This week JoDee and I went to our first Pilates class. First of all, someone should have told me that Pilates is a code word for Death By Exercise. This year is supposed to be the year of me remember? The stupid dentist, haircuts, yadda yadda yadda. I used to jog. That alone is pretty funny. It took a long time for my good friend EJ to talk me into trying to jog in the first place. Over time I grew to love jogging.  It really gave me more energy, feel stronger, and sleep better. And, added bonus, when I couldn’t sleep I could jog. But life got in the way, and I’m not really sure what happened but the only time I jog now is when it’s raining and my Sunday paper is at the end of the driveway instead of on my front stairs. I know it’s pathetic but #sorrynotsorry.  Ok, I am sorry. I miss it. So, I decided to start jogging again and was absolutely horrified to find out that de-conditioning happens fast and relentlessly.  Reconditioning is not nearly as easy. Pilates was my idea. To help me recondition myself. I had heard lots of people talk about it. I wish I had told those people to shut their stupid face.

The first night of Pilates JoDee and I have not had pedicures so our toes looked as though we were homeless people, who tried to chew our toes for nourishment. And we had no yoga mats, so we skipped. Embarrassing, but true. The second class, we had new yoga mats, freshly painted and repaired toes, and the will to go. All the essentials. JoDee wasn’t thrilled about going. She didn’t think she was going to like it, and overall, I think she felt pressured to go with her old mother to the Y where other old people would be working out. She was, in part, correct. There were in fact older-than-her people in the class but she loved it. I hated it. And her. And the woman teaching it. Does anyone need to be that perky and nice and perfectly sculpted when teaching such barbaric classes? ANNOYING. I won’t even get into the part where JoDee kept laughing at me as I slowly lost my soul on my stinks-like-a-new-yoga-mat, or when she almost peed her pants after I lost control of my ball which careened over to another person’s personal space and I had to make a second-base slide to grab it. True. Story.

There was a part of me that wanted JoDee to go because I miss spending time with her. Even when I do spend time with her it’s pretty strained. She is usually face down in her phone, or all the kids are around. I’m sure she feels out-of-place at home. She barely lived there for the last 4 years and when she has it hasn’t been under the best terms. Everyone is getting used to her home and clean (we hope) so it’s an adjustment period. While JoDee’s addiction was ruling her life, I was still home building relationships with the other kids as they grew up. It is understanding that she would feel a little resentful that life has gone on without her, and I’m sure it is hard to accept. But, we are making progress. She is making progress. And part of that progress was going to Pilates with me. When we got settled (I was still so naive then, it’s embarrassing to think about) and were sitting on our mats full of excited anticipation for the class that would eventually be the death of me, I took a good look at her. She was wearing yoga pants, and a Disney T-Shirt Jared got when he went with my mother in August. She looks better, but not great. The JoDee of yesteryear was tan, and vibrant, and energetic, and could have Pilated circles around those people.

I see her in there. I see what she used to be. She can never be what she used to be. And I wouldn’t want her too. I want her to be the new and improved JoDee. I want her to get a life. A real life. I don’t think she knows what she wants or where to go, or how to get there. That’s ok. She is definitely transitioning from what she was to what she will become. The “what she was” is not someone she wants to be, so it’s going to be uncomfortable and messy to get to the “becoming”. When I look at her I can see both. I can see what she was, the traces are left on her arms, and in the remorse in her eyes. And I can see what she is becoming when she smiles, and laughs, and relaxes. There is no way to tell her to take a breath and let her destiny fall out. At 22 years old she has seen more, done more, and experienced more than a lot of adults in her life. I don’t know how to tell her she needs to learn to trust herself and her instincts. I was nearly 40 before I figured that out. Sometimes I see her looking at other people and I can almost hear her wishing she had their life. I have to figure out how to get her to see that her life is just as wonderful; she isn’t defined by the things that she has done.  None of us are. If I was defined by the things that I have done… well…I won’t get into that but my life would be completely different now. As would a lot of us.  Our past should not be the chains that restrict us from becoming something different, instead they should be part of what makes us who we are. I don’t want her to spend her life wishing it was something different when she can make her life anything she wants it to be.

Oh, to be 22 again. Young, not smart enough to be afraid, not enough fear to be restrictive….those were the days. I’m just thankful that my dumb-ass days happened long before this technological age. If there were video and phone recordings of the crap I did when I was younger, that could be some real blackmail right there! Ha. I am also glad that phones weren’t allowed in Pilates or I’m sure JoDee would have SnapChatted my sorry ass.  This was the only evidence that we survived!

Before Pilates:


After Pilates:


4 thoughts on “Pilates

  1. Fran says:

    You guys look great! I’m so glad you are doing something together. I actually think it is good she is finding things to laugh about, even if it is at your expense lol. These are the moments that make life special . And doing things together will help her heal. Always in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynne Nieman says:

    You made me spit out my water with the “chewed on our toes for nourishment” phrase and had me in tears at “the traces are left on her arms, and in the remorse in her eyes.” You get me every time…every time my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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