#Fitbloggin After Dark: Lessons from a Drag Queen

Her Majesty, Queen RuPaul's tagline is "if you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love anybody else?"

And well, show me one fitness blogger who hasn't struggled with loving his or herself? It is the central question we all try to answer in our own little way. 

A large group of us went to Club One here in Savannah to see a drag show last night. I left wanting to bring them back to the conference. 

We see all the glitz and glamour of these girls while they are putting on their shows. What we don't see is how much courage it takes to step out the first time in drag. It is a leap of faith in 4" heels. 

But, as in all things, there are lessons to be learned here:  

• when each of us chooses to be something that doesn't come easily/naturally/genetically we affirm that the risk is worth both the reward and even the potential failure;

• when we take the leap of faith, we learn just how strong we are willing to be....even if it is all bravado;

• bravado transforms into confidence, with practice;

• remember to blend your makeup;

• commit to what you want to be and practice portraying that person until it becomes your actual identity.

Everybody Hearse, Sometimes

I'm just going to put this out there:  I brought doughnuts to Fitbloggin (fitness conference).  I traveled many miles to taste their deliciousness and I refuse to feel guilty about this... and I kinda also refuse to share.

So the title of my blog tonight is a play on the R.E.M. song "Everybody Hurts."  A bunch of us went on a a "Haunted Savannah" tour this evening in these beauties:

Joking aside, if you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that a common theme that I write about is that "everyone suffers."  It's a Buddhist principle that can be applied all around.

Even though I was terribly overwhelmed by the welcome mixer (the sound was loud and I've been alone in my head for the past few days), I was particularly attuned to the number of people who not just felt overwhelmed, but also out of place.  Many people felt that not only were they introverts but that they were also newbies.  Two whammies that are hard to overcome at a conference where so many of us already know each other.

If that was you, I just want you to know that we've all felt that at some point -- that we don't belong, that we don't deserve to be our friends, that we've fallen from grace or that we're no longer to be counted among the peers.  Many of us have felt vulnerable and scared because when we arrive at Fitbloggin, we're not an improvement on the last time people have seen us, and worse, we may be a disappointment.  But among all the gut-wrenching horrible feelings, is the one where we feel like we're invisible, our voice doesn't matter, or that we're in the way.  That's not the case.  Everyone who takes the initiative to show up belongs here.  And it doesn't matter what happened yesterday or the day before.  You're here now.  You are ONE OF US.  And you better get in on the group hug.

Another thing that reminded me of the theme that "everyone hurts" is an email that I got from my landlord today.  He says:   "I wish you would understand how sick I am and how hard this is on me.  You named my only baby left, Leo and I don't want this to be ugly." 

I abhor that he's playing on my sympathies... as if I didn't lose Spike in February... as if I wasn't in the hospital recently because of my back.   He could have used his experience of his own suffering to bring about compassion and say "hey, sorry the fridge is broken.  I know you don't need that stressor right now."  Instead he said "Please plan to vacate by June 15th and you will never have to deal with the noisy compressor again.  You are welcome to leave on the 1st of June (or tomorrow) if you feel the is not lived up to my responsibilities."
 I can't engage emotionally with this.  Yes, everyone hurts sometimes and we use our own knowledge of suffering to bring about compassion.... but sometimes we use our own suffering to assert our limits and say "No more." 

Deja Too: Belonging

This is a recurring theme.

Every time Fitbloggin rolls around a little voice inside my head says "don't go, you don't belong there."

And because I haven't been able to go to the gym (because of my back), because I have been stress eating (have I mentioned that my landlord has been trying to evict me for no effing good reason (because I asked for the fridge to be fixed is not a good reason) since May, and that I've recently moved?), I'm giving that little voice more weight than it actually deserves.

Lucky for me, I have very wise friends that have pointed out one of the best things about Fitbloggin -- it's not a fitness competition, it's not a competition to see who is the bloggiest of bloggers who have ever bloggingly blogged and who can get the most sponsorship.  It's a place where we recharge our batteries.  It's where we go to get our head right.  In other words, if you feel like you don't belong there, it's when you need to be there the most.

My hope is that by the time I get to Savannah, I'll realize that I'm not a guest; this is a homecoming.