Warning: REAL things ahead, like Instagram not portraying real life all the time, pregnant and mom bodies, and boobs.
I went to spin class yesterday for the first time in, well, a long time. I think the last time I saw this crew and got on a stationary bike to ride and sweat my face off was in April.
A lot of things have happened since then. Some good, some bad. But 8 months have never been so bizarre, crazy, abnormal. For crying out loud, Jessi had a baby and opened another spin studio in Seattle since the last time I saw her. A lot has shifted.
When I asked Jessi how everything was going, with a big ole smile on her face, she said wheels were falling off and she felt like such a hot mess. While we were warming up on the bike and she’s chatting to the class, she opened up about the fact that it is RARE to really feel like we’re winning at adulting.
Life is freaking hard, y’all. Occasionally I feel like I’m doing pretty ok. A project finishes up and the client is happy. Students leave my class blissed out or empowered after nailing a new pose. I made a FaceTime date with my parents or a friend happen.
A lot of times I feel like I’m drowning a little bit. I never really feel caught up with my email inbox. I always have content paused in drafts waiting to be fleshed out and published. There are always things under my “life” to do list that get forgotten. Laundry is never ending, though I can kind of blame #yogateacherlife for that. Most days I’m running around town from class to meeting to run to class, feeling like a crazy person. It’s a big deal when I make a stir fry for dinner, which is practically the easiest thing you could cook in the world. I could always connect with my family and friends from NC and CO more.
Laundry multitasking goals!
And the list goes on…
Let alone all the balls that Jessi and other lady bosses in my life juggle. Babies and businesses. Houses and husbands. I can’t even imagine all that at this point in my life…
In the age of Instagram, which glorifies the life of SuperWoman, making it look easy to have it all and rock a perfect manicure the whole time, I most appreciate the moments of vulnerability and reality. Like when Jessi opens up to her class that she feels like she has lost her edge, that balancing all of her babies (all of her studios AND three kids under 5) is NOT easy, endears her to me all the more. She has this amazing post on her Instagram feed: picture 1 is a beautiful post-birth picture with her gazing down at her newborn son, picture 2 features her cradling her son still but double fisting with a giant burrito. It. Is. Amazing.
Or when Jamie shares with her community (aka the world) that pregnancy is NOT all it’s cracked up to be. That she doesn’t feel like she “glows” when she feels like Baby Danger is just a glorified beer belly. When beautiful, idyllic pregnancy photos are everywhere in our digital world…
…I can understand Jamie not really digging pregnancy so far when she’s frustrated about clothes not fitting and craving cheese constantly. Though I think she’s badass AF on a normal basis, and now she’s growing a human on top of it. Seriously, woah! And I am totally that person that touches (and kisses, oops!) her belly all the time. Get used to it, James! 😉
Craziness and vulnerability seem to be a big theme right now. A lot of change is happening (more on that later) and opening up about the struggle just seems like the right thing to do. The BEST thing to do is get a support system, to grab your squad and pull them in close to you.
Yesterday was one of the most exhausting days I can think of. I taught at 6:30am, worked for a couple of hours, took spin class, worked for a while again, went to the chiropractor, demolished some leftover pizza for lunch, worked through the afternoon, and then taught last night. Two things carried me through the day, well three really (that quick power nap mid afternoon did really work wonders). I drank all the coffee. That one is a given. The other is the combination of people I got to be with all day long. My early birds that showed up to the mat ready to throw down at 6:30am, and totally handled my crazy energy after my coffee filter failed on me halfway through brewing and I had the strongest half cup of coffee ever. Jessi and my spin squad that inspire me every single time I get on that bike. My chiropractor, who lectured me (as always) on self care. My works wives, who inspire me, motivate me, support me all freaking day long every freaking day. My evening yogis, all 21 of them, who braved the crazy rains yesterday to come to the mat and get SO sweaty. My heterosexual lifepartner, who I got to come home to, who makes me laugh even when I’m exhausted, who makes me feel special and loved all the time.
Every time throughout the day I felt like I was collapsing a little bit, I got a burst of energy from someone. Someone inspired me, someone made me laugh, someone showed up.
It’s amazing to me what can amp you up and make you feel great, even when you’re not! Maybe it’s sweating your face off (or a nap), a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), a roomful of people cursing you in chaturanga…
Sometimes it’s mind over matter. It’s deciding, “I’m winning. I feel good. I’m rocking at this.” Create a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself. Sometimes it’s putting on your big girl pants and powering through. Other times it’s seeking support from your network. Or changing your clothes…
Yes, I’m serious about that last one. I’m a big believer in “dressing the part.” People have their lucky tie or undies for big days at the office and presentations. I have my first date uniform I wear on pretty much every first date: skinny jeans, black tank, black booties; casual yet cute and, most importantly, it makes me feel good. When I worked in an office, I always felt more professional when I wore heels.
It applies even in the fitness world! I always feel more motivated to workout and go hard if I like my workout clothes and feel good in them. I may be sweaty and not get a shower in all day, but I’ll at least have a fresh change of spandex to put on after class. (Occasionally I’ll even mix it up and add in some deodorant too.)
Most of the time I do feel good in spandex. Considering I used to love to dress up…
…I’ve adopted my Sporty Spice persona wholeheartedly! The was-going-to-be-a-lawyer in me never, ever would have thought I’d be wearing spandex for a living!
But sometimes I gotta mix it up. It can feel a little too comfortable. On the days when I need a burst of energy, when I need to get my A-game on, it’s time to break out the rarely-seen-on-Liz real bra.
Real bras can sometimes constitute bralettes (what, they can have clasps!). But in this instance, I mean an actual real bra with cups and padding and everything. This is truly a rare occurrence for me. Jamie and I recently got to review the Upbra, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!
I normally stay away from push-up bras. To put it bluntly, I don’t need the cleavage assistance, and push-up bras always push WAY up for me. But the Upbra gave me more of a lift than a full-blown shove, and managed to be pretty comfortable, too. Not to mention that while wearing this bra there were in fact two of them, which is often lost due to the uniboob situation in a sports bra. I couldn’t stop staring down at my girls! I couldn’t believe they looked like that! It was just enough cleavage without being too much…
On the days when I want to put a little effort in, when I want to get out of my beloved, comfortable spandex, when I want to feel less like Sporty Spice and more feminine, I’m so happy to have the Upbra in my lingerie (or sports bra) drawer.
Thanks to my squad and thanks to Upbra for supporting me, even when I feel like a hot effing mess.