Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fat Girl On A Bar: Revelations that Boost

I know, I know, I haven't even had my third class yet. Tomorrow. And yes ya'll can expect a post after the class. Or an explanation of why I missed a class. BUT....I had to share after the kind of down note from last week. The early part of last week was hard. I never know why I have what I call "low self-esteem" days out of the blue. Sometimes I can pin point an event, a comment, or a look that sets me off but other times they just slam into me. Those ones suck the most. They come out of the blue usually when I'm feeling pretty damn good about myself and the relentlessness of my inner mean girl leaves me feeling like I'm on the edge of not being able to breath.

After I wrote my blog, I struggled for a couple of days with feeling like I wanted to quit trapeze. I had a great experience on Monday that left me feeling better about other aspects of my life but trapeze? I just didn't know if I had it in me to continue.

"You're so fat," my mean girl whispered.
"Disgusting." she crooned. "Everyone must be repulsed watching you struggle."

On Sunday evening, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the Y. "Look at your HUGE middle," my mean girl crowed. "It's sick."

Immediately upon returning from the Y, I saw a post from someone in the DC area wanting to know that it would take to get people with chronic illness or felt marginalized in other ways to do trapeze and other circus things. She shared the Sick Woman Theory post which I'd seen floating around but had not read. I'm not sick and I wasn't sure it applied. My sciatica pain was really the first time I even tasted what it might be like to live with chronic pain. It was pretty sucky honestly and I developed a new respect for anyone who lives with pain. But mine isn't bad, and it's so much better now. But I read the link because I do feel marginalized by being fat especially in terms of exercise. Here's what I told the woman " Several forces came together to make it possible for me to step out of my safe place and into trapeze....Melissa and Ann at Canopy really encouraged me. They never doubted I could do it but they also didn't condescend to me. I believed I could do it at my weight because they didn't pretend I wasn't fat. It wasn't insulting and I never felt judged. I just felt seen."

I want to focus on that bit about being seen. One thing I despise is when I say I'm fat and someone says "Oh you're not fat." It's ridiculous because I am so clearly fat. I mean tell me to not bash myself or that my value isn't on my body weight or who gives a fuck if you're fat but please don't assume I don't realize I'm fat. I do. I'm very fat. It's cool. Got that. Thus when I started to think about trapeze I valued that Ann and Melissa honored my body and encouraged me. Because they really believe that trapeze is for all bodies That's pretty awesome.  Been unseen is at heart in the post I mention above. Hedva's manifesto (for what else is this magnificent piece of writing but a manifesto) is all about seeing those who are not seen in public, whose bodies are denied recognition and presence. For me this means not seeing my body in movement, and it's also about making sure my body is seen. Because these two women saw my body, it helped me to start toward a vision of my body doing these things. It's vital.

I told Ann today as we talked about what I wrote last time, and about the Sick Woman Theory, that for the first time in my life, I was trying to get fitter not to lose weight. I want to get fit I told her because I love trapeze and I want to be better. If my body goes down in size, fine, but that's no longer the end goal. The end goal is to carve a space for myself and my body inside this amazing world I've discovered. It's to prove to myself and to everyone around me that you don't need to be ninety pounds to fly. You can be two hundred pounds or somewhere in between.

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