FAT HEAUXS ON BIKES
ADRIENNE: Elizabeth! We went on a bike tour with our beloved Team Tuff Muff and lived to tell the tale! Well, sort of! I got heat exhaustion and had to be sent away in a van and maybe you have a broken foot now, but whatever. Did you have fun? Is fitness fun??
ELIZABETH: Fitness is terrible, but like a good terrible. Like when you know you have to go to your grandma’s house and you know that it’s gonna smell bad and she’s gonna pinch you all over and feed you some flavorless dinner, but you get to walk away with $20. Like that. Did you like it?
ADRIENNE: Not to be all kissy-smoochy-friendshippy, but I like doing things with you. We always have fun. And I feel like when we do crazy shit like a three day bike tour across Wisconsin that we barely trained for, we always have fun and make a lot of memories. Will we ever forget when you held me before I was placed in the SAG van, tears streaming??? AHAHAHHAAHA, I will NEVER FORGET.
The cycling, did I like the cycling…. Yes? Like 75% of it. When it was too hot it was zero fun. But I had a great time the second day, even when I was really tired and struggling. You?
ELIZABETH: Out of any sport that I’ve ever done -- which would be exactly 2 and maybe ping pong, which I just learned this weekend -- riding my bike is my favorite. I mean at this age, I have two things to look forward to -- cycling with my besties and menopause because I can finally say fuck it and wear my mustache with pride. This weekend was challenging because of the weather and terrible beds that I imagine were what it would feel like sleeping in a cave, but LESS COMFORTABLE AND STINKIER.
You did cry, and this going to sound cruel (and slightly funny), but I’m glad you cried. Honestly, I think you sell yourself short all the time when it comes to pushing yourself physically. On the side of the road, as we were both contemplating whether Medical Bob was hot AF or if we were just lonely, I think you felt something you didn’t expect. Even though you were clearly sick, you also felt a loss and disappointment in doing the best you can, but sometimes your best isn’t good enough mixed with the feeling that you were disappointing your teammates. I could feel it from you because I’ve been there.
I got a concussion once before a roller derby game and cried all night long because I couldn’t play the next day. It’s when I first realized that even though I wasn’t going to be a star athlete, I was part of something bigger than me, that this team was everything to me, and that I wanted to be awesome for me and for them.
What were you thinking?
ADRIENNE: I was just like super sad that I knew I was done, like I was sick and I was done. And I wanted to be better, ya know? Honestly, the hardest part about Team Tuff Muff for me is being the weakest cyclist on the team. For my personality, it is very hard to show up over and over again to something I’m not very good at and allow myself to not be that great, to have everyone know I’m not very good, to make people wait for me when they could be doing more, like it’s humbling and embarrassing and difficult. But it also feels like a mature, good thing to be vulnerable and to fall over and be picked up by your besties. So I feel like I’m always learning something and it feels like the really deep shit I need to know. You can’t be perfect, so what are you going to do? Sit out? Not trust anyone? It always feels like a choice to be vulnerable and to try.
Tell the truth, were you ever worried I might die? Hahahhaa.
ELIZABETH: No. I was never worried. REAL TALK -- I get most of what you’re saying but as someone who’s life’s motto has been, “Well, you can always quit,” I need you to get out of your head. You spend a ton of time saying you can’t do something and saying you’re not an athlete and saying you’re the worst. It literally makes me want to shake you like a baby. Warning: NEVER SHAKE BABIES.
Part of being good at things is just doing it. Soli, my previous trainer, used to say, “Don’t think, just do.” And I would reply, “That’s exactly how I feel when I see donuts. I just do stick them in my face.” I get her point though. You have to get out of your own way. You are not who you thought you were in high school and couldn’t make the cheerleading team. You’re somebody who has proven your worth over and over again through your focus, determination, and hard work. If you start with the idea that you are holding people back, then you need to think about how you can keep us going faster. And you have! I mean we had a couple of rides where we put you in the front of the line and you killed it. WHY?? Because you didn’t want to be the person holding us back, so you went faster. At one time, I saw that you were going at 18 mph, and it was confirmed by another rider, so it’s definitely not because you can’t.
Does it make a difference when you’re riding in the back? Yes, I believe it does, psychologically. This is a metaphor about life, right? Like when you see everyone ahead of you, going faster than you, leaving you behind, it’s easy to get down on yourself. The thinking has to change though to challenge yourself to get to the first step/the first person. Once you get to that person, then work to the next step/person. You can do it!
Last season you won the award for being the biggest complainer. This season you won’t get that award because you know that complaining makes it hard for everyone else and doesn’t help you. I feel like if you, Adrienne Gunn, can ride for 50 miles without complaining, then ANYTHING is possible!
ADRIENNE: Listen, I want to complain about everything you just said right now but I’m going to refrain and instead redirect the conversation towards something else I’ve been thinking about -- why don’t we get any fitter / radical self love.
I feel like we’ve had chats lately like, it’s weird how we work out and the gains are miniscule. I’ve come to this place though where I’ve really embraced this BIG IDEA → if being fit was my number one priority, and I put it before everything else, my kid, my job, etc, and I was like, this is the area that I will excel in, even if other things in my life suffer - if i’m late to work, or i am spending less time with my kid while I food prep or work out, or I can’t go out to eat / drink with my friends because I’m on a strict diet -- I could be real fucking fit. I could do it. If it was my top priority.
So I’m embracing that it’s not my top priority. It’s on a list. Like I want to keep my body doing ok because I’m getting old and it’s already more creaky than I would like. But I have to accept this is on a list of shit i’m working on all the time. Being a mother, having a career, managing my finances and household, writing, creative projects, friends and family and downtime. It’s on a list and I don’t have the luxury or interest in making it the top priority. Where are you at with this? I feel like we are both people who always feel like we are not doing enough even though at all times we are doing A TON.
ELIZABETH: I love your ability to break it all down into that space and make a decision to carry on. I will never be that. I will never look at myself and not think fat. I mean my mom recently called me to ask me if I was on a diet and I’m fucking 44 years old mom and I CAN DO WHAT I WANT! In truth, I want to be skinny and if not skinny, I want to be fit like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a better haircut.
What gift I have been able to give myself is sense of acceptance that this is who I am. That I’ll always be chubster on a diet, exercise program, or considering a nose job. In doing this, at least, I’m not spending days fighting myself about why I’m not more body positive about myself, especially when I’m a firm lover of all bodies and strong feminist and people admirer. It feels balanced for me. Like it’s ok for me to hate my body on Weds and love it on Sunday. It’s ok for me not to eat carbs 2 days a week….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH WHEW. I NEVER SKIP CARBS!....or eat a pizza 3 times in a day.
ADRIENNE: Yes! Acceptance! I’ve been calling it radical self love. I’ve decided that at 38 ½ years old, I just don’t have the time or the energy or the space to feel bad about myself or beat myself up or not be my own biggest ally anymore. It actually feels like irresponsible? dangerous? risky? to continue to allow myself to criticize myself. I work SO HARD. I work so hard to be a good mom, and a good friend / family member / person and I’ve just gotten to this space where it feels like, dude, you can’t keep moving forward spiritually (gag, lol) if you keep allowing yourself to get mired in doubt or fear or in mean thoughts about your waistline. So I’m trying to just FUCKING REFUSE. I know I’m not perfect, but every time I think a mean thought about myself, I combat it with concrete examples of how fucking ok I am just the way I am.
ELIZABETH: I love you and I love being friends on a journey together -- figuring out how to be ok with being ok and doing our best, even when we always feel like our best is not good enough. What do you want to try to conquer next? National Ping Pong Championships? Ice dancing? Possibly bowling league - the one sport where we can eat chicken wings while doing it?
ADRIENNE: YOU KNOW MY WILDEST DREAM IS TO BE ON A BOWLING LEAGUE.
ELIZABETH: Is it because of the shirt?
ADRIENNE: YOU KNOW I WANT THAT SHIRT.