When I was in junior high school I used to go ice skating every weekend. I was a good skater, not great. I wanted to be great, but we couldn’t afford lessons, so I knew I would never improve past what I taught myself by watching other people. Instead, when I was out on the ice skating backward as if I was ramping up to do the double axle I did not know how to do, coming around that last high curve before I would theoretically launch myself up in the air, I would abort the move and skate forward as if I had purposefully interrupted my jump. The story I created in my head that I wanted other people to know was that I had been a skater bound for the olympics only to be shut down by an injury after falling during practice that made me scared to do the jumps (Hello, did someone watch Ice Castles too many times or what?). So, what they were seeing on the ice was me working up the courage to skate again and get back to training for the Olympics. Seriously. This is what I told myself (and wanted to tell everyone else) every single time time I skated. I wanted to explain to them why I wasn’t the BEST skater. And my explanation wasn’t even the truth.
In less than two weeks I am going on vacation to Maui for some R and R (Rest and Romance). Ten glorious days of sea bathing and sunning, hiking and strolling, sleeping in and staying up late. All with the person I love. Glorious stuff. For the past three months I have been obsessed with getting into shape as one will do when one is going to be living in a bathing suit for an extended period of time.
I have been working out at least three times a week and eating all good, green stuff. The only difference I’ve noticed is my shoulders are a little more rounded and I can do twice as many push ups. All that work and my shoulders are rounded?? Great. What about the abs and butt? And the love handles and other assorted jiggly bits? In this later-age stage of life it takes a fuck of a lot longer to get in shape. It just does. It’s hard to get up and actually do it and it takes forever for even one ab muscle to poke its head out from underneath winter’s store of fat. But I’m working on it. The thing is, I know I’m working on it, but no one else on the beach will know that I’m working on it.
There is a strong desire to explain to all of my fellow beach goers (and my significant other) WHY I’m still jiggly possibly with some elaborate story, such as, while training for Wimbledon I blew out all the tendons in my left ankle and have been holed up and hobbled for the better part of two years. This Hawaiian vacation with the frisbee playing, body surfing and boogie boarding is all really physical therapy for my ankle, so I can get back to winning all the tennis games ever. To be the BEST tennis player.
But that story isn’t true. I will never be the best tennis player with or without the blown out ankle. The truth is, I am jiggly in my bathing suit because I’ve spent the last year and a half indulging myself in love and food and leisure. I haven’t been moving enough and it caught up to me and my stalled, older-hood metabolism. I’ve recognized that it’s time to start moving again, to get strong again and I’m taking steps toward that. That is the real explanation. I’m retraining my brain to focus on the idea that even though I’ll be all jiggly on the beach, I can still have the BEST time. And I will.
PS: While I’m still taking my bikini, I bought my first one-piece bathing suit for this trip to contain some of the jiggle. Cute, right?