I had a really nostalgic moment this weekend, and in of all places- Reno.

 

First, let me preface this with a little expression I can’t stop thinking about. It came from a blue and gold plaque that I bought from Mervyn’s (GOD I miss Mervyn’s) when I was 7 or 8 years old. It said,

 

“The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe in Their Dreams.”

 

At the time, I didn’t know who or what I wanted to be. I didn’t know what my passions were, let alone what passion was in the first place. But something about that sign felt like it was all I ever needed to know, and believe in.

Yesterday was a BIG effing deal for me.

I rode a stationary bike!

I never thought I’d be in a situation where I’d be ELATED to ride a bike. For 6 whole minutes. But there I was, peddling- one foot in front of the other- and it was as if I’d won the lottery. I looked at my physical therapist and said, “I’m ridding a bike! Omg, I’m riding a bike!!!”

I almost wanted to cry.

In case you’re unaware, I had surgery on my left knee 3 weeks ago to remove part of my bone that had physically come off the joint. (I know, gross) My doctors have let me know 1) My running days are “a thing of the past” (this KILLED me to hear), and 2) somewhere in the near future, I’ll need surgery involving a donor graph and a long recovery with 3+ months of crutches.

I was just about to write a blog about how, after months, I finally went back to the gym tonight. And then, something RIDICULOUSLY ironic happened.

Truth be told, I haven’t liked who I’ve been for a while. As a comedian and radio personality, I am extremely confident in my talent.  But as a person…Sandy, the girl who never learned how to love herself just for the sake of loving herself, well, I struggle with that. I’ve been doubting myself. Not wanting to take pictures. Wearing things that hide my body.

Simply put? I’ve put on weight. And I’ve been embarrassed about it. Haven’t wanted to go to the gym in fear my trainer would be disappointed in me. Lost my iPod with all my work-out music and it RUINED MY WORLD. I’m not kidding you. I lost it late November and it felt like part of my life came to a halt. I’m sure that’s way too dramatic, but I don’t care.  My little playlists became part of my life. My routine. My happy place.

Fast forward to yesterday- a turning point- when I had lunch with my trainer, Evan, and his girlfriend Caitlin. I hadn’t seen them in forever (if you saw my “Snack B*tch” video, they were in it!) and was quite honestly nervous. But I needed motivation. I needed hope.  I told them about my knee (which will present some serious challenges for me in the coming weeks- that’s another blog) and the first thing they said was,

“Okay, cool. So you can do core and upper body work-outs.”

Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.

Well actually I had, for a second, but then I started wallowing about all the stuff I won’t be able to do, can’t do, and haven’t been doing. I am a PROFESSIONAL WALLOWER. In fact, if there were a class on how to take all the shit in your life and make it more dramatic than it actually is, I’m the teacher.

“Mountains into Molehills: 101.”

So we talked. And ate. And laughed. I had a 1,000 calorie salad and didn’t beat myself up for it. Caitlin had a cheeseburger cause she’d just run a 5k and was “hangry.” (Angry + Hungry) Evan had chicken over brown-rice (though he wanted ribs)  because he is in the midst of trying to lose 40 pounds.

WE ALL HAVE OUR STUFF.

I think that was my biggest takeaway yesterday. We are ALL going through something. And it took seeing my trainer be a human being for me to forgive myself, and start to move forward. To believe that I can feel good about myself again. To not focus on my limitations, but my possibilities.

I went to the gym tonight. I did upper body and core. I didn’t have my iPod, but I went anyway. I didn’t like the way my body looked, but I put a sweater around my waist and went anyway. I only walked a mile on the treadmill cause that’s all my knee could handle, but I went anyway. I barely recognized any of the staff and only a couple people recognized me, but I went anyway.

And then I came home.

And I found my iPod.

I just watched “Extreme Cougar Wives.” And it inspired me so much that I physically had to write.

I had the show on as background as it’s raining, I just made soup, and wanted to give myself an hour to f**k off. That means shitty reality TV. Yet, not even 10 minutes into it and I found myself amazed at these women’s journeys and thinking about myself, and my own future.

For example- Hattie is 76. She is an open, free spirit. She wears make-up. Is in touch with her body. Goes dancing. Playful. Flirty. And witty as hell. She went on a blind date with a GORGEOUS 29-year-old who had no idea the woman he was meeting would be 47 years older than him.

At first he was taken aback. But, like a gentleman, he stayed and had dinner with her. Flirted. They conversationally played “tennis”, with one hitting the ball into the other’s court, and the other hitting back. At the end of the date, he looked straight in the camera and said he’d go on another date with her.

And he did! There he was, walking with her in Central Park, looking into her eyes, with his arm around her. Yes, everyone looked. Like, EVERYONE. But for them, it was date #2. And it was fun.

I don’t really know what my point is in writing this. I guess I just really love and appreciate where they are BOTH coming from.

Hattie is allowing herself to FULLY express herself. Her sexuality. Her sensuality. Her style. And her date- while fully knowing the age difference- was engaged. Because he saw her spirit, and her essense.

That’s all we really are. We are spirits expressing ourselves in human form. And if you look into someone’s eyes- if you are fully present with them- you will feel so much more than what your eyes can physically see.

I’m also particularly drawn to this because, as a woman, I find it inspiring to watch other women be bold and brave enough to be themselves, regardless of age. I want that confidence in myself. I don’t have it yet. And like it or not, our society shames women for growing older. It’s unfortunate, and even me- now at 33 years old- asks questions like, “When I grow old….will I be outcast? Will I still be desired? Will I get cheated on? How many times will I get cheated on? Will I still be sexual? Does it really diminish with age? Will anyone even want me in that way?”

Hattie did not have one fiber in her being that even ENTERTAINED those thoughts. She just doesn’t have time for them. She’s too busy dancing, and nailing 20-somethings. So, hat’s off to Hattie.

May she show us what it really looks like to go out with a bang.

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