By Rhonda Massad
I’m 53 years old. I started the blog about 5 years ago. I had no idea what that would mean. I still say “the Facebook” when referring to social media. I just thought it would be fun and hopefully helpful to people. I am not one to put too much thought into my fears before jumping into a project. The saying Just Do It is how I live my life. I win some and I most certainly lose some.
What I did not realize is that so many people would be checking in and watching what I post. I am honoured that people check in to find out what’s new. But it can be daunting. I am used to the views but my habits include flipping on a filter when I feel tired and ugly. Or when my allergies have my face riddled with hives. It also means smiling when I may feel more like crying. It also means you don’t really know all of me and maybe that is fine. But not showing you my sad or weak side feels like I may be letting you down.
I preach that we should be honest about who we are to my children and my grandchildren. Teaching them they are not alone in their journey of self-judgment. I am the Queen of self-judging. I have spent a lifetime feeling less than but only those really close know that.
Don’t get me wrong, much of the time I am grateful for my health, my family and my life. But it would be a lie to say I have not been sad and lonely in a room filled with people. I think most people feel that way at some point.
I joined Cross Fit Ile Bizard last May. I wasn’t really sure I could manage it. It felt like CrossFit was for younger women who still had so much youth to live. The girl I once was. Not me who has had surgery on her left foot and can barely wear shoes. Not me who sprained both ankles more than once, has a wonky painful hip not to mention a back that cripples me periodically.
Why don’t you know this? Because I didn’t want you to know it. Not the me who was once a ballerina and now is challenged getting up off the floor after a round of sit ups or playing with Mason.
I joined the CrossFit open this year. I did so without much thought, figuring I could do it. Force myself and get it done. Take my body back in time. Firm up the body that is sagging more than I would like. Lose the extra midlife waistline that is promised to any woman who is over 50 and chooses to eat anything.
I know how to push past my fears and my weaknesses. I am strict and don’t allow myself any room for nonsense. But that does not mean the little voice in my head saying I don’t measure up isn’t yelling at me all day long. I just choose to keep that to myself and most often ignore her.
Sherry, my coach and beloved friend, encouraged me to join the Open because she believes in me. She always allows room for adjustments to the routine so I don’t get injured. Smart lady. I am not so kind to myself. I feel less than if I can’t do what I set out to accomplish.
I was excited, the routine of the week seemed possible. I turn on the video to show off my skill. I start to throw the ball that I have thrown so many times before. After about five shots there was no way I was going to complete the task. I was going to fail the challenge within a few minutes of starting it. I wasn’t going to push past it.
I wasn’t going to show it to all of you.
I calmly asked Sherry to turn off the video just before I burst into tears. I couldn’t do it. I don’t want to be old. I don’t want to be weak and I certainly don’t want anyone to see me that way. I don’t want to admit defeat.
Getting older is not a party but there are some great parts. I realized in my 40’s that it was my time. My time to try. My time to figure out who I am and who I want to be. I strive to be kind and honest. I want to help raise grandchildren who are socially aware. I want to lead by example. I want to change the world for the better.
I have also learned to forgive. Forgive others. Forgive myself.