Category Archives: Random musings

Lifting Weights

I recently started working out again and I am once again reminded of some of my own issues surrounding fitness. I’ve been debating unpacking them here, but my family can confirm that I am a terrible unpacker. It took me a full month to literally unpack from our recent trip to Utah. But practice makes perfect, right?

My problem with fitness is about lifting weights. It’s not that I can’t lift, it’s not even that I don’t want to do it for its own sake. I know it makes sense for women to lift weights because it increases our bone density. But with all of that, I don’t lift because I don’t want the body that comes along with weight lifting.

Note: Moving forward in this post there are going to be triggers for partner violence. Please be aware and take care of yourself.

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Way back, way way way way back in 2008 I was enrolled in a weight lifting class. It filled the physical fitness requirement for my A.A. degree and it was online so I could work out on my own time. It was perfect.

About a month after the class started, I ran into and started “hanging out with” a fellow that I had known several years previously and he gave 15-year-old Rachel the creeps. He was also inexplicably magnetic. So, as a 19-year-old (going on 20) I proceeded with caution. The self-blaming side of me knows that I should have listened to the 15-year-old version of myself and had nothing to do with him. But that kind of thinking will get you nowhere fast.

There I was, in my weight lifting class and doing great. I felt great, I was getting stronger. And there he was, tearing me down and making me feel small. Treating me terribly because, well, look at how strong I was. Of course I could take it. That body could take it.

Thanks to my amazing parents and supportive friends I made my way back out of that “relationship” before too long. One of my friends, whose help was enlisted by my dad because she was an expert in the types of people I suddenly found myself with, said after a few months “I found this organization that is having a conference to empower women. You need to be empowered. Let’s go!” It’s because of that that I had the courage to run for public office.

It’s because of that experience that I write. It’s why I wrote a novella (consequently, you can get it on Amazon if you’re so inclined).

So maybe someday that courage will find its’ way into my fitness routine. But for now, I don’t lift weights.

July 14 Photo

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Seriously Funny

I generally think of myself as a serious person. Anybody who has read this gem knows that this self-impression is 100% false. I have serious thoughts and I take important things seriously, but I really am pretty goofy at heart.

Embracing these dichotomies about myself, for my post this week I’ve added a little poem to this fabulous photo my Nine Kopfer. This is similar to the regular, everyday, little rhymes that are just a regular part of life when you have little kids.

June 30 post
Wait a minute, we’re fish! Fish don’t blow dandelions!

Our Better Angels

I recently started a new job, and while there are some growing pains I’m finding it to be a generally fabulous experience. My new role has allowed me to look at some recent events in a lens that I haven’t exercised for a while.

I have been seeing so much in the news about the inflammatory behavior of Kathy Griffin, debates on NPR (which is where I get most of my news) about the place comedy has in the political landscape, and so much more. The theme I’m picking up – and I got this especially from a fabulous dialogue on NPR on my way home the other day – is that it really feels like a lot of folx out there are not appealing to their better sides. Jokes about children, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations are fair game. Behavior is designed to shock, and not in a good way. This is not a good thing, this is not okay, this is not normal.

We certainly can appeal to the best humanity has to offer. I think of the podcast I’ve started to listen to religiously – Stuff Mom Never Told You – and their recent episode on policing women’s speech (Mom, this is the one I was talking about the other day!). Bridget and Emilie talked about how women say “sorry” not just to apologize but also to express empathy. Maybe instead of apologizing about apologizing we should be saying to our male counterparts “Apologize more!” In this case, expressing empathy for our fellow human beings is a good thing.

CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE IS A GOOD THING!

This is a short post, so I just want to conclude by encouraging you to be the best version of yourself. Because, if you’ve been reading me for a while (if you haven’t, welcome! I’m glad you’re here) you know how strongly I subscribe to the notion that “we all do better when we all do better.”

June 16 Picture

Homeland is a Feminist Issue

If you have been reading for a while I’m about to confirm something you have probably noticed.

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m glad you’re here and I’m glad you’re about to learn something new about me.

Tackling current events is not something I normally do here, in a public space. It takes me so long to process them and come away with anything of substance that it doesn’t feel worthwhile. Here, in our 24-hour news cycle where tiny and insignificant details are rehashed at length and then forgotten.

But this time I must share something that I’m grappling with. I must so that I can make sense of it myself and hopefully so that you don’t feel alone if you’re grappling with the exact same thing.

What I’m talking about is not earth shattering. I know that. The fact that I am grappling with this is reflective of my extreme privilege.

I am talking about going to the theaters this evening, this weekend, maybe next week, to see Wonder Woman.

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For weeks, I have been thrilled that an action movie with a female lead was coming to theaters. I have been determined, in my small way, to show movie studios that films with female leads can succeed in a huge way. Representation matters, and while I know there are lots of white women on the screen they’re not kicking literal ass and taking names

So when I saw this article in my Facebook news feed damning women who don’t care that Gal Gadot is a Zionist I was alarmed. That those who don’t care aren’t “real feminists.”

Here’s what I know about Zionism. Zionism, at its core, is the belief that the Jewish people are deserving of a homeland. I do not believe that this is wrong. There is not a single thing with longing for home.

There is something wrong with terrorizing women, children, families who already live there. The means the Israeli government uses to claim their homeland is not okay.

I am not a diplomat, but I believe there must be a way to for both groups to peacefully have their homes.

Maybe I am naive, but Gal Gadot’s use of #stopterror and #coexist means she is committed to working toward peace.

What is a “real feminist” supposed to do in a situation like this? Should such a person support the glimmers of more representation on the silver screen? Or is the better thing to boycott the film in solidarity with the people of Palestine?

There are no easy answers – not for me. Maybe there are for you and if there are, I envy you. I will see Wonder Woman, and probably walk away feeling empowered. And I will also do what I can to advocate for a peaceful solution so that both the Israelis and Palestinians can have their homeland.