Recently at a professional meet up, I was in group of other Personal Trainers. As we “broke the ice” a woman in our group gave us her “bio.” She specializes in the geriatric population; trains her clients out of her home; used to race a lot of marathons and triathlons, and now just runs for the love of it. She even showed us a pic of her in-college son who runs track for some big name school.
As we listened and provided commentary, she and I realized that we had both trained with the same group (Boca) although not at the same time. As we made small talk, I went over my “bio,” which was very similar to hers, except for the part where I added in that I loved cycling and that cycling was my strength. And even though we were discussing MY history, I guess she felt it necessary to add her own commentary:
“Oh, yes – you look much more like a cyclist than a runner…”
WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?
It’s the story of my entire life.
Oh, you are Hawaiian, but you speak such good English.
Oh you are a triathlete, but you don’t look like a triathlete.
Oh for as much as you workout, you think you’d be a lot leaner.
Oh you graduated from college, did you grow up on the main land?
Wow, you have a good appetite.
Although, to be totally honest, when I get comments like this, it still stings a little. It still stops me in my tracks and for that few seconds, I feel small, unworthy, lazy, not good enough, not disciplined enough, not ANYTHING enough.
BUT even though I am not totally numb from a reactive feeling (who knows where the heck she was coming from), I am much better at handling it now, than ever before. I now know that when I add my past trauma onto a current situation, it kinda gets messy, distorted, inflated… This moment of pause has transformed me from a once anger driven, heavy handed, fight not flight mode kinda “tita” into a more gentler version of my former self LOL.
The ladies in my tribe – they get these “stings” all day long; mostly from themselves – their inner critic and a lot of times, from others too – family mostly (is it worse if they are family? seems so huh?); strangers a lot of the time too (is it easier to give a stranger a piece of your mind versus doing the same with a family member, hmm…).
Truth is – None of us is safe from someone else’s behavior, actions, or motives behind any of it.
BUT, we can choose how we REACT (if we do at all) or how we HANDLE the emotions and feelings that arise. It’s okay to have that initial “knee jerk” reaction because that “first impression” so to speak, it’s our truth in that moment. But, we don’t have to let it “ruin our day.”
So, all the amazing women that enroll with me first go through my vibe_365 mindset makeover. A 12-week do it on your own emailed weekly exercise that helps navigate your mind, your awareness, your fears, your motives, your actions, ALL OF IT.
Now-a-days, when someone says something that gives me pause, I OWN it!
Oh, you are Hawaiian, but you speak such good English. MY REPLY: Thank you! Yes, I AM one SMART Hawaiian Human!
Oh you are a triathlete, but you don’t look like a triathlete. MY REPLY: Thank you! I give the ladies in my age group a run for their money!
Oh for as much as you workout, you think you’d be a lot leaner. MY REPLY: Thank you! But, I perform my best at my weight. After all, all these muscles make me strong!
Oh you graduated from college, did you grow up on the main land? Thank you! But, nope. I’m a proud Hawaiian born and raised on Oahu, one of the many just like me here on the islands!
Wow, you have a good appetite. MY REPLY: Thank you! I need fuel to perform at my very best!
Is it easy to “take the higher road?” Fuck no. My first thought is that I just want to punch that person straight square in the face. I am human after all ha!
If you come across these trolls in your life, use the kill em with kindness method. I know it sounds crazy, but, by not engaging, you choose not to receive that comment and you choose to be a better person.
Once you find that so-coveted inner peace with your body, chances are, these negative comments won’t even faze you. How exactly do you get there? There’s no fast track, but regularly showering yourself with good ‘ol self love is a great start. Little by little, you’ll find that you are a badass babe just like the women you admire!