Insta Model Truth

Careful who you admire, friends. For you, too, may be duped.

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This is not a post that will criticize Instagram models. They’re just people doing their thing.

This is not a post that will remind you that everything you see on social media is carefully curated, filtered, and specifically chosen to be an artistic version of real life, but not actually real life. I would hope you know that by now and know how to keep your own boundaries to protect your mental wellbeing and happiness.

Nay, this here is a post to update you on a person I recently wrote about in a positive fashion. All good things must come to an end because I have seeneth with mine own eyes the truth about said person. And, forsooth, it is not pretty.

I’ll stop the half-hearted Old English thing. It just felt like it would add the right amount of drama.

I recently wrote about how I was “Inspired by Insta Models.” I pointed out in particular one person who looks like an Insta model and absolutely kicks butt in a difficult class. Both she and I have been committed to continuing to show up to this particular class. And the other day, we even practiced next to each other.

But then…it happened. She pulled a dick move.

Which, let’s be honest, is hard to do in yoga.

She did her usual kick assery with heavier weights than anyone else and with more energy and pizazz than anyone else. She’s a total badass.

During the cool down period (which, in my opinion, doesn’t last long enough but that’s probably by design because they’re trying to squeeze as much hard work as possible in the class and not give you ten minutes to chill out…), she continued to work out and do abs while everyone else was stretching. I hadn’t noticed if she did this before because I never sat next to her before. And that wasn’t even the part that bothered me. In fact, when she continued to do hard ab work when the rest of us were desperately trying to catch our breath I was like, “Dang, look at this total badass.”

After her ab work, however, she never took the time to stretch and meet the rest of us in savasana (the end to any yoga class). Again, fine. People skip out on the stretch and savasana part of class all the time. That, too, didn’t bother me.

What did bother me is that she gets approximately five sets of weights and a block (the average is two sets of weights and a block – and keep in mind by set I mean two weights). She gets a ton of them in heavy increments. So 10-12 weights sit around her mat while the rest of us have 4.

And she left them.

She just left them.

All of them. 

She walked out of class leaving the teacher to pick up her weights for her.

Now, listen, I was even willing to let this go. I came home and told my husband about it just to get it off my chest. But even then, I wasn’t going to judge her. I assumed she had somewhere to be. In the earliest classes, you get a lot of life butt kickers with busy schedules. So it’s understandable if sometimes you can’t see a class through to the end because something came up.

But she did it again today.

This very day, she did the same thing. Out early, all weights left.

I get that you need to leave. I get that you can’t carry multiple sets of weights back and forth in a busy room without making a scene. But you can carry one or maybe even two sets of weights. Maybe even the lightest. Maybe don’t leave all of them. Or, if you know you’re going to leave, maybe get fewer weights. Sure, it may affect the fact that you won’t have the perfect amount for one of the short sets of weight training we do. But you’ll certainly have close enough. And you can have fewer so you can actually take one of the sets back before you leave early.

Today, too, another woman left early. She left significantly earlier than most. But you know what she did? She put her stuff back before returning to her mat and grabbing it to leave.

You know what this did? Two things: 1. It made it so all of us still in the class could see this woman with brass balls be like “yeah, I don’t care, I gotta go” while we’re all still getting our butt kicked (so she risked embarrassment or judgment). And 2. It meant the teacher didn’t have to clean up after her.

Today when Insta Model Chick left, I felt slighted. Here I was adoring her energy and effort from a far only to have her spit my admiration back in my face like it was a carb she hadn’t allowed herself to eat in years.

For shame, dear Insta Model Chick. Treat your yoga studio like you do your body. It is a pristine temple that you have (at least a minimal amount of) investment to take care of.

 

Fantasy Football

I’m in a fantasy football league this year with my boyfriend and his family.

imgresMy brother has been doing fantasy football for years. I like watching football and understand how the sport is played. I know some of the best players names and enjoy following the sport.

At least a little.

This whole fantasy stuff has taken it all to the next level.

The draft itself was terrifying because I didn’t even understand how to draft people. I was picked last which means I always picked two in a row. Which means I got extra amounts of time in which I was unable to breathe because I was too busy screaming out of stress and crying that I didn’t understand what was happening or what to do and yelling at my boyfriend to come help me then accusing him of somehow cheating me out of a good team even though I have no way of showing he was doing anything other than helping me.

*WHEW*

In case you couldn’t tell by that run-on sentence during which I never took a breath while typing, you can imagine what the draft experience was like.

Then, I found out, that I actually have to keep up with this stuff. I have to play certain players and there are trades and stuff. And I can do research on who’s playing who and what it all might mean and strategize how best to do the best and oh god I’m having another mild panic attack I’M DONE WITH THIS BLOG NOW I CAN’T THINK ABOUT IT ANYMORE. I’M GOING TO GO DO THE ONE THING I TRULY ENJOY ABOUT FOOTBALL SEASON… DRINK BEER.

Gordon’s Coupon

I’d like to continue my recent theme of unreasonable love, if I may.IMG_0626 Nobody’s going to stop me because this is a personal blog and, as unreasonable as it may get, still remains significantly more reasonable than the majority of the hankypanky posted online? Cool.

I got this coupon on one of my first grocery excursions in my new apartment in Los Angeles. I kept it. I keep a lot of coupons but for some reason I was hell-bent on keeping this particular coupon around. It expired like 3+ years after I got it and I remember thinking to myself, “Of all the coupons I’ve ever gotten, I’m for sure going to use this one. I’ll keep it in a safe place. I’ve got over 3 years to do something with it. This one… this is the one.”

I think maybe there was a combination of my own independence and enjoyment of creating a new life in LA that I associated with this coupon. I felt like a real LA adult, living in my own place, buying groceries but saving money, planning potential taco nights (with myself). Whatever it was, I’ve had this coupon on the fridge for years and have looked at it off and on since moving in.

And wouldn’t you know it… June 2015 has come and gone. And I did nothing with it.

I didn’t use the dagnabbing coupon.

But I also didn’t throw it away. It remains on my fridge (with the hilarious animal butt magnet my Aunt got me). It’s some sort of weird reminder to me to… I dunno… save money or something?

Or maybe the bigger issue is I just don’t eat all the much fish. I guess I’ve got a lot to learn about myself.

I suggest you do the same.

Or don’t. I really have no way of knowing or following up with you. Unless you want to leave a comment and let me know how it goes. Or, again, don’t. It’s (clearly) not in my nature to be too bossy. At least not online…

$.98 cent shirt

Note: The shirt pictured is not the shirt discussed in this article. It’s a much cooler shirt that I’d be willing to pay a lot more than $1 for.
imagesYears ago, when I was living in Chicago, I used to frequent thrift stores. Not the trendy LA thrift store where you spend huge chunks of money on used clothes in the hopes of looking unique. I’m talking about cheap-o, you gotta dig deep to find something worthwhile, second-hand stores. I almost exclusively shopped at these types of places in high school and the habit continued throughout my college and post-college Chicago years.

My favorite find ever was a shirt that was .98 cents. A very plain, very basic, white T-shirt (with no pit stains… this is HUGE in a second-hand store when you’re choosing white). I have no explanation for why I loved it so much, but it was the only thing I bought on that shopping excursion that day. When I got up to check out, the shirt was 20% off. I got it for well under a dollar and paid ca$h money.

That was years ago. And to this day, I still very much, inexplicably love that white shirt. I wear it to workout and to hike in. Let me reemphasize- there is nothing particularly special about this shirt. I have no idea why I love it so much. If my stylist or my mother ever got near it, I know they’d throw it away in a second.

But I’m going to keep wearing it until it’s literally shreds.

To be fair, it’s also one of the few things that I can say without a doubt that I own and bought outright with cash. So… there’s that, too.

Couples Running

I don’t often like to get too much into my personal life here, but I am going to take a quick pause from my usual policy of “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE” to tell you something cool about my significant other.

Sometimes we actually go running together.

As some of you may know, I haven’t been competitively running for a long time. I two-children-running-on-beach_70368391changed my focus a while back to more weight training and whatnot. But we’re doing a little dual-motivation challenge with each other that’s making both of us hop back on the running horse. (Metaphorically, of course. He actually hates horses so this can only be a metaphor.)

It’s not easy to find a running partner in any capacity. I tend to like to run (and usually just workout) alone. And I still like to do that. But having someone else along for the jog is surprisingly nice. Especially when you genuinely enjoy that person’s company. And I genuinely enjoy his. Which makes my genuine frustration for getting back in shape ease up a little. And makes me look forward (even just a little bit) to going running. Because it means I get to hang around someone I enjoy being around. Even if we’re both doing something we both aren’t super excited about.

It’s nice.

As nice as running can be for be for me at this point I guess.

Anyway, I could talk about it more but that already feels like an over-share for something I tend to stay very private about so I’m gonna go hide in the shade in the corner and wait until you forget all about this and we can all go back to staying quiet and not talking about my personal life because it’s “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE.”

Are You Using This?

lift-weightsI’ve discussed before how I’m not the most social at the gym. But there are some questions that don’t bother me that much.

“Are you using this?” is typically not one of them. It’s a reasonable, polite question that can avoid some serious confrontations.

It’s just, when I get asked by the same people several times if I’m using some weights that I’m clearly using, I start to lose my patience.

And that’s what happened the other day. I didn’t technically lose my patience, but I sure came close.

A small group of dudes who were clearly total bros who loved to come to the weight room and pretend their working out when really they’re holding weights in strange positions and gossiping like Sex and the City ladies.

Yet because of their proximity to me, they seemed to think if I wasn’t actually touching a weight at that moment that it was easier just to ask me if I was using it than to go look for and find a similar (or, dare I say, heavier?) weight themselves.

The first time it happened, whatever. The second time, I was confused. But the third? I thought they must have been messing with me. But they weren’t They were just too lazy to walk to the weight rack themselves and too self-absorbed to realize they were asking the same person.

Doofuses. Doofusi? Doofi? Doofi.

Inside Out Shirt

success kid shirtYou’ll notice that I do my best on this blog to never gym shame anyone. Unless it has to do with basic gym etiquette (or sometimes basic human etiquette).

But you won’t hear me making fun of people. Part of that is I just in general have a policy of kindness. But part of it is because I recognize that I often don’t have all my sh*t together, so far be it from me to point out somebody else’s shortcomings.

Case in point: I saw a woman the other day with her shirt inside out. I thought, “Come on lady. Check your shirt.” Then I caught myself judging, realized it was just because I was exhausted while working out and trying to find something else to think about, and made myself find three things about her to compliment in my mind. I felt guilty for passing judgement (I’m Midwestern. Feeling guilty comes naturally.), so I made myself do kindness penance.

And, wouldn’t you know it, a couple weeks later, I’m at the gym and realize midway through my workout that I had my shirt on inside out.

I could have gone and changed, but I figured “Meh. Such is life” and let it go.

Because we’re all human and we have days we’re more “off” than others. And I figured anyone who noticed wouldn’t care. And anyone who would notice and care about such things wasn’t worth my time anyway, so I shouldn’t care.

Because…

be-who-you-are-and-say-what-you-feel-because-those-who-mind-dont-matter-and-those-who-matter-dont-mind-11

I’m Scared of Teacher

I’m not a masochist.

At least I don’t think I am.

scary teachBut there is one teacher I have been going to consistently who terrifies me and I love her for it.

She teaches cardio kickboxing and boot camp. I’m scared enough of her in cardio kickboxing, I can’t imagine her in boot camp.

But I do know if I went to boot camp, she would whoop my butt in shape in not time. That’s why I love her.

I’m a big fan of anyone who has passion for what they do. And this fitness instructor clearly has passion for whipping people into shape. And it’s spectacular.

The shy part of me that loves to be invisible and anonymous at the gym despises her. She sees me. She offers me motivation and instruction. And I secretly love her for it. Even the shy part of me appreciates it.

So I keep going. And I keep getting yelled at. And I keep getting better. And, although I know eventually I’ll get used to it, part of me will always be scared of teacher.

 

 

Ice Ice Vengeance

Alright stop. Collaborate and listen.

Or read.

Whatever you get the point.

Long before I was an aspiring young hip hop artist and freestyle rapper, I was but a mere high school student in speech class attending a private Jesuit school in Indianapolis. I used to do speeches I thought were hilarious. I showed how to properly paint nails by asking the notoriously mean assistant dean to let me paint his nails pink. I wrote silly skits with friends and pretended my mic was going in and out of speeches during really important parts. I did shit I thought was hilarious.Rap singer Vanilla Ice in 1991. (AP Photo)

One of the attempts I made at hilarity was when I tried to have all of the lyrics of “Ice Ice Baby” memorized to deliver as an extemporaneous dramatic monologue reading to the class. This is before my years of improv and my years onstage. I was nervous. I wanted to be funny. I was 16 and really invested in this being hilarious. I listened to the song on repeat for hours. I looked up the lyrics and went out of my way to memorize it. I remember putting specific verses on repeat while driving on spring break in order to get it down.

And the day of my speech, I brought up a cheat sheet in case I forgot.

And I failed.

Miserably.

I memorized parts of the song, sure, but I was so nervous I didn’t trust myself and looked down so much I screwed up a lot and lost my place. It was uncomfortable and far from funny for everybody. I remember looking at a note a person who shall remain unnamed wrote to someone else. It said simply “What do Briana and unfunny have in common? Everything.”

To be fair, that was the meanest things got in my school. And I bet if I had confronted him about it, he would have apologized. I went to a really nice school and had, for the most part, really nice classmates. Yeah we were all teenage assholes, but we weren’t terrifying bullies.

But still, because I was so invested in making that performance where I failed and I was so convinced deep down in me that me rapping that was hilarious, I didn’t give up. Shortly after the speech I put my memorization in to hyperdrive and had that song down within the week. I didn’t get the chance to redo my speech, but I began making it my go-to karaoke song. And I began to let my inner entertainer loose and go crazy with the performance because I knew it so well. My senior year, I showed off my skills in the Black Student Union talent show, enlisted a friend to do the background vocals and performed the hell out of the song in front of a huge audience wearing a colorful dress with shoulder pads that I found at a local thrift store. I got a screaming standing ovation.

By the time I got to college, I would bring tiny podunk karaoke bars in Cincinnati  to a halt after performing the song. I go nuts whenever it’s played. I did it once at a beer festival in St. Louis and was immediately bought three drinks. I did it in a bar in Toronto and was given a shot and hugs by a gaggle of strangers. I did it a couple months ago in Santa Monica at a wine bar and had a man beg me to leave my boyfriend to be with him afterwards. (Spoiler alert: Didn’t work.)

What I’m saying is… I annihilate this song now.

And I’ll be honest, every time I do it, I still think of that epic fail in speech class when I was 16 years old and that passive aggressive note I saw on that guy’s desk afterwards. And every time, there is an angsty teenager inside me going “Take that, [insert guy’s name here]. Ya dick.”

Sometimes it’s ok to fail. In fact, often it’s ok to fail. Let the failure be a teacher and your frustration fuel you to new levels.

And once you stop giving so much of a shit, you too can become a local karaoke comedy rock star.

Yo man let’s get outta here. Word to your mother.

Cooky Yoga Man

I’ve been talking about getting out of the house more lately and challenging myself at different t-rex yogaclasses (including and especially Yoga classes).

I recently had a substitute teacher at a yoga class that tickled me pink. Not literally. But I have a feeling, had he been given the chance, he would have.

He was a cooky guy.

He started the class casually with a long chat for about 5 minutes about different things that he found interesting. The few of us who were there didn’t seem to also find this interesting. I could tell by the way we all got confused wide-eyes and looked around at each other.

Eventually, he got the class started. He was almost so casual that we had to more or less guess that we were starting. I was front and center and I couldn’t help but laugh. He reminded me of every socially awkward teacher I had growing up. He was a big guy, which means nothing to me fitness-wise, but he really only semi-coached the poses and barely stayed in them. At one point, he even got a phone call so our quiet yoga music got turned into a robotic voice repeating “The phone is ringing. The phone is ringing.” Because that’s exactly the type of ringtone a guy like this would have. I wondered what it was until he simply, casually said, “That ringtone cracks me up,” then continued half-heartedly doing poses and giggling to himself.

I was also giggling profusely.

Even though my traditional yoga workout wasn’t stellar, at least I got a good laughter yoga workout in. Especially on the drive home after the “class.”