“Shoulders back, Keri!”
Immediately, my shoulder blades sprang back, as far as they were willing.
Where the hell had Johannes come from? It’s like he can instantly teleport himself from one end of the gym to the other–as if he has some innate awareness of when I have bad posture. It’s gotten to the point where, if I THINK I see him out of the corner of my eye, my shoulders fling themselves back.
He is the Pavolov of correct shoulder tension.
Damn it. Sometimes I just want to stand there cock-hipped and drink my water.
However, after two years of Crossfit, and at least a year of Johannes’ intensive Pavlovian Conditioning, I can finally do toes to bar.
*Toes to Bar: T2B: noun: to hang from the bar in pull-up position and quiver while other people actually bring their feet overhead and touch the bar.
At the Box on Tuesday, my feet magically touched the bar. The mysterious connection between mind and body had finally been rewired, and was functioning.
I was giddy.
As always, I contemplate these little life lessons, and I realized that the best coaches, teachers and friends are the ones who are honest with you.
At first, it was humiliating when Johannes would appear from nowhere, like some phantom of the Box, and remind me of my sagging shoulders–especially when I thought they WERE back already.
I would get so mad at myself. But had he not said anything, I would still be dangling from the bar, wishing I could do a rep.
Learning German is the same way. Without Frau Hoppe, pleasantly, but firmly correcting me, I would never learn.
German is a frustrating language, and the basics have been sitting on a dusty shelf in my brain for nearly 15 years.
Sometimes I feel like I am the worst student in class–that I should just give up–that I’ll never learn all the damned articles and conjugations and how to forget my English grammar.
I often have to say things in German that would be completely wrong in English. It’s like I’ve stepped through the mirror and into a linguistic World of Opposites.
The Mad Hatter adding verbs to the ends of sentences and randomly adding gender to nouns.
Sometimes I make mistakes that make me blush–but it’s ok. The best friends laugh with me about it. If they never corrected me, I would continue offending people in German the rest of my life.
Life is like this too.
I have a friend, let’s just call her Tiger, who is the kind of person who will tell you if you have spinach stuck between your teeth. You don’t even try to lie to her, not just because she could beat the shit out of you, but because she can read your face like the front page of die Bild.
Because of these friends, coaches and teachers, I can finally see bits of light through the cracks of this shell I’ve put up. It fills my heart in a way that’s almost terrifying.
There’s nothing better than to feel comfortable in your own skin. To live your life. To take a risk and step out of the shadows. To realize your opinions matter.
Everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone learns from them.
And move on.
Every rep counts.