Autumn arrived. Officially starts tomorrow but yesterday I has a short skirt, no tights, short sleeves. I think I said goodbye to summer in a nice way: spent one hour at the river, in the chilly air, watching the sunset while listening to music, while trying to quiet my mind down.
And then autumn came, with this unpleasant drop in the temperature, a light though irritating rain in the morning. Perfect weather, I thought, for an afternoon in Starbucks with some coffee (and, luckily, a nice lunch with my best friend).
I have been dragging this weight on my shoulders for years now. The thought that I am not capable of taking care of myself.
The last years of failures to take care of me convinced me of this, to the desperate moments of hell, when I thought that maybe I am not mentally sane (okay, I know I am not completely mentally sane, but in a good way) and that I need to go to a psychiatric something. That maybe I am bipolar or simply I am dangerous for myself. While in a calmer state of mind I know that these thoughts are the result of stress, hopelessness and a certain tendency to be dramatic, I have always this background thought and insecurity that maybe I am really not capable of loving myself enough to take good care. Always engaged in this battle against me.
But you grow up. Slowly, not everything goes at the same pace in you. You are mature for some aspects. For other things, you are still fucked up. Things are changing slowly. But they are.
I am accepting my body, my ever bothering dislike for my physical appearance that I thought would never leave me. I thought I would have to always live with this self hatred. But I am starting to feel stronger and that helps with the confidence. So much that a few weeks ago I managed to workout at Crossfit without my t-shirt, one of my dreams. In my dreams, my tummy was flat and I was super lean. It is not like this. My belly is round, maybe bloated. It will probably be better but I doubt it will ever be flat like I would like it to be. And that is fine. And, even more, I started to think this tiny thought: my beauty is not defined by that excess skin or fat over there.
And we get to the point: beauty.
For a multitude of reasons I have always thought myself not pretty. I am a nice person, maybe an interesting one, a deep one, sensitive, curious. But I never thought I could be physically attractive. Someone could like me because of my inner light and despite my appearance. But, eureka!, what if the physical appearance is somehow influenced by my inner light? What if, overall, I could also look pretty, because of how I am as a whole human being?
Well, if my mind is not messed up.
As for the inner light… It is easy for me to slip back into old bad habits. Into expecting too much from me and never saying no and always saying yes to please others. This is the perfect, quickest recipe for BURNOUT. Yaaay, so since I was burnt out twice in six months, why not three times?
Well, it is not really like that. I have started a journey, months ago, years ago. It is made of several ingredients, to keep it on a culinary aspect: buddhism is the first. It gave me hope. Then there was the counseling and it gave me some perspective. And the mash together very well, although I am deeply convinced that without Buddhism I would be lost. And they both brought me to the third, which is Crossfit.
I swear if someone told me, six months ago, I would wake up at 5.30 in the morning to go to train, I would have laughed and then offered this person a Vodka Szoda, patting him/her on the shoulder, recommending a good counselor. Proved me very wrong. Third month and still going, loving it more and more. When I try to explain people why I love it, the challenge is the first thing that comes to my mind. It is a constant challenge with myself, with the voice in my head saying: Fede, you are too weak. It is not for you.
I remember the first class I took. During the workout, breathing heavily and trying to focus on not falling and hurting myself, on the brink of giving up, I thought angrily: Fuck, no, I am gonna do this!
And I did.
Less than three months and going, yesterday I was in a class full of people who are well trained. My usual trainer was training with us, we had another one, whom I had somehow thought was a jerk. And maybe he is a bit, but he was patient and encouraging, yesterday.
There were still 3 minutes left to go, I had some reps to do and I felt tired. Not like I was dying but very tired, I had trained three days in a row. It was 7.56 am. I was the last one working out, the others were already done.
Always the same, always the last one, the weakest, I had this bitter thought, while trying to do a jumping pull up, my hands hurting from gripping the bar.
And then the others started.
“Come on Fede!”
“You’re almost there!”
“Go Fede, don’t give up!”
They started to encourage me, several people. I wish I could tell them how much it meant to me. My eyes are wet with tears now, because it was touching. They did not have to do it. But that is the spirit of Crossfit.
What happened yesterday made me even surer of my determination to become a Crossfit coach.
This was an idea my father gave me last sunday, while we were having lunch with my mother and my hungarian sister at a nice, sunny restaurant in Italy, back home. He threw this suggestion probably without thinking and it struck me. “You could inspire many people”, he said.
It was really like I was discovering hot water or something like that.
Who better than me? Me, struggling with an eating disorder and with type 1 diabetes. I had been looking for a purpose, a mission to take care of myself, to inspire others to take care of their diabetes because I suck at that. Me that I have been always interested in teaching, training, inspiring people.
I am slow, lazy. I am uncoordinated, not flexible. Not a sporty type. So, how on earth could it be me? But I am also stubborn, determined, empathetic, compassionate, ambitious. So, why on earth shouldn’t it be me?
This is the best gift my father could give me.
Goodbye, summer. Welcome, autumn.