It was painful. It was necessary. And it was wonderful when it was over.
Of course I’m talking about Vandie’s fitness class this morning where my inner child raged. I managed to silence my thoughts. They are far too whiny for my liking, but I know they are there. The inner child’s voice tells it like it is – there is no sugar coating it. So, throughout the entire class, I kept the inner child voice silenced and let my big-girl voice prevail. That… was no easy task. I think the odd “grunt” slipped through, but for the most part I believe I kept my dignity. My big-girl voice masked what my inner child really wanted to say. I was stuck, for 45 minutes, between two voices:
Vandie: “Let’s go. Side step.”
Stacey: “Great to be back, Vandie. It’s been a while.”
My Inner Child (MIC from now on): “Crap – this is going to be tough!”
Vandie: “Knees up.”
Stacey: ” I went for a walk with Kevin this morning. We had quite a good clip! ”
Vandie: ” Okay – left foot on the step, let’s go.”
Stacey: “Did I tell you I’m going to Vancouver with Kevin to my cousin’s wedding?”
MIC: “If I don’t die on the step first!”
Stacey: “Oh, boy, I think the chemo has done a number on me.”
MIC: “Shit – I can’t breathe!”
Vandie: “4- more!”
Stacey: (Pant, pant)
MIC: “Seriously – haven’t we already done four more?”
Vandie: “Grab your kettle bells. Okay – down and up.”
Stacey: “So I start my new medication soon – hoping when I get back from the trip.”
MIC: “Holy crap, Stacey, where are your arm muscles??? What happened to you? You are OUT OF SHAPE, girl!”
Vandie: “Back on the step. Just nice and slow – side step. Knees, kick-your-butt, side-legs, inner foot…”
Stacey: “I think my brain was fried. My timing is off.”
Then, 30 minutes later… we put our steps away and took out the mats to do some abs. The child was loud before, but she was getting louder.
Vandie: “Put the ball behind your back and let’s do some crunches. Down and up….”
Stacey: “Oh, boy. I can tell I’ve been away from this for a while.”
MIC: “Feels like I have a rock in my belly that won’t bend. This is awful! What the hell? Stacey, you will never, ever, ever get through this!”
Vandie: “Legs up, sitting position. Okay now out and in.”
And so this continued for another 10 minutes. I don’t even remember what Vandie did or said beyond this point. It was all very challenging for me – more to keep the voice inside my head than to complete the exercise.
MIC: “Shouldn’t we be finished by now? When are we done? Start the count-down!!!! Crap! My stomach is going to rip open and spill guts all over this floor if we don’t stop soon! Vandie!!!! Can you hear me??? Stacey – don’t do this – you are killing us both! STOP!”
Vandie: “And we are done. Stretch out on the floor nice and long.”
MIC, who had taken over completely by this time: “Oh, my God! I’m going to die. That was intense. But, it felt great. Oh, wow. I need to do more. I should just keep coming back. Maybe I can do this everyday and then recover faster…?”
Stacey: “Oh, I can’t wait until I am in somewhat better condition to do Saturdays again, Vandie!”
And that was that. We packed up our gear, said good-bye to one another and wished each other good days. It was wonderful. We felt great – I felt great – even my inner child felt great. There is something to be said about uniting oneself to be on the same page as one’s inner child. We were speaking the same language. We were both happy to have accomplished this fitness class. We were both going to continue to attend.
Vandie: “See you Friday!”
Stacey and MIC: “We look forward to it, Vandie. Thank-you!”
I climbed in the car and headed home… and sang… to the Carpenters.. and closed the window so no one could hear my inner child and me singing loudly, gleefully, and very much off key!