I went back to my boxing class tonight. I needed it. There’s something very freeing in a workout that hard. It leaves you wrung out, exhausted, It gives you so much room for mental clarity. When you’re stressed, sad, anxious or scared, my whole hearted recommendation is a workout that strips you bare, especially if it makes you uncomfortable. I talked a little bit about that preference of mine in Batten Down the Hatches, a post I wrote about what to do when life gets hard.
Anyway, there I was, in my boxing class, probably dying as we finished the second two minute round meets 1/4 (?) mile run. And everything hurt, I could barely breathe. It’s been a month or so since I was there, and in that month, I’ve eaten a lot of bad meals, and I’ve taken a lot of naps. So tonight class hurt. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts every time, but I could really feel that month off. When things get like that, I try hard to find a single floating life preserver of positivity to keep pushing through the onslaught. Usually, it’s a compliment, memory, or goal.
Today, my life preserver was this thought: you are a superhero, and this is how you train for your job. And then, the shame washed over me. How can I be a superhero when I’m sometimes out of breath at the top of the stairs? How can I be a superhero in double digit pants sizes? How can I pretend to be a fitness minded person when I love ice cream as much as I do, when I’ve essentially taken a really slow month on my goals? I’m a pretender. I’m a fake.
And then I caught myself. No. That simply isn’t true. None of those negative thoughts are true. I am a superhero because, even though I’m out of breath, I keep climbing. I am a superhero because I have the courage to stand up for what’s right, and to live my best life, regardless of the size on the tags of my clothes. I am a fitness minded person because I am climbing back in the saddle, because I will never give up, because I will never, never back down from my goals.
And then, in a blink of an eye, I was thinking about how amazing a “plus size”, female, strong as anything, sexy, fierce superhero would be.
I. Am. A. Superhero. Because I choose to be. This is the kind of thing that you get to decide to be, unlike being tall and leggy, unlike being a physicist. I am a superhero because I say I am.
And you are all superheroes because I say you are. No matter your level of fitness. No matter how many times you’ve started over on your goals. No matter the amount of money in your bank account, no matter if you’ve eaten ice cream every night for dinner for a week. No. Matter. What. You are a superhero if you say you are.
Of course, this works equally well on all of life’s hurdles. Sure, maybe it’s struggling through running that last mile, but maybe it’s starting a new job, or getting a new job, or going through a breakup or losing a loved one. When you find yourself drowning, you dig deep. You own your truth. You put your shoulders back, stand up proud and shout from the roof tops that you are a superhero and that no one can take that from you. And that when superheroes are going through difficult stuff, or playing the comparing game, or feeling uncertain, they do what’s right anyway.
And we can do that too.
Superhero action of the day: Tell someone something you’re struggling with or ashamed about. Talk it out. Get rid of it. Kill that shame with some openness.