People, don’t worry. I know last week was pretty mopey, absolutely, I get it. I have to be honest on this blog, and that’s what I was feeling then. But God provides in so many different ways, and while he doesn’t light up a huge THIS IS WHERE WE’RE GOING sign like I want Him to, the little things He’s sent me this week assured me that yes, maybe He’s still sitting on the couch, watching my life on TV and munching popcorn, but He hasn’t changed the channel yet.
I had exactly one day off. Obviously, I was prepared for a much longer unemployed stint. And there’s a significant part of me that sighs at being thrust into such similar circumstances as last year – here’s a gig working for mercurial people that have gone through a string of temps before you showed up and calmed them down with your mellow nature that actually disguises an I Don’t Care What You Think About Me mentality – that I’m having a hard time remembering what year it is. 2009? 2010? How can I tell them apart?
But on my one day off, I went to a Boot Camp class at my gym that I never get to go to because I’m usually at work when the class starts. I recognized the instructor as someone who had subbed at one of my 7am classes before, and he’s a pretty warm guy. My other Boot Camp instructors are usually military Yell At You Because It’s Boot Camp, or Icy Cool I Throw Down This Challenge, Can You Defy My Expectations Of You.
But this instructor is a Cool Cool Cat, and the class was smaller than normal, so he was going around encouraging people one by one. By the time he got to me, I was on the triceps station.
I hate triceps dips, because they hurt like a bitch. I can do biceps stuff all day long, my deltoids aren’t too shabby, and I kick out the jams when it comes to abs, but triceps are my evil arch enemy, like they are for any girl.
But in classic fashion, The Thing You Hate The Most Is The Thing You Need To Do The Most, and Mr. Cool Cool Cat comes over to supervise me just as I’ve decided that I’m gonna do the Triceps dips all hard core, with my legs straight out in front of me, as opposed to a table top bend in the legs.
The initial plan was to go Hard Core style for 45 seconds, and then wimp out and do Table Top style for the remaining 45 seconds. But now that Mr. Cool Cool Cat has come over to cheer me on, I can’t exactly quit halfway through.
So I struggle through a minute and a half of Hard Core Triceps Dips. For context, after 30 seconds, it feels like someone has squirted lighter fluid on the back of my arms and flicked a match. My arms are rapidly approaching noodle consistency, and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to raise them again for the rest of the day, which will make shampooing my hair pretty difficult after class.
I’m deep breathing like a champ, in the hopes the oxygen influx will take some of the burn away, and Mr. Cool Cool Cat is cheering me on, “You got this, you got this, keep going, keep going.”
“It HURTS!” I bite out through gritted teeth, desperate for someone to know that this is such a struggle, these past couple of weeks have HURT SO MUCH, and it’s all filtering down to a remaining 45 seconds, and if I puss out now, it wins.
LIFE wins. Life - which has served me such a steaming pile of shit in the form of multiple people taking me for granted and abusing my I Treat Everyone How I Want To be Treated nature since the beginning of 2010 - is going to squash me like a bug and laugh at me as I curl up on the aerobic room floor with my broken arms, and cry, and wait for the rest of this terrible year to be over already.
“I know it hurts, but you got this, just stay with me, I’m counting you down, 15 more seconds, come on now, you got this,” Mr. Cool Cat says, and counts me down 15, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and we’re done. It’s over.
My legs rocket back under me as my arms let go of the triceps station and I lean forward in a crouching position. I’m breathing hard, it hurts it hurts, I can barely focus in front of me. I made it through a minute and a half of Hard Core style triceps dips, and what does it matter, I still hurt, maybe more than before, hey, how am I gonna get home if I have to use my arms to drive? I hurt, I hurt, I can’t really see anything but what’s directly in front of me.
And what’s in front of me is an outstretched pair of hands.
“Good job, you did great.”
Mr. Cool Cool Cat is standing in front of me, offering his hands. His outstretched hands.
I don’t know how I did it, but my noodle arms grab his hands, seemingly operating independently of my brain. Well, if you’re not gonna click in and think here, we’ll handle this.
Mr. Cool Cool Cat pulls me up, and gives me a quick hug.
“Good job. Great job.”
Mr. Cool Cool Cat is now officially my favorite person of the year.
I made it through the rest of the class, I made it through the rest of the week, and I had unexpected drinks with Tricia, one of my favorite people of all time. We had started drinks at a local bar, then went back to her place, because our conversation was so extensive, and covered so many different topics, that a single hour just wasn’t enough.
But this means I get to see one of my favorite dogs ever, SIMON! SIMON THE DOG, people! He's made appearances on this blog here, here, and here. What an unexpected bonus! I couldn’t have planned on it, and yet here he is, and here I am, and here he is sitting on the couch next to me!
I also got a DOUBLE unexpected bonus in the form of The Staircase. Faithful Readers O The Blog will remember The Staircase entry , where little Iain didn’t wanna go to bed on New Year’s Eve, and I turned the memory of him trudging up the stairs into a patented religious metaphor O GOLD.
Here we are, over two years later, and there I am with Simon, World’s Greatest Dog, watching Iain, two years older, but no less obstinate, go up the stairs again.
What year is this? 2008? 2009? 2010?
Two years ago Iain said, “But Momma, I’m not tired.” Tonight, after a fun filled night of dinosaurs at the Staples Center and McDonald’s for dinner, he says, “I won’t do it!”
“I won’t do it!”
The hilarious part is that he’s still climbing the stairs as he’s saying it, “I won’t do it!” (climbing two more stairs) “I won’t do it, Momma!” (he keeps going.)
“We’re gonna have issues, then,” is Tricia’s reply, but she doesn’t get out of her chair. She doesn’t have to, because Iain can bitch all he wants to, but he’s still trudging up those stairs, hating life every second, but still obeying in his own obstinate way.
That is my journey.
I am tired. I’m tired, and I have noodle arms, and I am so very disappointed that despite all my actions, I cannot change or otherwise get off this dismal hamster wheel of life.
But I grabbed the outstretched hands. And I will continue to bitch all the way up these never ending stairs. But I keep going. Because I have no other choice. Because I know God won’t let me stop. Because my quads are awesome. ☺
David Bowie and his two toned eyes have nothing on Simon, World’s Greatest Dog, and Simon's Book Club Pick O The Month. We’ll see what happens.