Sunday, June 26, 2011

CFD Lady Bloggers Unite! Self-Love Edition

So one of my readers is also a coach at CrossFit Durham, and a friend of mine.  I like to call her Coach Actually.  Ask her about it sometime.

Remember when I did that post last week about eleven fitness- and appearance-based goals I have?  It got more comments than average (and a lot of them focused on the topic of butt dimples.  which i still think are sexy, so there).  The general gist (and something I should have realised) was that some of them were attributes that, it seems, people are "just born with;" you either have it or you don't, and there's not much you can do body-recomposition-wise, to deal with that.  Ashley brought up the fact, in her comment and in the subsequent email convos we had on Facebook, that we (as ladies, even supercool athlete ladies) find it so easy to spout off lists of what we don't like about our bodies, or what we'd like to eventually attain, relating to both looks and abilities.  And it's not an argument for complacency or contentment with mediocrity, but we really need to be able to talk about what we do like about our bodies and current abilities in just as much glowing detail.  The point is that, regardless of future plans or goals, we are anything BUT mediocre right now.  We are freaking awesome.  Here's the proof:

1. I love my feet
They're little (smaller than almost all of my family's feet, even counting some of the chilluns).  They're kinda weird-looking (super-high arches that have fallen a bit, short scrunched-up toes, some crooked toes.  and they can get hairy).  But they're strong and flexible and, best of all, useful.  I can point them - maybe not a perfect practiced balletic "en pointe" pose, but it looks pretty to me!  I can take off my shoes and scramble up rocks at the river, using not just my toes but my whole foot to grip and climb.  I can run barefoot over smooth ground, and today I walked some unknown but long distance through the woods over gravel and roots and dried holly leaves, and it was the leaves that hurt my feet the most.

2. I love my squat(ting ability)
I am really good at squats.  We did so freaking many of them all throughout my...1.5 years? of bootcamp that I consider myself kind of a pro.  I figured out how to avoid the "butt wink" (your lower back rounding out at the bottom of the move) pretty well, which allowed me to get my back squat up to 185 so far.  And I can sit in the bottom of a squat so well that when we were all doing it for like 5 minutes straight in mobility class, some jealous person who shall remain unnamed pointed at me and said "that is not normal!"  Nope, it's not.  It's awesome.

3. I love my tattoo
It's on the back of my neck, which has caused some people to point out that I'll never be able to see it without a mirror or camera.  True, but I still know it's there.  It's in the shape of an apple star - the five-pointed floret of seeds that you see if you cut an apple in half horizontally.  It's known as the Star of Knowledge, and is said to have been the symbol of King Solomon, Pythagoras and other such smarty-pantses.  It's also become connected with the pentacle in that they are both five-pointed stars, so it's known (among witchy people, at least) as a "secret" symbol for paganism.  To me, it represents the magic, beauty and perfect geometry inherent everywhere in nature, if you only know where to look.

4. I love my burpees 
I've never seen myself doing them, obvs (anyone wanna hold the video camera and help me fix that?) but apparently I kick my feet way out and up, and bring my chest to the ground faster.  Like the beginning of "the worm."  Amy says "donkey kick."  Jed says "balletic."  I just think it's fun!

5. I love my eyes
I get SO many compliments on my eyes.  They're large and dark and my eyelashes have been known to elicit cries of wonder and jealousy from friends, make-up artists and several random customers in various restaurants I've worked in over the years who just walked up and told me how gorgeous they were.  The Man tells me that they are two-toned: the insides are a golden brown and the outsides are light hazel-green.  But you can only see that if you get really close :)

6. I love my ability to enjoy the hell out of swimming even though I'm bad at it
I took swimming lessons as a kid.  I distinctly remember it.  Our instructor was named Sheila and, nerdy little rugrats that we were, we called her Shelob behind her back.  That's the huge spider from Return of the King, in case you have a life.  But now I can barely dog paddle, although I only halfway suck at lying on one side and scooting along.  I really don't care.  Being in the water - lake, river, ocean; even a pool or bathtub in a pinch - just puts me at the purest ease I've ever experienced.  I especially like twirling around like an otter.

7. I love my hands
There's probably not a square inch of skin on my hands that doesn't bear at least a fading scar, handy as I am with the chef's knife.  But they're long-fingered and thick-skinned where it counts.  My hands aren't white or soft or "pretty," but they're strong and graceful, allowing me to write and sign and lift and climb and caress and poke and anything else I want to do with them.

8. I love my old ballet skills
I took ballet for a good 8 years when I was younger, and while I can lo longer do a pirouette without falling over (but still having fun), I've held on to a number of skills I gleaned from that stint.  I can rise up on my toes in demi-pointe and balance there on both or just one foot, which is apparently not something everyone can do.  I'm fairly flexible, even without a great deal of intentional upkeep.  And, although I don't see it, people tell me I'm graceful, with what seem like normal movements to me appearing as very dancer-like to others.  And graceful people are fun to watch.  So that's cool.

9.  I love my belly button
It's just so darn cute!  Even with the scar from the time I pierced it myself with a needle when I was 15, before my sister convinced me that it would go gangrenous and I'd slowly die of omphalic rot, but not before she told our parents, who would of course disown me.  It's still cute, though.

10. I love my friends
You might be thinking "no fair!  cop-out!" but bear with me on this.  My friends are an amazing group of people.  They're smart, funny, motivated and interesting, and the fact that they're all damn sexy is just a bonus.  I am friends with them because I think they'll make my life better.  As such, I've got a pretty high regard for their opinions.  And their opinions include the fact that I am amazing enough for them to be friends with me.  Therefore, I'm pretty amazing.  If I do say so myself.

 So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Although, reading back over this list, I'm struck with a desire to get pictorial or video evidence of each of these things.  Hmm...more post ideas....

Check these ladies out!  They're all writing about how awesome they are along with me.

Ashley has the funnest laugh ever.  Just thinking about her impression of "laughter yoga" has me giggling to myself.
Bea is equal parts adorableness and badassery in a fun-size package.  I kind of want to be her.
Lindsay is the main reason that the Sartorialist needs to come visit Durham.  Even in her workout clothes.  Especially in her workout clothes.
Melinda is not only kicking cancer's ass in a major way, but she's also got one of the most beautiful, authentic smiles I've ever seen.
I don't know Colleen too well, but I do know that she's got legs like yeah whoa and I've never seen her not smiling.
Amy.  Oh, Amy.  I would KILL for your ass.  I might not even kill to actually have it, just because its hypnotic power compelled me to do so.  You have a great gift.  Never use your powers for evil.



  1. Awesome, Bea! :) So fantastic. MUAH! And yes, I remember you showing me one day how you can point your toes! As Phil says, "I'm jelly"!

  2. Very Nice Nelly! Now how to I catch some of this? :)

    I'm not computer savvy so this post goes anonymous.-courtney e

  3. And I don't know why I wrote, "awesome Bea". Holy moly. Sometimes I think I have mild strokes throughout the day. Remember, we discussed this problem in mobility the other day. :/

  4. Ashley: lulz, it's ok. I did say I kinda wanted to be Bea, so I don't mind :P

    Courtney: Thanks a ton! You catch it by making your own I-am-awesome list :D

  5. Nelly, You are super awesome, and I've always been impressed when I've seen you in action. (And hell yes on your burpee form. You've got your chest all the way to the deck before your toes ever touch down. That's some fearless diving. You ever consider playing ultimate? ;)

    This sounds like a challenging exercise. I'm not sure how well I'd do with it, so please don't take the following too harshly, but I think you're'd do with it, so please don't take the following too harshly, but I think you' still talking yourself down a bit. A lot of the things you like are "in spite of" or "even though" something. "Flaw, but love." Here's your first entry, for instance, with the caveats edited out:

    -- Quote --

    1. I love my feet

    They're little (smaller than almost all of my family's feet, even counting some of the chilluns), they're strong and flexible and, best of all, useful. I can point them and it looks pretty to me! I can take off my shoes and scramble up rocks at the river, using not just my toes but my whole foot to grip and climb. I can run barefoot over smooth ground, and today I walked some unknown but long distance through the woods over gravel and roots and dried holly leaves, and it was the leaves that hurt my feet the most.

    -- End quote --

    Sometimes it's nice to let the praise stand alone. It's also harder to hear and believe sometimes.

    On the other hand, there's also something strong and awesome about "flaw but love."

  6. I LOVE how this post focuses on the positives! It's rare to just sit down and so that! Whenever I get into a bad mood about my body, I say to myself - Girl, you've got marathon legs. And whatever else you think about them...they are strong and awesome enough to let you run 26.2 miles. So don't go around hating on em.