July 01, 2015

Happy July! Celebrations, Ramblings, and Oh Yeah, Goals!

photo via x-ray delta one
By Crabby McSlacker

So as promised, even though I'm in full-on blogslacking mode, I'm going to try to slap together at least one blog post a month. Mainly so I can jump down into the comment section and catch up with all my favorite Cranketeers!

But I guess first I gotta actually write about something.

Hmm, let's see. Something about celebrations? We've got the fourth coming up, plus I have to confess I've been in a pretty celebratory mood. Because it's probably no surprise to anyone familiar with this blog that I was pretty psyched about a recent United States Supreme Court decision.

Pretty cool what they said about the unconstitutionality of the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act, right??!!

OK, maybe not that decision. Being an Armed Career Criminal sounds like it would require a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, and guns scare the crap out of me, so I didn't have a huge stake in that one. No, I'm talking about a different Supreme Court decision.

Need a hint?




Yep, we're talking about the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which now requires that everyone in the country turn gay and get gay-married! Think how amusing that will be!

Oh wait, it doesn't?

I thought from all the screeching coming from certain quarters about how oppressive the decision was to people's religious freedom, that it must have had some actual impact on the religious freedom of the people doing the screeching.  You mean straight people who don't approve of gay marriage don't have to relinquish their opposite-sex marriage rights? They just have to choose to feel or not feel the discomfort of their own self-righteous disapproval?

I can live with that.

Good luck!
via twitter.com

But Wait, Isn't This a Health Blog?

At this point you may be wondering: "WTF Crabby? How does the growing acceptance of gay marriage have anything to do with health and fitness? Or setting and achieving goals? Or partaking of processed deli meats while watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, which the picture up top would lead us to believe is relevant?"

Well, watch in fascination as as I rationalize some sort of connection of all these things out of thin air, step by laborious step...

1. Exclusion Sucks and is Demoralizing

Patriotism has always been something of a struggle for me. Being finally treated equally under the law has helped me feel more like it's MY country too! No one likes to feel dissed and rejected.

And it's not just laws, it's culture. Disapproval in the form of violence, hostility, shaming, avoidance, laughter, rolled eyes, or any other of the bazillion ways we humans have of communicating "we think you suck" are all pretty hard on the ol' self-esteem.

Media portrayals (or invisibility) can be hurtful too.  We may know intellectually that media is not necessarily "real life," but the way our brains work, it feels real to many people.  If you are represented as comical, evil, deranged, or ridiculous, or if you are written out of existence, it is hard not to feel either angry or creeped out or, most perniciously, "less-than" as a person.

2. However, The Acceptance and Warmth and Advocacy of Kind Allies is Tremendously Important!

Our friends and coworkers and family members have been incredibly supportive of my wife and I for years and years.

And Cranky Fitness readers have never been anything but amazing in their open-mindedness and acceptance, from the very beginning. Are there many openly gay health and fitness bloggers out there among the thousands and thousands of blogs? Probably there are, but I've only personally run into a few of them, so it's not like it was some "normal" thing.  Yet you guys were all way ahead of the rest of the country in acceptance and I've never felt the need to hide who I am or how important my awesome wife is to me.

3. Exclusion in the Health and Fitness World Sucks Too

So there may not be a sign at your gym that officially says:"No Fat People Allowed"  or "Old People Stay Home" or "Women, Stay The F--ck Out of the Free Weight Area" or "No Men Allowed in Pilates Class Unless They Have Been Castrated"...  but is it too much of a stretch to think that at some establishments, these are unwritten rules?

And don't get me started on all those Evil Women's "Health" Magazines, with their cheerful, not-so-subliminal messages: "You should spend all your waking hours thinking about how you look! And btw, it better be young and skinny and fashionable!" (God I hate the Rodale empire and its clones. Tip: go subscribe to Experience Life instead).

The fact that this video is being celebrated all over the internet for actually including a few real-life looking women only goes to point out the contrast with the rest of the media world.


We could pretend that being told "You Don't Belong Here" has no effect on us, but I think we're fooling ourselves.  Being unwelcome hurts. Judgment and ridicule, however subtly expressed, keep many people from participating in the activities where their bodies or abilities will be exposed and potentially judged.

As a life and health coach, I'm well aware that feeling self-conscious is a big barrier for a lot of larger women in trying to get active.  There is an added layer of dread about participating in fitness classes, or going to gyms, or joining teams, or putting on a swimsuit for some laps at the public pool because instead of feeling welcomed, they feel judged. How f--cked up is that?

4. The Importance of Showing Up Anyway Even if You're Not Welcome.

So the gay marriage decision is a big deal not just because 5 justices read the constitution in a different way than 4 other judges and "we won."  It easily could have gone the other way.

What is amazing is that the court, while ahead of various state legislatures, is not actually ahead of popular public opinion anymore. So there's little likelihood of a constitutional amendment turning back the clock.  Most people, and especially young people, just don't give a crap whether they have to share their rights with people in same-sex relationships.

How incredible is that? Even a few years ago it seemed impossible.

But it didn't just happen over a couple years.  It was cumulative, and it was a result of a lot of people speaking out and showing up, even when they weren't welcome.

It took gay people coming out, sometimes at the cost of their jobs or custody of their children. It took straight people who refused to go along when their friends laughed or expressed hostility. It took Hollywood writers and Madison Avenue executives and editorial boards of local papers and congregations and neighbors and school boards and a whole lot of other people. But people eventually got used to gay people showing up and participating wherever they were, and they didn't seem totally nonhuman, it didn't seem so weird and freaky anymore to think about treating them like everyone else.

5. But Big Goals (whether we're talking civil rights or health and fitness) Can Take a Long Time, and Getting There Ain't Always Easy or Comfortable.

Notice how I'm running out of steam here?  Bet you are too. Bottom line: be patient and hang in there; change can happen slowly but happy endings abound.

Oh and one more thing...

6.  Celebrate Who You Are and How Far You've Come.  And Don't Let Any Judgmental Idiots Out There Keep You From Showing Up!


Now on to the monthly check in thingy.

What am I up to these days?

So I'm taking this blog-break time to spend more time futzing with my novel. Sometimes it flows easily and I think it's awesome! Other times I realize the awesome-flow has just yielded a vast puddle of crappy writing and I pull the plug and drain out most of the dreck and start over. So, truthfully it's up and down. But I ain't giving up!

I'm also ramping up the weights and cardio again, nothing too intense, but I'm feeling motivated.  I had tried to ease off in recent months due to a back injury that I've had forever, but taking it easier didn't help. So screw that! I'm going to gradually resume doing more and more of what I was doing before and, like an idiot, hope for the best.

I'm also hanging in there with the meditation thing, reading more books and experimenting with different methods and inventing my own strange approaches.  I still do more in motion than while sitting, which is not really recommended, but I like to multi-task, so again, the hell with it, I'm going to do what I feel like doing. Hmm, sensing a theme here?

I don't have specific numerical goals for any of this, it's more of a "do your best and hang in there" approach, but so far I'm doing just that, so yay.

How about you guys?  Thoughts on exclusion or showing up or armed career criminals? Or what are into these days and what's on the agenda for July?

42 comments:

  1. Happy July! And oh what a happy day it was last Friday! My FB feed was full of so many wonderful posts that for a few hours, I forgot about how people can be so crazed. Then they returned. Which prompted a large number of unfriending. So life is pleasant again, and my friends now have the same rights that I do. Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 11:44 AM

      Thanks Shelley! My Tea Party lovin' sister had just unfriended me the day before the decision, which turned out to be a blessing because I don't think I'd want to read her postings! But I don't usually spend much time on Facebook and it was a kick to see so much joy and love and support there!

      Delete
    2. Oof, Crabby! I actually witnessed a family squabble on one of my friend's posts about how happy she was about the decision. It was...uncomfortable...and I wasn't even an involved party!

      My goal - I need to drop about 2 pounds to officially be "back at goal." THIS IS HAPPENING IN JULY. I mean, I had already gotten started being focused on it this past week or two, but July is when I shall see the results, so help me!

      Delete
    3. I've got roughly ten pounds to lose that crept back on after I slowly lost 35 some years ago. Somehow I absent-mindedly lost about five of the fifteen in the last two weeks, which encourages me to actually try. I lost the 35 in response to my hips and knees insisting. Now my feet have joined the chorus.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
    4. OTF, I love hearing that kind of determination, "THIS IS HAPPENING IN JULY" and "I shall see the results, so help me!" I almost never get all focused and hard-ass on myself like that, but when I do, I gotta say the results are better than the vague "do your best" thing I usually employ. You go girl!

      And Solarity, I love that you absent-mindedly lost 5 pounds, I sure wish my absent-mindedness was so useful! But sorry about the feet, that's the last thing you need!

      Delete
    5. Yabbut…I absent-mindedly gained 15 pounds first!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  2. THREE CHEERS to feeling motivated! I have started to feel like I need to kick my work outs into high gear. Don't get me wrong, I always work out - but I need to MIX IT UP... By the end of July, it's ON AND POPPING. Good luck during your bloggy break. Kick some ass, take loads of names - lol.

    The best types of goals are the "KICK SOME ASS" goals... Because it's vague enough that you can apply it to everything that comes your way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 11:46 AM

      Gigi, love the "Kick Some Ass" approach to goal setting! Inspiring and yet flexible enough to accommodate my constant mind--changing and chasing after shiny new aspirations.

      Delete
  3. One of my first thoughts was that if you come through Kentucky you and Awesome Wife will be legally married. (Other first thoughts: joy that my coworker and her wife are now married here, too. Her wife's employer is superb, and has always included life partners in benefits, but still.)
    The language of the last paragraph of the decision pleased me more than I expected, from my anti-legal-marriage stance, and consoled me for the slight stab I felt every time someone used "all" in their celebrating. No. We can't all. But maybe someday.
    Goals? I'm still in survival mode. The stack of things that absolutely must be done if I'm going to be comfortable (have food to eat, and a house clean enough that my allergies can stand it, and a yard that doesn't make someone in the neighborhood call the city to complain--had to buy a new lawnmower in an already expensive month) keeps piling up higher all the time. I want to lose a little more weight (my feet and knees and hips say this would be a good thing) but it's not a priority compared to eating enough to make it through the day without getting hungry. And goodness knows work gets me enough exercise, since I truly never stop moving throughout a nine hour day. But I still dream of getting to the gym more than once a month or two. That will have to wait until so many parts stop hurting, though. I have made a decision to stop trying so hard to buy local and order more online so I can save time.
    I'm doing well with my usual ability to enjoy nearly every moment, in spite of all I just said.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      So glad Kentucky is now one of the places we can travel without worrying what would happen if one of us ended up in the hospital and whether we could even visit one another! But mostly happy for all the couples who actually live in the states affected who wanted to get married but couldn't.

      Sounds like you have a lot to deal with Mary Anne, and yeah, it seems like you gotta prioritize survival stuff. While the gym is a great thing if you have time, sure sounds like you're staying really really active with all your "functional fitness", i.e., getting shit done! (I find yard work and chores more physically demanding than gym equipment anyway.)

      Delete
    2. But the gym is FUN. Yard work (other than planting flowers and harvesting vegetables) is not, especially the necessary grass-cutting which feels so pressured, because it must be done A) when I am not at work or asleep B) when it is not raining. For the last month and by the forecast for next month B is very constraining.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
    3. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 4:41 PM

      Too true Mary Anne! Why is it that physical activity that gets stuff done seems so boring compared to the useless kind?

      Hmm, anyway you could ditch the lawn mower and buy some goats? :)

      Delete
    4. I'm quite sure the expense of a goat-proof fence would exceed that of a new lawnmower--or even of hiring someone else to cut the grass for the rest of the time I live here!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  4. I've been pretty happy with the latest set of the SCOTUS decisions.

    I've turned down an invitation to join a professional fraternity because of it's exclusionary nature. Either that or because of what Groucho Marx said about memberships :-)

    I've never understood the bigotry that seems so natural for too many people. I must say, however, that knowing too many unhappy married couples, I still wonder why people are so confident about and eager for this happily-ever-after thing :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm one of the happily-single. I used to vaguely expect I'd get married someday (not legally, not after all the marriage law I read in college, but reasonable-facsimile) but after a couple of decades I realized I'm too much of a hermit. I've never met anyone I could stand to have around All The Time. Taking up space in My House. Where I could put books instead.
      ;)
      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
    2. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      It's funny, I can totally get this, Dr. J and Mary Anne, as I could easily imagine myself happily single were it not for the Lobster. She is one of a kind, and makes living with someone a joy, even for a cranky misanthrope like me.

      I do think that while marriage is awesome when it works out, there is nothing "lesser" about happy singlehood either!

      Delete
    3. One of my favorite quotations is from Louise Dickinson Rich, though I can't remember where. She describes falling in love with her husband (sometime in her late thirties, I think, after many happy years as a single) and saying that some of her friends didn't understand her when she said that being with Ralph was just as good as being alone.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  5. Loved the Supreme Court's decision - it's about time!! And I was also happy to hear about our local Girl Scout group's decision to return a substantial donation that came with the stipulation that it not be used to support transgender girls. We didn't allow our son to participate in Boy Scouts because of their stance on gays and non-Christians, so it is very exciting to see things changing for the better!

    Meanwhile, I could stand to kick some ass in July, before my ass gets the better of me :-(

    Good luck with the writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 5:04 PM

      Emmaclaire, wow, so few parents would actually let their principles guide their choice of kids activities, so hooray for you for being at the front lines in terms of changing how things work! And here's to an ass-kicking July!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, it's not easy, and Buddy was pretty miffed watching his friends go all the way through Eagle Scout. Now that he's in his twenties, though, he has actually thanked us for being true to our beliefs. And what better way to teach your kids to question the status quo, as well as instigate some very interesting dinner conversations? :-)

      Delete
  6. Friday was most definitely full of awesome. My goal as a parent is to help continue the progress. We are all the same on the inside. Everyone deserves respect and consideration and the same rights we have/want. (I think we still have a bit of a ways to go on that one with regards to LGBT issues.)

    Goals! I've lost my mind and committed myself to 2 months of T25. I'm on day 3. And I love-hate it. :) Trying to do better eating, but not obsessing yet. (I should...I've been way to heavy on carbs/sugar. Its SUMMER.) Biggest goal for July: enjoy my birthday, some camping, a work trip to Glacier, and have a lot of fun. (I admit summer is so crazy I tend to back off on the life goals.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 5:11 PM

      Damn, my own blog is eating my comments! Anyway, glad to hear you're fighting the good fight as a parent for nondiscrimination (not as easy especially outside liberal urban areas). And yowza that t25 thing looks intense! Will be curious to hear how it goes!

      Delete
  7. Yay to marriage for everyone!!! The moving to Canada tweets had me slapping my thighs with hilarity!

    I am about to embark on my ashram adventure. I leave on Friday morning and am looking forward to the big changes in my life. There are a lot of unknowns…but that makes it even more exciting!

    Glad you are working and reworking on your book, doing what you can physically and of course, you know I am a big fan of meditation and doing what works best for YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 5:13 PM

      I'm almost as excited about your ashram thing as you are Kimberley, that is so cool!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

      Delete
    3. It is utterly cool!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  8. Crabby,
    Yes, I need a hint. I've been living in a wooden box on a raft that's floating in the Mediterranean, so it's a little tough to get any news. At least the sunshine is pretty good. Just last week I learned about the brand new Model T! I'm thinking of writing a book, The Life Of T. :)

    All silliness aside, That's Wonderful News To Celebrate!!!

    Hugs,
    Dave/Tabby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 1, 2015 at 6:22 PM

      I thought all sensible tabbies avoided water so I assume you are being held hostage? I hope there at least are some tasty fishies around.

      But yeah, it WAS wonderful news, thank you!!

      Delete
  9. July has vacation Bible school, and a birthday, and an anniversary.

    My religious beliefs are mine, i don't expect others to live by them, and i'm always willing to have a respectful discussion.

    Everyone should have equal rights before the law, especially in a country that, from its foundation, has said that there shall not be an established state religion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 2, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      Messymimi, you have always seemed to be a role model for taking your religious values and using them to bring goodness into the world. Seems like you are heavy on kindness, compassion, generosity, and love, and not so into the judging and condemning part which seems to go hand in hand with so many organized religions, at least the way people choose to practice them. And your open-mindedness is much appreciated here!

      Delete
  10. Death Ride GrandmaJuly 2, 2015 at 1:36 AM

    We had a lot to celebrate! It has been a long road which makes it all the more satisfying to see the good result. Our daughter and her wife are expecting a baby later this year, and although California had already acknowledged their marriage (after a tug-of-war), it is far better to think they will never have to worry about parental right wherever they travel.

    Goals? 10 days to Death Ride day. Only there has been a big fire right there and we are watching the incident reports daily in hopes the roads will be open. All looked very promising, then tonight I saw a new report of another closure from a mudslide. So we are hoping, hoping that it will work out. Fortunately, the town where it starts was spared ( no other towns near the fire, either) - oh, and it was started by lightning, couldn't have been avoided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 2, 2015 at 9:12 AM

      That's so cool your daughter is expecting, and yes, I think the legal uncertainty was even worse for parents!

      Wow, I didn't realize the Death Ride was so close! How exciting! (Or, if you were me, terrifying, but good thing you are not!) Sure hope the roads are all open, it's funny isn't it that this particular ride always seems fraught with extra challenges.

      Can not wait to hear how it goes!!!!

      Delete
    2. I hope the roads will be ridable; looking forward to your report.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
    3. Good luck, DRG and I hope to read all about your experience!

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 2, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      I'm guessing Austin was a fun place to be when the decision came down Carla! Probably not so much the rest of texas though. :)

      Delete
  12. I am so pleased with the SCOTUS decision. It is a wonderful day. Meanwhile, my only goal for July is to enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crabby McSlackerJuly 2, 2015 at 9:16 AM

      I think that's an excellent goal Leah!

      Delete
    2. I usually find July easy to enjoy, being fond of heat. :)

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

      Delete
  13. <3 <3 <3 <3

    So much happy!!

    PS I'm excited to hear more about your novel in the next few months :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The celebrations last Friday were put on hold in our house until The Husband, a political scientist, could read the entire decision to make sure there was no "wiggle room." Once he had finished, we celebrated most heartily! Hurray!!! I said last week I wasn't sure I was in the right country since I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. How I love being wrong :)

    We've enjoyed laughing at all those who are now declaring the judicial branch of our government "unconstitutional" now that they don't like the decision. Seems that they don't remember their own speeches in recent years or their high school/college courses in civics, American Government or American history any more.

    Goals for July? Hmmm . . . Surviving the heat, finishing a chapter (it was due in June, I'm ashamed to say), a trip to NYC to visit family who migrated out of the South and keep on keeping on with health and fitness. I'm working on stepping up the core work these days to further support the old back.

    Looking forward to the novel news, Crabby! And be careful with your back!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So happy for this decision AND the healthcare one too! YES, lots of mean stuff on FB. The one thing I have to keep telling myself though is as much as I disagree with the other side, they have a right to their opinion too as long as it is not hurtful. Too much really hurtful stuff on social media.I am trying to take the high road as much as I disagree with those that oppose gay marriage as long as they rare respectful...

    As for me - typical crap over here! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)