A Nasty Spill

We never put up a baby gate.

Briggs wasn’t that kind of toddler.

If we were downstairs – that’s where he wanted to be.  Same went for when we were asleep – which is basically all we do upstairs.  He just wasn’t ever the kid that wandered up or down without first fetching Mum or Dad.

Hell, at six, he still isn’t.

So, for the most part the stairs were never an issue.  Except for the one morning when he was three.

Ken was downstairs in the shower.  I was getting dressed in our bedroom closet (which isn’t really a walk-in closet but it isn’t like a typical closet either – old New England cottage – odd spaces) – and Briggs had just woken up.

Briggs waddled in just as I finished up – though I still hadn’t made a final decision on necklace and earrings.  I gave him a quick snug and told him I was almost ready to head down.  He said ‘okay,’ and started toward the top of the stairs.

His intention was to wait for me – but he was carrying his silky blanket – and even as I turned toward my jewelry box, I caught a glimpse of his green silk drop far too close to his bare feet and before I could finish the sentence, “Bubba, don’t slip on your…” he was tumbling down.

I saw his whole little body flip – head first – and it all felt so slow, even though all I wanted was to move quickly enough to keep it from happening.

I yelled for Ken and darted for Briggs – and the two of us got to him by the third step from the landing.  There were loud cries – but no bumps, bruises or blood.  Plenty of hugs and kisses and ultimately decisions that doctors weren’t necessary and daycare and work could go on as scheduled.

Though I did call my daycare provider (who was really more like an aunt and angel combined) every hour on the hour – and I excused myself from the first meeting of the day to throw-up.

Even after the accident, we still never installed a gate and to date another spill has never taken place.

Still, the slow-motion of the accident haunts me.  Makes me feel like I knew it would happen before it ever did, and still, I couldn’t stop it.

At my lowest, I can still get down with some serious blame and shame for feeling like, my inability to stop the spill, means that in part, I must have caused it.  It’s a flawed logic that unfortunately isn’t limited to this incident.

And still, I’m grateful for the awareness of the faulty thinking and the disservice of blame and shame, and the resilience of everyone involved – because falling (spilling, slipping, even crashing) is inevitable…and so is coming together, and getting up, and making the climb.






















Love, Hate & Stinky Feet

In 5th grade, I had this pair of Dr. Martens knock-offs that I LOVED.  They felt especially rebellious when paired with my St. Patrick’s Elementary School uniform.

I wore them out – from the inside out.  Like, until the actual inserts started corroding.  I wore them even though they smelled so bad that my mother made me leave them outside the back door when I came home.

One morning, when my beloved fake docs totally reeked (but I still couldn’t let ’em go), I decided to perfume them with CK One.

Now, this was the early 90s in Jaffrey-Rindge, New Hampshire where this particular Calvin Klein unisex fragrance was all the rage and my younger sister had actually saved $50 of her very own money to purchase an entire bottle.

I stole one silver cap full and carefully distributed half the contents into each shoe.  Then with my tights already on, I slide my feet back and forth to ensure full coverage.

Out in the open – which is to say, on the walk to the bus stop – and then actually on the bus – the smell wasn’t noticeable…but once in the confines of a small classroom with only 12 students and one teacher, the rank quickly shot up.

“What is that?”  our teacher asked.  “Does someone have food rotting in their desk?”

As she made us check, I dragged my feet as far back under my chair as they could go.

“Is something in the trash?”

She investigated – found nothing – and then headed to the window.

Through the commotion I raised my hand.

“Can I have the pass for the bathroom?”

She nodded and I darted for the Girls Room where I quickly removed the source of the stink and filled each shoe with liquid soap and started scrubbing with wet paper towels.  I gagged (and cried a bit) through the process – and then repeated it on the bottom of my feet – over my tights.

While the soap on the tights seemed to freshen things, the combo of rotting soles, CK One, pink liquid soap and damp paper towels only enhanced the puke inducing stench from my now unavoidable, unwearable favorite pair of utterly destroyed shoes.

I stuffed them with mounds (and mounds) of toilet paper and then buried them under a couple of sweaters and sweatshirts and abandoned notebooks in my locker.

I went back to class in my stockings.

My teacher and classmates were kind enough to connect the dots, without out saying anything out loud.

That’s the first day I remember hating my feet.  Like really hating them.  Casting them as nothing more than an embarrassing source of stink and rot.  So, for the next…I don’t know…25 years, I basically beat them or ignored them.  And, not surprisingly, they grow hard and tired, a bit diseased and at least once in college, shredded to the point of near hospitalization.

Tonight, during yoga, I was asked to kiss my toes.  Part of the practice of giving my own body the tender love and attention it deserves.

When we love our bodies, our bodies will love us back. So, love your body.

Kissing my feet never occurred to me – but what I did learn from all that time hating them (and nearly every other part of me at some point, too) is that how I feel about my body (and me) absolutely affects how my body (and me) actually function.

Hate made me hurt – which makes me believe that Love could help me heal – and sometimes, getting to the truth, just stinks.













Love Blocks with Amanda G.

A month before I officially received my undergraduate degree (in media communications), I had two job offers:

  1. Production Assistant for a public radio station in southern Connecticut
  2. Sales Rep. for a commercial radio station in southern Connecticut

The second had the potential of pulling in approximately three times what the first one offered, and (secretly) the only thing I really loved about the commercial station was their live, local weeknight love songs program that I fantasized about hosting.

When I confessed this to a mentor at the time, she rolled her eyes.  “Amanda, you’re not telling me that your aspirations are actually to be a love songs disc jockey, are you?”

I laughed it off and took the production position at the public station – which, for a variety of reasons was actually the right call – but, I still haven’t landed my own program and I definitely still have a thing for love songs.

Early this fall, as my 24-mile weekday commute began to drag out to nearly 2-hours each way, I started filling the time with my very own Love-Blocks.  Stacks of songs I know by heart, that I play/sing/dedicate to me, from me.

Here’s one of my most powerful lineups:

Tom Petty: Don’t Come Around Here No More

This one goes out to Mandy the Manipulator.  The part of me that constantly seeks to fix and please.  The well-intended, “yes-er.”  She’s not bad – she’s just scared shitless of disappointment and confrontation.  She takes over when things get awkward – which is just another way to say – when things get real.  She shuts down the feels and ramps up the do-s.  She’ll convince the rest of me that sleep, and food, and breaks and deep breaths are weak.  She’ll reinforce and ensure that the only way to gain affection and attention is to keep proving my worth.  She’s helped me earn a lot and lose so much more.  She’s protected and perverted me, almost simultaneously.  I love her for helping me come this far, but she’s anxious and exhausting and tangled my emotions…so, honey, please admit it’s over.

Sara Bareilles – I Choose You

My name – Amanda – means worthy of love.  And this song by Sara reminds me that all of that worth that Mandy is so obsessed with “proving” – is actually my birthright.  One benefit to the height of my commutes rarely speeding up past 5-10 MPH, is that I can belt out this whole song with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on my heart.  Singing, I choose you – saying, out loud, that I choose me – over and over and over again reminds me that I’m already completely, perfectly and permanently chosen.  Accepted.  Grounded.  And Good.

Peal Jam – Just Breathe

Inhale.  Exhale.  Come clean.  There would need to be so many hands to count all of those I love and all of those who love me.  On the rides where I trick myself into feeling the most alone, confused, small and ordinary,  I sing and breathe and inevitably end up seeing and being seen by someone else.  There’s a smile and a nod and a reminder that WE truly are all in this together.  None of us are getting out of here alive – so, let’s enjoy the ride.  Appreciate our time.  Savor our one breath.

Blackbear – Do Re Mi

To my ego – from my ego.  You and your constant need for validation and control.  Your score cards and bullshit rules.  You trip me up.  Make me feel lazy.  Mediocre.  Silly. Stupid.  This one fits as a love song simply because I love the idea of sassing my sick.  Telling all those ugly, heavy thoughts, I’m so fucking done with you. (Even if the done only lasts until the end of the song.)

Adele – I can’t Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt Cover)

On my show – love songs tend to be sad songs because in my world joy and sadness and acceptance and rejection are all connected.  Nothing reminds all of me about all of this quite like this cover.  And when I sing it to me what I’m really saying is, “You’re all I’ve got.  And the best I’ve got.  And really, there’s no try.  I can’t make me love me.  Instead, I’m just going to accept, that even when I feel like I don’t even like me – at my core – I do.  I always do.”  I could totally give up this fight, but, I don’t want to.

Aoife O’Donovan – Oh Mama

Sing me a love song.  Pour me some bourbon.  And lay me down low.  When it’s about time to pull in and power down there comes an ease.  A peace.  Just for a few beats – minutes – moments.  With a full heart (even when it’s breaking or bleeding) I let the Mama in me make everything okay.  Close my eyes.  Put me to sleep – just enough – to give me pause before I open up, get out, and rise again.


Not So Perfect (or Boring) Game

Currently, there is no perfect game of candlepin bowling on record.

A perfect game would consist of 13 strikes, for a total score of 300.

I’m convinced that the ball being so much smaller (than 10-pin “big ball bowling”), and the pins staying as they fall in between the three throws, greatly increases the degree of difficulty for this simple (and frustrating) game.

Yet, I still love it.

I love it so much that for a time after becoming a wife but before becoming a mom, I bowled in a candlepin league.  In fact, the best game I every bowled was the week before I found out that I was six weeks pregnant.

“Looks like your balance has finally worked itself out,” I remember one teammate saying.

Today, that little boy who corrected my balance (now six and not quite able to keep his balance as he chucks the ball) and I made our way to the lanes and I was reminded what candlepin really has to teach me:

  1. Keep it Simple:  Roll the ball, knock down pins.  The concept’s not hard, AND that doesn’t make it any easier to execute.  It can however make it less intimidating to at least get in the game – and even when it goes down the gutter, the game’s worth getting in.
  2. Focus:  There’s a lot happening on the lanes – especially in the middle of the afternoon.  Music pumping.  Kids falling.  Pins crashing.  Chaos.  Breathe anyway – it might be the only way to remember what I’m doing here.
  3. Have Fun: Especially when there’s truly nothing at risk.  Smile.  No one’s watching.  Loosen the grip.
  4. Like Your Stuff: A perk to having played in a league (and having the same shoe size since I was 14) is that I splurged for my own kicks.  They are still the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own and every time I put them on I feel like…I belong…to  me.
  5. Perfect is Boring: I guess there’s some value in striving for it…but I prefer the stories of showing up to do your best – getting guttered – losing patience and passion – and then, showing up again…in great shoes. 🙂
  6. shoes

I Am the Lobster

I got to go to college for two reasons:

  1. I studied, volunteered and networked my ass off
  2. I graduated from a small-town public high school with an extraordinary number of local scholarships

One of the local organizations that helped put me through school did so by running a number of meat raffles at the local V.F.W. to rally support for their scholarship fund.

In case you’ve never partaken – here’s the basic outline of a meat raffle:

The organization negotiates with a local, wholesale meat distributor, advertises about the raffle, and then on the day of, they run anywhere between seven to nine tables.  Each table is set up with an array of cuts – from expensive racks of prime rib, to whole hams and turkeys, to 15lbs boxes of bacon, to double packs of chicken breasts.  Those who wish to try their luck at taking home a prime (or any other) cut, buy strips of tickets – anywhere from $1-$10.  Once all of the tickets are sold for each table, tickets are then pulled and if your number comes up, you get to take your pick.

At this particular meat raffle, there’s also ALWAYS a lobster table.  A table FULL of 10+ pound lobsters.

Since graduating, I try to make it back home for at least one of the four meat raffles that this volunteer organization puts on.  Yesterday, happened to be this year’s kick-off, and my son and I decided to make the drive up to New Hampshire to visit my parents and make our annual contribution.

The highlight of the trip was seeing some good friends that I grew up with, having our kids get along for a few hours, and winning some chicken on the very first table (also, the only table we won from).

The low-point of the trip was hearing a sudden and painful crash from the table across from us.   I looked over – confused – because no one was actually sitting at the table and I couldn’t see anything tipped over.  Then, I looked down and saw the lobster.

This particular lobster (still alive) had been put in a plastic shopping bag and left under the table while his (her) winner ventured to the bar for another beer.  I noticed the lobster was now fully on his back – claws (double wrapped in black duct tape and industrial strength rubber bands) out – and tail desperately trying to break free from that plastic sack.

The crash had been that thick, hard shell smacking against that cold, hard floor.

Putting it all together made me feel sick and heavy.

“It was the lobster,” I said out loud.

“What?” my Mom asked.

“Look, under that table.  The lobster flipped over – trying to get free.  Jesus, just to lay on the cool floor of the V.F.W. before being brought to a painful, scalding death.  Legit – the linoleum is now as good as it’s ever going to get.”

I’m not vegan or vegetarian.  Currently, the majority of protein in my diet comes from seafood and eggs.  I was raised on game hunted in our own woods.  I received thousands of dollars over the course of my higher education from functions just like this one, and have contributed hundreds back over the years.

And still, seeing/hearing this lobster…trapped and struggling…made me feel sicker and heavier.

I can’t help thinking that even when our intentions are good (like: let’s do something to help more kids from our community go to college), the way in which we realize our intentions through our actions, needs to be equally as good – for all.

What we intend and how we act requires reflection – and evolution – and even some, goodification.

Because – for me –  it just doesn’t feel like enough to simply be grateful that on this go-round, I wasn’t the lobster.

















Thoughts & Prayers

The first thought I had when that ultrasound tech didn’t want to tell me that I wasn’t pregnant anymore was:

I deserve this.

When I was laying on that table having a D&C I thought:

This is karma for being a shitty sister.

When Briggs was born two months early I thought:

You did this.  Your constant worrying.  You caused this.  You nearly killed your baby. 

The thinking bad thoughts started long before becoming a Mom – in truth, bad thoughts kept me from ever wanting to be a Mom for the majority of my life.  I thought the stress of motherhood would swallow me.  Even now with a six year-old, sometimes, I still think this way.

My thoughts can cause a great deal of pain.

They’ve caused me to overindulge and undervalue.  To binge and starve.  To tell lies.  To avoid work.  Cast blame.  Perpetuate shame.  They’ve thwarted potential, severed loving ties and robbed me (and likely so many others) of too much pure, healthy…fun.

Reframing my thoughts for good – to best serve me (first) and (then) all of those I’m blessed to connect with is a constant (sometimes rewarding, sometimes devastating) practice.

And then there are my prayers.

Fuck.  My prayers.

I didn’t even know I had prayers until a few years ago, and even now – at best – I’m a clumsy prayer.  Still feeling my way around to connect with my God (Or is it Goddess? Or is there even a difference?).

Doing it wrong though, still feels more right than not doing it all.  So, even though it looks like yoga, or writing, or crying, or serving, or sharing, or listening, or breathing…for me, it’s praying.  And, what I do know is that eventually the praying will further guide me to do (more, greater) good.

Thoughts and prayers are tough.

Especially when far too many simply say the words without engaging any of the power that these actions actually possess.

My thoughts tell me that thoughts matter a great deal.  Filled with resentment, judgment, fear, defensiveness or competition, they propel destruction and devastation.  Filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and collaboration, they ignite lasting positive change.

My prayers tell me that prayers are the intentions brought to every action.  Every conversation.  Every exchange and union.  Every vote and every sentence.  Every outrage and every silence.

What’s true for me, is that thoughts and prayers can’t be sent.  The ones that truly serve must first be cultivated from within and then nurtured through persistent and intentional (loving, connective) action and involvement.

Think.  Pray.  Act.  In that order.  All the time.  Especially when it’s hard.














My Worst

It was a very big project.

Like a 6-month, hundreds of hours, thousands (and thousands) of dollars – project.

It was an animation depicting the personal and professional stories of a collection of recent and distinguished alumni.

I picked the alums.  Wrote the script.  Produced the entire piece…and DAYS before it was set to go live (to 100s of thousands of individuals, corporations, and businesses), I suddenly realized, I never actually got permission from ANY of the featured alumni.

Now, by this time in my career, I’d produced a phenomenal number of scripts, shows, spots, videos, commercials and live experiences.  I’d written/managed/negotiated…I can’t even count how many contracts, releases and formal approvals.

And, still, here I was (knowing FAR better) about to go live with a serious production without having taken ANY of those critical and initial steps.

I burst into tears at my desk – then red-eyed and ready walked into my boss’s office and closed the door behind me.

“You might have to fire me,” I managed.

“Okay,” My boss said, calmly.  “Tell me more.”

“I don’t know how or why, but, I never got approvals from any of the alumni – for the video.  We can’t release it without their approvals and it’s already done and…I may have just wasted everyone’s time and money.  I don’t know – I really don’t know how I missed this.”

The tears came back stronger and harder.

“Look at me, Amanda.  One day you’re going to lead a team.  You’re going to have smart, compassionate, brilliant people make mistakes, and you’re going to remember to say this when they do: I never need you at your worst.  Now is a time for your best.  Right now, I need you at your best.  Now, go get your computer and let’s fix this together.”

And we did.

I still don’t know how I missed those critical steps on the first go-round, but I know I’ll never let go of that wise, loving guidance from the woman who taught me how to lead.

Happy Birthday, Lisa.

Thank you for making me part of your team – for continuing to teach me how to be my best.  I love you.

PS – This song just reminds me of strong, beautiful, authentically powerful women – Lisa, you make the top of that list




Any Magic That’s Left

I’m pretty sure that my Dad took us to King Richard’s Faire every year, for the first 10 years of my life.

It’s a Renaissance Faire that goes up in Carver, Massachusetts every autumn – and I loved it.

The original “us,” was my Dad, Mom, sister Lindsey and me.  After the divorce, “us” was just, Lindsey, Dad and me.

The second year (I think?) after the divorce my Dad stepped up his game and not only brought us to the Faire, but actually talked his way into a role.  A signing pauper outside of one of the costume and pewter shops.

This turned out to be great because it meant for the first time Lindsey and I got to get costumes, too (Lindsey picked a blue and pink dress – more like a princess – I went for black and red – more like a wench – my issues started early and run deep).  And, it meant that we got to attend the Faire (from open to close) multiple times during its run.

Dressed in costume and filled with remorse that another day was coming to a close, I fell behind my Dad and Lindsey on the slow walk out – kicking wood chips the whole way.  Really not understanding why Lindsey and I couldn’t stick around for the after-party that I knew all the actors threw after the paying guests were gone.

After many dozen kicks I finally looked up to discover I’d completely lost sight of both my sister and my Dad.

I walked to the exits (without actually exiting) – and they weren’t there.  I walked to the booths where they sold turkey legs and mead – and they weren’t there.  I went back to the shop were my Dad sang outside of – and they weren’t there.  Finally, I dragged myself to the row of porta-potties near the jousting site – and they weren’t there, either.

I started to cry.  Hard and loud.

That’s when the elf showed up.  A beautiful woman dressed in green with pointy ears and a satchel full of magic wands (dowels with colorful streamers).

She bent down so that her eyes met mine.

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m lost.”

“Oh no, dear, you’re not.  Maybe, you’re just looking for someone.  Who should be looking for you?”

“My Dad.”

“Okay, well, we’re going to stay right here, together, until he finds you – and here’s how we’re going to help him out.”

She pulled a wand from her bag and handed it to me.

“Now, we’ve got lots of magic – this wand and your voice.  The best thing to do when you’re lost is to call for help.  So, here’s what we’re going to do – you’re going to woosh that wand as much as you can and then from the top of our lungs we’re going to yell out: DAD!!!!!!.  Okay?”

I managed to stop crying and agreed.  Woodshed the wand and together we yelled:


He didn’t come.

I was crushed.

“Sometimes, it takes more than once.  Even magic takes practice.  Ready to go again?”

I was.  Together:



I can’t remember exactly how many times we shouted…but, I do remember that on our last go that elf picked me up and wooshed a wand of her own and together we yelled loud enough to get me to start crying again – and that time – it worked.

I opened my eyes to my Dad running down the path to where we were.  He thanked the elf, as did I, and she let me keep the wand.

I wish losing me at the Faire accounted for the worst of my Dad’s parenting mistakes – but it doesn’t.  Over my lifetime there have been far too many (that neither I, my sister, nor any kiddo deserves) traumatic mistakes.

That all being true, he is still my Dad.  I do still love him, and he’s decided to ride out Hurricane Irma in his home in Cape Coral, Florida.

I don’t have that wand anymore – and so, the only magic I’ve got left is my voice.  Which I used to call out to my Dad today – and to all of us, everywhere – to love and help and forgive and rebuild and rise and repeat.

Again, and again, and again.








The Emmy

Bedtime has been a bit of a battle lately – which is both annoying and awesome.

Annoying because, our kiddo is six and legit the whole “I’m not tired,” routine is getting old.

Awesome because, usually what settles him down is my offer to tell him a story and telling stories is kind of my thing.

Briggs’s favorite story is his birth story, but neither of us were particularly in the mood for that one tonight.

“Tell me one I’ve never heard before.”

I had to think.  There are plenty I haven’t yet shared – mostly due to timing, appropriateness and language – but, then it came to me:

“Did I ever tell you about the Monkeys?”

He started to giggle – which always means I’ve got him:

“A long time ago I used to live in a one-bedroom apartment all by myself in Shelton, Connecticut, above an H&R Block.

(Briggs: What’s an H&R Block) 

Not important.  And down the street lived a group of friends, who called themselves: The Monkeys.

(Briggs: (More giggles) What, the heck?)

The Monkeys were a good group of friends – lots of them – some of them played in a band.  Some of them ran the band’s audio.  Some of them sold tickets to the band’s concerts.  But ALL of them had special Monkey names.

(Briggs: Like what?)

One was named Dirty.  And there was Titus.  And Brown.  And Snook.  And Z.  And so many more.  Anyway, I met the Monkeys through a friend of mine I went to school with – who was a Monkey who sold tickets, and he sold me a ticket to a special Halloween show that the band was playing.

I bought the ticket because, I lived alone and was lonely AND the concert was also a costume contest and the winner of this contest got $500 cash.

(Briggs: That’s a LOT of money)

It was SO much money that it would cover my rent for an entire month, so I really, really wanted to win.  I thought long and hard about my costume and ultimately decided to go as a trophy called, The Emmy.

Now, The Emmy is all gold, so this meant I got to get a super cool long gold dress and then I spray painted my arms, chest, back, face, hair – any little open bit – I spray painted gold.

(Briggs: Oh my gosh, did it ever come off?)

Am I gold now?  Obviously.  I even made these gorgeous gold wings – like huge fabric angel wings – I can’t believe I ever did that.  You know Mum and crafts.

And then, see, The Emmy holds this ball that kind of looks like the world, and so I found this toy – that was this expandable ball – and I spray painted that, too.  So, when I opened it up, I looked like The Emmy holding the world, and when I squished it together, it kind of looked like this super cool purse/bracelet thing.

People were pretty impressed when I got on the bus that night – and I was very, very confident that I would be bringing home that prize money.  And even when we got to the place where the concert was happening, from the looks of every other lame costume, I was pretty sure I had this one.

And then…

(Briggs: What?)

And then the fire – like actual fire-breathing dragon showed up.  And.  I came in second.  And do you know what second place got?

(Briggs: What?)

The big fat dragon egg.  Zero dollars.


But, after that night, The Monkeys kept asking me to hang out and for as long as I lived in Connecticut, they called me Emmy – and they came along at a time when I was pretty sure there weren’t too many people who wanted to hang out with me.

So, I lost the costume contest, ended up having to keep working for my rent – AND – made a bunch of cool friends who liked me enough to give me my own Monkey name.  It’s one of the coolest nicknames I’ve ever been given, ever.

The end.”

“Mum, did you ever have any other nicknames?”

“Sure.  Lots.  Mini-Me – which became, Minnie.  Manda.  Taurus.  Veautour.  Veautaux.  Amanda-Panda (which was reserved for my grandfather).  Mandy (which was reserved for my high school history teacher, Mr.O).  Bulldog – which became BD (which is reserved for my friend Ben Hatton – who’s Wells’s Dad).  Goodwin.  A Good Win.  Rindge.  And, maybe that’s it?”

“What’s your nickname, now?”

“I don’t know, ‘Mum?'”

“No way, that’s way more than a nickname.”

“You’re right, Bub, Bugaboo, Bubba, Lova-Lou, B, BTG, and pooka-backa-bee-choo – it is.  Now, go to bed”

And magically, he did.




Effing Stronger

A dear friend of mine is helping me break free of “try.”

Every time I say “I’ll try,” she reminds me to do 20 push-ups.  (Though, I can actually only do 10 at a time, so I space it out.  Still, my arms are starting to feel mostly tired, and look pretty great.)

This afternoon our family hiked a local path complete with adult fitness training stations.  Pit stops for push-ups, rope climbs, sit-ups, balance beams and the likes.

The chin-up station gave me the most pause.

“I’m pretty sure I haven’t attempted one of these in fifteen years,” I confessed, out loud.

Then I thought about that not trying thing – and my recent arm work – and committed to doing at least one.

I started with some good grounding breaths.

Pull energy up from the earth, right up from the earth. (I looped this over and over in my head.) Now jump.

And I did – and to my surprise – caught the bar.  Now pull.  And I did…but…Now pull.  Again, I did…but…Now…I lost my grip.

My biceps started twitching.  I felt remarkably weak.  There’s only do or don’t do – and I’d just not done.

I took another breath and recalled the Fuck It meditation that the same friend sent me just last night.

More breaths.  Fuck it.  Let that shit go.

And I did, and that’s when I noticed the ladder structure right next to the chin-up bar, and realized I could do a modified chin-up from there…and in fact, I could do three.

When I was done, my biceps were still twitching but they felt stronger – and I did, too.

Fuck it.