more of this part of myself – because I am good at putting myself out there.  My confidence takes a huge leap and I become like a different person.  I recall times in my life where the spotlight was on me that it brings out my type A competitive nature and I want to crush whatever it is I am doing.  I can’t create this feeling, or even call it up – but when it happens I love it.  I know athletes are able to tap into this ability to focus themselves and hype themselves up for competition, but when I try to do that, it doesn’t work the same as when it happens organically. I hadn’t actually thought of this before and maybe I should do a little research on why this happens with me.

This night, it was all organic.  Sort of.  I had set myself up for the potential something could happen, by being in costume, being present and interactive, and I was going to be equally as ok if nothing happened.  But, it did – I was noticed, ended up on camera, and made new friends.  I loved every minute.  No one was there who knew me or could judge, and the side of my personality that I normally don’t let loose too often – you can call it my cocky side -comes out.  My confidence and happiness overflow and I can affect those around me.  It’s such a natural high.

It was several hours of high intensity interaction and exercise. I loved every minute. If I could somehow tap into that energy more frequently, it would be amazing – I don’t know where it would take me because it feels boundless. However, times like this – where the energy is flowing so heavily from within – exhaust me for days. Add into it my chronic anemia, which happens to be keeping me down because it’s time for an iron infusion, and one event like this could knock me out for a week.

The bottom line was – after these classes I was going to be a mess. My hair was a birds nest of hairspray and curls, my makeup soaked through, and I would be a soppy sweaty mess. I would be able to take a shower post the last ride, but there was nothing I could do about makeup or the fact I had worn yoga pants going into the studio. Hardly the ideal condition to meet someone for the first time…..

6 Months of Hard Work

February saw me get started 2/11/19 was the day I chose to change my life. I started on my 100 day challenge

March brought me into an accountability group that I fell in love with. Their positivity and spirit drove me to work harder and try to do more.

April and May were my crushed months. I’ve never worked out so hard in my life! Almost every single day I put in a minimum 2 hours of effort comprised of mostly cardio but beginning to layer in the strength training.

June Saw me back to work and struggle with maintaining my new lifestyle. I was so tired that I wanted to quit more than not. But I didn’t quit and preserved to begin finding my new life balance.

July saw me do my first “runbet” and I won! Go figure! I ran the most miles in the month in the time frame allotted. 93 miles was tough but doable. The bet had me focused on kicking its ass once I realized I had the strength and endurance to potentially win! I also did a “core-crusher” challenge to do 30 days straight – finished that as well and now keep those exercises as a “never-miss” a core day exercises.

August saw me join another runbet, but this time, instead of racing to first, I decided to make this month about my endurance. My goal for end August is to complete a full 30 minute class running and knock out over 3 miles.

I’m very proud of the past 6 months. Resetting my priorities around my health and fitness has helped me immensely. Once I prioritized my fitness and made it a “must-do” like brushing my teeth my ability to focus and commit changed the way I manage myself. At the moment, it’s tough and I do t have much of a social life, but I’m also ok with that. My body is changing in all the right ways, I can see and feel muscle everywhere and am so surprised when people comment on my muscles! I can’t do anything about the mounds of excess skin, but I’m not focusing on that. I want to be sure I have physically done all I can to reshape my body and make it strong.

Space to Breathe

Giving myself space to breathe is a really tough thing for me to do.

Why?

Because I laid in a bed or on a couch and stared at a wall or nonsense TV for 5 months straight. FIVE MONTHS.

I am seriously terrified my brain will talk me into going there again. Giving up. I equate rest with giving up now. I know that’s not a logical thought but that’s the thought.

I am trying to rewrite that thought because your body needs rest and recovery time to heal from intense workouts. I have started to change my body significantly, I can see the muscles and I know how much stronger I am.  I need to slow down before I burn myself out. Also, I’m still dropping weight and figuring out the right nutritional balance – I am in just the right place now to make changes for the NEXT 100 day commitment.

So here’s what I’m doing to try and get out of my own head as it relates to exercise:

1. Calendar Commitments

Write out my minimum exercise routine: duration, frequency and type. Buy a calendar and put in in writing so I can physically see it every day. It can be adjusted as necessary (it will be in pencil) but start with the schedule as planned. Make sure to include high intensity days as well as running.  Adjust every 2 weeks as necessary but try to keep a routine.

I joined a few challenges within my Peloton tribe and I won’t embarrass myself by not sticking with them – the only one I’m challenged with currently is finding more time to add in yoga. I may take off a cardio day and do yoga instead.

One of the goals I am committed to is my sisters wedding in November. I want fabulous arm definition by then and I have plenty of time to make that happen.

Track another 100 days. and commit to a consistent routine within that time.

My sons birthday is the 100 day mark – October 1st.  It seems years away at this point when I am only 7 days in!

2. Recover

Allow myself recovery time. Decide if there are actual off days that include only meditation or yoga and active recovery days that include walking or a low impact ride. Stop the guilt.

Summer is here and there will be days away from the bike, plan for them now.  I know I can’t commit to the bike or tread for the next 100 days, but I can commit to a Peloton activity on the app.

Don’t beat yourself up over missed days when your body or mind need them. On day 105 when I was being lazy (Memorial Day) I got on the bike and 10 mins in, I clipped out for the first time ever. I just didn’t want to. Tomorrow is another day. The difference now is that tomorrow will be a hard work day, period. No excuses. I know I will do this so I forgave myself the rest.

Did I have a good reason to rest on Monday? Not so much. I had been on a beach vacation and exercised a bit each day. Nothing intense but I didn’t skip. When I came home I just wanted the day off even though I didn’t have anything special to do. I took the rest day and just decided I didn’t feel guilty about it. I wrote some blog posts instead! I already know which exercises I have to accomplish for tomorrow and I don’t have anything special on deck, so I will get right back on track.

It’s the thinking I have to change.  I did get on the bike and clipped in, and rode for 10 mins.  I would have been better served doing 10 mins of restorative Yoga.

Why is this such a issue? Because I told myself I would do better month over month. In my head, better meant more time and more miles March and April were like beast mode for me so when I looked at May, I was instantly disappointed with my time and mileage because it was so much lower. I need to acknowledge that my output (strength) was higher, so I am getting stronger in each workout even if there are less workouts. I am still angry at myself for May though, so I better dig deep to find the right balance that I am not chastising myself over at the end of the month.

So this is a tough one, commit to 100 days AND commit to resting when my body needs to rest.  Finding this balance is going to be tough for me as I tend to be all or nothing.

3. Practice

Meditate several nights a week and continue reading or listening to self-help books. Begin to reduce useless social media scrolling or limit it to coffee time in morning.

Encourage others as you like to be encouraged – that means intentionally posting positive vibes in my group pages and participating in group events on the Peloton. This was such a positive experience for me in my first 100 days I don’t want to let it slide!

Practice being positive with the kids – how can they benefit from what I’ve learned without thinking it’s totally corny? Practice keeping my cool but still getting them to do what needs to be done in their lives. Learn how to partner with them.

Forcing myself back to reading or listening to self-help books is a good addition in the next 100 days.  I had fallen into way to much social media.  I do consider my Peloton social media to count as self-help because it’s all positivity and exercise centric.  Reading about others real life challenges and successes is very motivating and reminds me I have a massive tribe behind me.

 

So, thats the next 100 days….I believe I am committed to do it!  It will be interesting to see what tricks my mind is going to play when I get back to work – which I expect to happen before the end of June, at least a freelance role.  I think thats’ my next biggest challenge up ahead.

No More Excuses – 100 Days of Action

I did it!

On Wednesday, May 22nd I completed 100 days of commitment to creating a healthier life. I beat myself up over 5/6 missed days, but the truth is, I never missed a day of trying – I may have meditated or done yoga those days because I wasn’t well, but I didn’t actually just skip a day entirely. In hindsight, it’s not the days I missed that I was worried about – it was not keeping my promise to myself.

I’ve been reading and listening to some great self-help books lately and one of the statements that stuck out to me was “why do you keep breaking promises to yourself?” I hate breaking a promise to anyone else, but I will give up on myself almost immediately. Well, that stops now. I am putting myself first – and while that might sound selfish to my children the fact is that if I care for myself well, then I can care for them better than I have been.

I have done a really poor job of taking care of myself. When things get rough, I bury myself under piles of work. It took being out of work for 9 months to realize how unhealthy that was. I wasn’t doing anyone a favor. Corporations don’t care. I was burning gas I didn’t have and they weren’t getting the best from me and my job took way too much of my family life from me. I can’t go back to change that now, but I sure can affect what happens go forward.

So here’s what I’ve learned in my 100 days. It’s actually quite simple, unfortunately. There really is no way around it – and not one person said any differently. Everyone’s advice was quite similar:

“You must take action to move forward. “

Sounds so practical, right?

You can’t get where you want to be by wishing for it. Or waiting for it. You have to put in the work. One foot in front of the other, just like that. Again, and again, and again.

“No one else can do it but you. “

No one gets you out of bed or off the couch every day. Only you can help yourself. Get up and get started, Lady. Every. Damn. Day. Show up for yourself.

“Build the habits, slowly, step by step.”

That was a big one. Finally releasing my big-old-type-A personality to do something slowly and steadily, Day after day. Not jumping right into 2 hours of exercise every single day forever, but building up to what felt right, and adding in more as I became stronger. Honestly, I have never been so surprised by waking up thinking: what am I going to do for my exercise today? Now it happens regularly and I feel off when I don’t exercise, even if it’s just a little, very day.

“Just do it. No secret sauce.”

Nike has it right. There is no other way. Stop letting your brain give you all the reasons not to do something and just do it.

“Practice Gratitude”

Wake up every day thankful you opened your eyes. You GET to do this, you don’t have to do this. Life is a privilege so start acting that way.

I needed to replace the negative thoughts with good ones. Consistently and repetitively. How did I do this? I practiced.

I reminded myself over and over.

Long ago, more than one person suggest I meditate. I tried it and blew it off as not for me. This time, I kept trying. I practiced meditation the same way I practice my exercise. I show up and try over and over. Some days I’m more distracted than others but practice makes progress and it’s sinking in. Meditation is simply a way to focus your mind.

I realize I have never actively trained my mind to focus quietly. Sure, I can focus on projects, peoples, conversations etc. I’m good at active focusing – actually I’m so good at it I get addicted and obsessed when I’m super interested. But this is different. This is learning to focus my mind, guide my thoughts, in a positive and purposeful way. I’m retraining my brain and that takes practice. It may take me forever, but hey, I’ve got all the time in the world!

I really like meditation when I let it work for me and concentrate on the guidance. I notice I can apply some of the practice when I’m not meditating – slow down and pay attention to what I’m feeling, where I’m feeling it, why did that feeling come up? If that emotion is not serving me purpose in that moment, I can attend to it later, but for now, learn to package it up and put it away so I can focus on whatever it is I should be focusing on. I also remind myself that my thoughts are not what define me – my actions are. So if I have negative thoughts, I must act with kindness and positive intent. In order to do that, I have to stop and think “is what I’m about to say or do going to be kind? Is it necessary? What do u want to accomplish and how am I going to hold myself accountable?”

I obviously cannot do this when I allow Trixie to get hold of a nuclear bomb and annihilate everything in the way. I need to do this in order to avoid ever getting to such an utter loss of self-control again. I will say one thing about Tony as it relates to this: I do not feel regret for telling his wife. I cannot exactly explain why I felt I “had” to do what I did – but that needed to happen for me for whatever reason. I am sorry it made it so I can never, ever reconnect with Tony again but there are times when I think that might be the reason I threw the nuclear bomb – so I COULD never reconnect with him. I’m not pleased with myself that I hurt a woman who never did anything to me, and part of me knew there was nothing I was going to say or do that would make her want to leave him. I’m not trying to make an excuse, just laying out my thought process. My goal is no more nuclear bombs ever in my life. For any reason.

I threw 3 of them last year. One to destroy my job, one to destroy that relationship and one to almost take my life. I never want to revisit that feeling again so it means I have to actively retrain my brain how to speak to me. That all started with my healthy and positive commitment to my 100 days journey.

So how did I complete my 100 day journey? I had a fabulous exercise day with Peloton with my favorite trainers. I publicized my ride on social media so I rode with many Pelo-peeps who support and encourage throughout the ride and my output was actually a personal record. I bought those huge Mylar number balloons for “100” and took a photo and posted it all over social media. And then, well then I went and got a tattoo! I had been thinking about it for a while so this was my gift to myself. I got the Sanskrit word for “strength” tattooed on my wrist. I never thought I would get a tattoo but I love it! I had polled my family and friends on several words that resonated with me and that’s the word they most closely associated with me. It hurt like crazy but it carries a lot of significance and meaning to me, and reminds me of the fire I walked through to get here.

Steps Forward and Back….the Dance of Depression

When I initially set out to create a habit, I was a bit stubborn, determined and a lot bored. I have so much time on my hands, excessive amounts of obsession and depression that I knew I had to do something or succumb to another black hole. My goal was to see if I could break the behavior in 90-100 days and set myself up for real and lasting change.

The one commitment I started with was to ride the Peloton Bike EVERY day. I was going to make that investment worth it come hell or high water. I also really wanted the Peloton Tread and told myself that wasn’t happening until I could prove to myself I was going to use it consistently . The cost of $$ investment was too high to make a frivolous decision. Based on what I knew about myself, 30 or 60 days wasn’t enough. Nor was a 3/5 day a week commitment. Nope, I was going gangbusters on my own ass.

Shit, if I could obsess over Tony for a year every day I should be able to commit to taking care of myself in a positive way for 100 days. At least, right? And maybe, just maybe, a new obsession could replace the Tony obsession. A new focus. The right kind of focus.

May 11th was 90 days from my start on February 11th.

I did not ride the bike for 6 days in that 90 days. 2 from a hospital stay, 3 from a stomach virus and 1 I have no idea. I did do “something” Peloton related those 6 days, even if that meant a meditation. Those 6 days bug me and piss me off. I should allow some leeway but it only makes me feel I can’t commit to anything sometimes. I am forgiving myself because I did realize this past week, when I had the stomach virus, that my body REALLY needed the rest. When I finally did ride again, I rode stronger. Also, I suddenly started to bleed – now I don’t know if it’s a period or not but it would sure explain the utter exhaustion combined with the stomach bug. I get blood tests next week – I’m at my full 5 month mark since my last infusion. I’m banking on a massive drop in iron because I’m having trouble just getting out of bed and I truly can’t find energy within myself.

Once the activity started I realized I was capable of more.

I am learning that healthy habits are what’s going to get me through life. If I do right by myself every day as a way of life, and I fall off the wagon, it doesn’t matter. One day, one weekend or maybe even a week to allow myself space either physically or mentally isn’t going to make me gain back the 75 pounds I lost. What made me gain over and over and over during the past 18 years was the fact that I allowed myself to keep failing. I did not have a healthy habit I was committed to.

For instance, in the past, one cookie on a Friday would mean I could eat a whole box before Sunday. Mid week I could eat poorly again because I had already eaten the cookies. The behavior was a loop and a very bad one. That’s gone.

Now, I eat a cookie if I want a cookie. I drink. AND I watch what I eat all the times in between that and I feel just fine. Every day doesn’t need to be a food party. I am still learning what my balance is, but now clearly have a better relationship with good and healthy eating and make better choices. Eliminating most carbs has removed the carb cravings. I don’t struggle to avoid foods that are not good for me. I have actually lost the appetite for most of my old fatty food choices. They just no longer appeal to me, as if I have lost the taste of them entirely. I also just make better choices for myself and don’t allow myself to feel penalized when I go off. Now I understand healthy eating habits. I almost don’t know why this felt so hard before (yes, it helps that I can’t eat much in one sitting so making better choices makes sense).

I’m off Keto now because my body wasn’t responding well with all the working out. I needed more protein and carbs. I’m working with the nutritionist to find the right balance for that.

So I’m 90 days in and heading towards that 100. I’m contemplating what happens post 100 and what makes sense for me to maintain once working again. I’m speaking with a nutritionist and many trainers about constructing the best “road ahead” for my goals.

That all sounds good, right?

But, and there’s always a but……There are two immense things I struggle with.

One is “encouraging” self-talk. Being my own cheerleader. Congratulating myself. Egging myself on. Encouraging myself. I don’t know how the people who do this (all over my Facebook and Peloton groups – here on the blog too – Maggie is a master ❤️) do it every single day. Are they for real? How can anyone be so positive and encouraging? Do they have a book of positivity quotes? Do they really wake up and make gratitude lists? I want to learn how to do this as I believe I am mostly a critical person (hello, Virgo trait). Not just do it but BELIEVE in it, drink the koolaid, buy the farm.

I chose one thing to try: every day I post my exercise achievements. I was always annoyed by people who did this so have no idea what prompted me to do so, but it seemed easy enough. An unexpected side effect is a lot of my friends congratulate me and encourage me – and many tell me how I’ve motivated them to start their own journey. Two have even bought a Peloton! I guess I realize that if my exercise posts are annoying they can skip over them, but many seem interested. I never expected anyone to care. People are really happy to share their own fitness journeys and tips as well. I use this for my mental well being – it’s like having cheerleaders. I am my own worst enemy with all the positive self talk – – and I do realize this is what coaches and trainers and support groups are best at – reminding you to do your bets every day! I try so hard to be encouraging for others but find it tedious…I wish I could tap into all that positivity consistently. Maybe I should do a 90 day positive energy journey next? I really feel like this is a key to unlocking something for me. What if I HAD to be grateful, satisfied, and positive for the next 90 days?

I have a few platforms on which I can do this. I can help young women with career roles, I can participate as an admin in a Peloton Facebook group and support others along their journey, I can start a gratitude journal. I will just need a place to vomit after I spend the day smiling and performing – at least in the start. I truly don’t know how people wake up and make a choice to be happy. I listen to these coaching mantras and they make sense – but they don’t make me cry and evaluate my life and affect me the way they do many people I know. Church also doesn’t have that impact on me. I have to figure this piece out – the part of me I want to put into the universe to grow and make better.

The second one is my absolute fear I will give up. Why? Because I have ALWAYS given up in the past. I don’t give up on obsessing over Tony so clearly I can obsess where my brain wants to -but obsessing about my exercise and health? Welp, that’s partially how I ended up in Mexico in the first place. Although I had legitimate reasons this past week for not exercising to my normal capacity, I feel immense guilt and worry that every day I can’t is simply going to lead to another day I don’t want to. I’m worried that if I can’t get my iron for 2 months or so (which is highly likely to happen, thanks insurance) I will allow myself to remain exhausted instead of pushing through. And once I stop for too long, all that hard work disappears.

When your body is depleted it’s so hard to get your mind to work. I’ve been sick and tired for so long, so very long, that the thought still crosses my mind that all this is just too hard, too much work and I’m tired, really tired of trying so hard just to wake up every day. Will positive self-talk change this? Will more exercise? Will better body acceptance? Will falling in love? My kids treating me better? Self-acceptance? When this exhaustion hits, the depression grabs hold of the thought and runs away with it….and that is ALWAYS a fear.

Peloton Homecoming Weekend

I committed myself to 90/100 days of exercise and well-being and other than a few sickness blips along the way, have stuck to it entirely. The greatest motivation of all is my Peloton community and I can’t be more thankful to be a part of such a supportive group.

Peloton is about 6 years old and they host something called a Home Rider Invasion once a year. The Homecoming consistents of talks, community events, a sample sale and studio exercise with your favorite instructor. There is definitely an atmosphere of hero-worship with the instructors and everyone wants and opportunity to meet them and ride with them.

I admit, for the first time in my life, to geeking out full fan girl on the weekend. Why not? 3k other riders did! I got a hotel for 2 nights, I participated in all the events, and I rode my heart out and made new friends along the way. I had so much fun. I had invested in a new lifestyle and this felt like coming home to my tribe of peeps.

I wish I could bottle the feeling, but it took me several days to actually recover from the weekend events. I fade very fast now which still concerns me. Doctor appts to follow in the next couple weeks.

I had committed to attending alone, but at the last moment a Peloton friend wanted to come in Friday and don’t have a room so I offered to share mine. I didn’t regret making a new friend and she was super easy to get along with. A bit of a chatty Kathy but I realized I could just walk away from that when I needed. She made my life super easy because she was organized and got us to our locations on time. Friday night was a happy hour and we had a few hundred attendees from the Facebook group I participate in. Some people are very good at this kind of socialization. I have always struggled with it. I wish I was better. I can do a little but can’t sustain. I’m sure there were many more people I would have liked to interact with but I sort of turn inwards thinking I’m bothering people or they are not so interested in me. The night was fun in any case. My roommate was super active in the room but she over ruled any conversation I would have and I eventually grew tired of trying to socialize with her. She’s just a different type of person than I am. She seems to demand attention and desperately wants to share and be part of the group. I’m ok hanging back and enjoying everyone’s enjoyment!

The next day we attended some Peloton events and then there was an afternoon rush. I had a studio ride, a hair appt then a race to get ready to get to a HH. August was due to meet me at the hotel. The studio ride was amazing with some of my Pelo-peeps! The energy was fabulous and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought possible. Meeting people I had interacted with virtually was really fun! I struggled to make my hair appt and back to the hotel fast enough and finally bagged the scheduled HH (I regretted that in hindsight because it was a great HH and even smaller than Friday so better for networking).

I had a fabulous brightly colored silk jumpsuit to wear that set off my hair and newly formed arm muscles (they are getting there!) but just wanted to slow down for a minute getting ready. August waited in the bar for me as I got ready. A few friends stayed behind and we all met to have a drink. August is a striking figure and personable so the girls migrated to him easily. He really made our night easy as he held bags and took photos, always made sure we had drinks and was generally along for the ride. Honestly, I didn’t pay very much attention to him as I was so caught up in the atmosphere around us. I didn’t have any indication that August minded or was uncomfortable and I did watch him early on for signs of this.

We made our way to the massive evening event (think a small concert) and danced the night away. Everyone had so much fun. August couldn’t get over how people responded to me – and I suppose I don’t see what he sees – he felt that I energized everyone around me and people migrated to me. It’s funny that I don’t feel that at all, I don’t like to impose on people and I’m very forgetful about details so I’m cautious about meeting too many people and gathering too much information I know I won’t retain. I wish I could capitalize on this energy and connection August saw oozing from me – I wish I knew how to lead or group strangers in a way that was meaningful. I can do with a very small groups (an I did have small group with me all evening) but I’m no good at doing it multiple times. It does have me thinking that if other people see this compelling leadership ability in me (outside of work) then I should also consider how to put it to further use.

August was a fun and easy partner for the evening. I honestly have no idea if he responds to me, or I to him, but there isn’t much of a connection between us for one reason or another. I feel as though he’s impressed with me, thinks I’m beautiful and intelligent, but has zero clue how to act on it. He doesn’t do anything, absolutely nothing, that makes me feel like he’s all that interested in me or wants me. Which makes him easy to ignore and, perhaps, creates the loop. He needs a lot of direction and I find that frustrating as it’s a throwback to my marriage. But, on this very busy and engaging evening, he didn’t matter.

I also did not think about Tony even once. Someone asked me later if I saw him at the event and I truthfully replied that I had forgotten to look. 10 points for me. Trixie was nowhere to be seen.

After the cocktail party a group of us made our way back to the hotel for food, drinking and dancing. As we dropped things in the room, August made a comment about sex (don’t recall exactly what it was) and I dropped my jumpsuit, leaned over the bed and said “ok!” And he looked at me and laughed and said no woman had ever dropped their clothes so fast for him! We had a perfunctory quickie from behind, no kissing, no touching, nothing but penetration and his orgasm. Got dressed and joined the group. I had already had too much to drink at this point and it didn’t phase me. In hindsight though, he didn’t so much as touch me or show any interest in more than he got.

Our night was spent dancing and laughing before we made it to the room around 2am. August ran and got tacos for the whole group before we departed – there is nothing better than drunk taco! Lol. Then we made our way back to the room because we were due to be back at the event by 10am. August and I chatted while he climbed into bed and packed up and cleaned up. He eventually fell asleep before I crawled in. I was a little surprised he gave me a hug and we fell asleep. I know we didn’t touch the entire night, again. If it sounds dull, it was. It was fine.

We woke the next morning and he was kind enough to go in search of coffee and a valet cart for me. We checked out and made our way to the event. I could tell he wasn’t super enthused we missed food, but he managed on some protein bars. We did some of the morning events and made our way to a hotel nearby for a disaster of a brunch (no service and causing me to be late to my next event so I was full of complaints – they comped our meal). We had fun walking around and chatting and participating. He was such a good sport about taking photos and patiently watching me be an active fan girl. No hand holding. No hugging. No kissing. I do touch my partners, so my hand is generally on his shoulder or arm when I begin speaking to him. Normally a man will react to this by engaging me in a more physical way, pull me closer, hug me, kiss me, put an arm around me. Not August.

It had been pouring rain all morning and we caught a break so took a nice walk through the city. I enjoyed our time together but realize I can’t get a read on him exactly. Some small things send up some cues for me – like I can’t tell if he’s actually cheap or frugal. He’s observant and kind with some things and entirely neglectful of others. And I really don’t think he has a clue how to behave like a boyfriend. I don’t get the feeling his neglect is intentional. I could be wrong but I don’t know. However, if I make any move towards him that’s affectionate his face lights up but he doesn’t exactly respond in kind. I am no longer the kind of person that will go out of my way for a man if they don’t know how to manage their outward affections. I did it for 22 years and it didn’t work. This is where Tony ruled the romance kingdom – I always felt like his beloved. I adored that feeling and it made me feel like a queen and gave me a lot of power. I know I need that. August doesn’t have a clue how to do that. And as ageist as this sounds, I do think it’s a by-product of his generation and his upbringing. Again, I could be wrong but I think I’ve dated enough now to make these generalizations.

We made our way back to the hotel and gathered our things, loaded my car and parted with a kiss on the cheek. I really enjoyed my weekend, was happy to have August there, but he wasn’t the reason I enjoyed the weekend. Had he not been there I would have been fine and wondered if I should have tried it alone. I bet my luck would have been bad – I would have seen Tony and ruined a perfectly good weekend! 😂

I made some everlasting friendships and August committed to working out after meeting so many average people who dedicate their time and energy to this brand. He was surprise they weren’t all athlete types and so many were just “average Americans.” He was an Olympian (sorry, I was schooled that he IS an Olympian- once and Olympian always an Olympian!). This is why I love this community: anyone can excel. All you need to do is show up and do your best and they’ve got your back!

I know Peloton gave me my life back. ❤️