Yesterday I did something scary.
I walked into uncertainty.
I shared some personal information without knowing what the outcome would be.
And then I waited.
I waited for the critics to emerge.
I waited for them to voice their opinions.
I sat in front of the computer, clicked post, and waited for the comments.
It didn’t take long.
I closed one eye and squinted the other one almost totally closed.
And then I read two words.
A few minutes later, I read three words.
You are brave.
I would read those three words several times yesterday.
And then I would get a comment from a friend.
A friend who I have never actually met, but who, I believe, was placed in my life for a reason.
After reading yesterday’s post, this friend instructed me to watch a video she had posted on her Facebook page.
It’s important, she said.
This friend posts a lot of videos from You Tube.
They are often those Ted Talks videos, and they are rarely short.
This was one of those, and it was over 20 minutes long.
I didn’t have the time yesterday.
And while the videos she posts are an investment,
they are always good.
So I waited until today.
I was running a race at 11 a.m. I had until 10:30.
Plenty of time.
I’d watch the video, write my post, and then go to the race.
I found the link on my friend’s Facebook page and I started watching.
The video was a talk given by some lady named Brene Brown.
I had never heard of her.
Apparently she’s a pretty big deal.
The title of her talk was The Power of Vulnerability.
Well guess what?
It turns out that I’m pretty good at being vulnerable.
It also turns out that I kind of already knew some of the things she was talking about.
I just temporarily forgot them.
Like that vulnerability is often wrongly perceived by the person who is demonstrating it as weakness.
Most people witnessing this vulnerability actually think just the opposite.
I mean, I sure found that out yesterday.
Thank you. Just thank you.
Thank you for your honesty and inspiration.
You are brave.
You are very brave.
I kept watching the video.
I found myself writing down quotes from it.
“Vulnerability is pure courage.”
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
Just call me Merida!
You know, this vulnerability thing did not come naturally for me.
I used to compare myself to everyone.
For any reason.
For all reasons.
All the time.
And don’t get me wrong.
Sometimes I still do.
But the whole reason I started the blog in the first place was to let other people know that it’s okay to make mistakes.
That you are not alone.
That although I can’t imagine doing anything else, sometimes I really hate being a parent.
The more vulnerable I was, the better I felt.
This was like one big vulnerability blog.
With each disclosure some more weight was lifted.
With each post I felt lighter.
a vulnerability spokeswoman.
Is there a contest for this vulnerability shit?
Because I think I could win it!!!
Anyway, I fell in love with Brene Brown.
I watched that Ted Talk.
And then I watched it again.
And then I looked for more.
I needed more Brene Brown.
I couldn’t stop watching.
And that’s why this post is so late today.
Not because last night was New Year’s Eve and I had a massive hangover this morning.
It’s all Brene’s fault.
I had a Brene Brown marathon.
The point of the post is that when I woke up this morning, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about.
Should I post an updated list of resolutions for my children?
Or should I be serious?
And then I got run over by Brene Brown and the vulnerability train.
And then, I thought about Monday morning.
On Monday morning I went to a tabata class.
It’s a new class.
I’ve been trying to get this friend to workout with me.
I wanted her to go with me.
She almost managed to blow me off on Monday.
She had never taken this kind of class, and she was terrified.
So here was our exchange:
Me: How about coming to tabata at 9? (vulnerability good)
Her: With an ambulance on standby? Dude. I will totally die. (vulnerability bad)
Me: Dude. You will totally die when I come kick your ass for being a pussy. (vulnerability good)
Her: lol where does this happen? In that fishbowl of a gym where everyone will see me have a heart attack? (vulnerability bad)
Me: I’m not sure. It used to be in the studio behind the front desk. Not sure if it’s been changed…stop being a wuss and come with me. (vulnerability good)
Her: Okay. See you there. (vulnerability and Susie bad)
Me: Yes. That’s more like it. Good for you. (Susie is the winner! So is friend. She just doesn’t know it yet).
So we went to the class.
My friend was nervous.
There were 8 stations set up.
She was preparing for her imminent death.
The class started. We were at the same station.
We were two stations away from the Bosu balls.
Also known as Vulnerability Balls.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, they look like this:
I had never stood on one of those before.
And we had to flip that mothereffer over, and do this on it:
I watched a woman attempt to do those curls while I whipped a kettlebell up and down.
And after about 4 seconds, the woman I was watching fell
Like arms flailing.
With a big smack.
Talk about vulnerability.
I looked over at my friend.
“Well, you’re safe now. She’s officially the most embarrassed person in the class.”
8 minutes later I was standing behind one of those torture devices.
My friend hopped on to hers like a freaking Cirque du Soleil performer and started doing curls like it was her job.
I, on the other hand, spent the next 4 minutes attempting to stand on that thing without a repeat performance of that woman who had totally wiped out a few minutes earlier.
I had to use my feet and both hands to climb on.
I almost stood up.
I was shaking like a heroin addict who had quit cold turkey that morning.
I couldn’t do it.
Another friend of mine in the class tried to help.
“Spread your feet apart!”
That didn’t help.
Finally, after about 2 minutes, the instructor came over to me.
“Do you want to just, um, stand on the floor?”
“NO!” I yelled at her.
“I’M DOING THIS!”
I kept trying.
I never did it.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not fucking do it.
the one who thought she would die mid-class,
actually showed me up.
And so, on this first day of 2014, I figured it out.
What I wanted to say.
The Year of Living Vulnerably.
I will continue to live that way.
Maybe you can too.
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