We're having family pictures taken tomorrow…
I found out on Tuesday (it's Friday) that this was going to happen. If you know me in real life, you know that my fashion statement revolves around hoodies and sneakers, with my hairstyle as casual. I should also mention that we haven''t had family pictures in almost 5 years, and the last ones we did were when my youngest was 5 days old and taken in my bedroom. Believe me that I didn't care what I looked like then.
So this last-minute craziness has sent me into a stress-fueled whirlwind of trying to get us (really me) looking presentable for the pic. I should also mention that I haven't had a haircut in six months, and haven't found a new hair dresser since the move. And so off to Fanstastic Sams I went.
And I'm so glad I did, because if I hadn't I wouldn’t have had the great conversation with my hairstylist.
It led to a conversation that I've been hoping to have for a long time.
We started talking initially about some back pain that she was having.
At this point she had no idea that this was a "thing" of mine and that I help people who are in pain move better. She was excited because she'd seen a new therapist and had woken up the first time in ages without pain. This just led to a conversation of how nice it is when you realize you don’t feel pain, especially after it's been a constant in your life. She went on to explain how she had been a gymnast through high school but quit after having kids in her late teens. She's also had a back injury and surgery for it years ago, hence the PT that she's been going through for years. I didn't ask for specifics, but basically, she told me that between pain and her kids, her joy of gymnastics had fallen away and the weight had crept on over the year. I totally get it.
She also talked about how frustrating it was to see someone out running and knowing in your head that you used to do that, and that you should still be doing it. And even more frustrating when you don't understand why seem to get back into it. In her case it was a combination of knowing what was "OK" with her back injury, figuring out where to start and finding the time, and then taking that first step. Again, I totally get it.
I say that this conversation was a long time coming because I've been dealing with these same thoughts for years. Especially as my kids are getting older and the need to find kid-friendly option isn't there. I have time again to explore the activities that I used to love. It's just so hard to take that first step. In person, I'm not naturally a go-getter who enjoys experiencing new things alone. Walking into a class can be terrifying for me, especially when I'm unsure of what I'm doing. Finding friends as an adult has been much harder than I ever thought. And so, while I think that I'll go try that new climbing or ninja gym, the actuality is that I get scared and don't want to go alone. And I don't.
And it seems that I'm not alone.
The hairdresser told me that she has a long-term goal of doing a cartwheel again without pain, and I encouraged her. As a former gymnast myself, I've been eyeing an adult gymnastics class that I found nearby - how fun would it be to go with this woman and just be silly and free. That's what I'm looking for - I need a playmate. I've been thinking for a while that it should be easier for women to find each other. For us to connect and meet to do those silly activities that our other friend or family don’t want to do. How do those of us who don't have a natural village around us build it up? What happens with the MOPS and other moms groups don't work for us and we don't find out people there? Where do we go then?
Good news, I'm working on a solution for us.
Better news, it's going to be free, because finding someone to connect and play with shouldn't be additional money from your pocket. Stepping outside your box and trying to design opportunities to connect locally with other women shouldn't cost you. Additionally, ideas on what to do, how to heal, and what to eat shouldn't always be sacred knowledge locked down until you pay a fee.
I left Fantastic Sams with a fun new hair cut and a new friend. I have her card and am going to send her a few resources to help her get on her own path to play, and I hope that someday soon we can try out the gymnastics class together.
I'm curious about you.
Does any of this resonate? What do you need to feel like you could build a tribe? Or get back to that activity that you identify with (still wanting to do flips, or ride horses, etc. - not feeling like you really ever lost that)? Email me and let me know. I'll try to build it into this project.
As for the project, it's not a secret.
I'm building a community website specifically for active women (or those who identify as being active and want to move more). It will be a place to find and connect with women who share your interest. I hope you will connect online and in person. I'll be sharing my tools and am hoping others will too - professional advice, personal stories of inspiration, and more. Those who join will help to build it - I'll provide the foundation and I'm hoping the members will help it to thrive and grow.
The name of the site is Midlife Moms Adventure Club. Part of the goals of this site is to get us moving, and the result is that we start healing - both physically and emotionally. Once we have those two elements established, we can really start playing again. We connect with other women to accomplish all three, which is why the site is based on community If you have a great idea for the website, please let me know. The more you share, the more helpful it will be for others. So please, don't hold back!