You look at my profile picture, and I’m so innocent-looking. Long girlish locks, pulled back like Alice in Wonderland, or pulled up in a desperation bun or ponytail (I call it “default hair”, when your crazyplate is too full to give you time for haircuts). Demure, thick-lensed English major glasses, with trifocals, no less. No make-up to speak of. Just my plainface hanging out there, no pretense, no muss, no fuss.
Oh, but if you only knew the plans I’m planning. [insert evil doctor laugh]
It hit me on the beach at Assateague, this plan. Plan X. I was searching the corners of my mind for a way to justify the expense and trouble of preparation for the Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification (HKC) instructor’s workshop, which I’ve recently written about, and was longing to do.
I didn’t really think that I could or would start a kettlebell studio or anything, teach it full-time, or become one of the KB experts that I adore and follow on the web, who have helped me so much. I’m just not there, won’t ever be there.
But in my spiritual life, in one of my own areas of ministry, we learn and teach each other that we can change our world one small circle at a time–first, change myself (check). Then, my family. Then, my neighborhood–my workplace–my town–on and on the ripples can spread, but the change always must begin in small ways.
I didn’t need to dream BIG–not yet. I needed to look carefully, and close by, for the opportunities God had already planted in my path.
To wit: a university where I spent my days. A university with a Wellness Center. Which hosts Wellness Wednesdays FREE to faculty and staff!! Which, if they saw me often enough, and earnest enough, and changed enough, might also get interested in this crazy kettlebell thing that had kicked my sorry Jabba D. Butt into shape.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this summer. And you should SEE the looks I get.
Big muscle-bound guys in what I’ve come to think of as “the men’s room”–the weights area. I have yet to see women there doing much more than playing around with the cute pink-rubber-coated paperweights that pass for “weights for women.” They do NOT know what to think about me and Boris, who seriously looks like he’s been through a metal shredder. They DO, though, get out of my way.
Is she lost? Is she nuts? (This is a possibility.) One fellow, one of the staff, stopped to watch me practice some double kettlebell work: a repeated sequence of 5-each swings, high pulls, cleans, presses, and squat-thrusters. At some point he must have thought I’d given him the evil eye, because he cleared his throat and said, “You know, those things would be a lot easier if you’d just put them down.”
Haw. I smiled sweetly, squatted deeply, and said, “Yes, but they wouldn’t do me nearly as much good.” And then I thrust. [thrusted?]
I have been known to clear a room: when I start swinging, suddenly the people who are on the floor planking or Bosu ball-crunching or whatever it is? They finish up in a hurry. Why is that? [innocent blinky-eyes]
But others stay. And ask questions, which I love! Or just pop the eyebrows, which I love even more . . .
I plan my practice time very deliberately for high visibility: alternating practice sessions in the weights area with grip strengthening circuits of the indoor track, with Boris (or Ivan/Stefan, my double-kb twins) in farmers, racked, or overhead carry. The indoor track has the advantage of taking me right through the cardio area. I believe Pavel had something to say about traditional cardio.
Yeah. Not for me, not any more.
So I plan my work, and I work my plan, and we’ll see where this goes. Come September, if all goes well, I already have a session on the books with the Center’s director of group exercise!!