Archives for posts with tag: Fear

Yesterday we did max height box jumps (otherwise known as jumping on top of the tallest thing you can) at Crossfit. The trainer at my gym was very excited, too excited maybe. She gets excited because some kids at the gym do things like this:

box jump

I cannot do that.

My box jumping skills are fine. During the workouts I always do the prescribed height of 20” for girls. I hit 24” and 29” just fine. Then we stacked up to 33” and I fell down. I slammed myself into the side of those stacked plates and bruised the shit out of my ankle.

I wish that little bit of failure encouraged me to try harder, do better. Nope. It does not. It scared me. Maybe in a month or two I’ll try again. For now, however, it simply seems unnatural for a human to move upward from a static position and land on her feet a full meter above where she started. That’s just madness.


Last night, even though I was feeling pretty sorry for myself for working an eight hour day, I got myself to Crossfit and I’m glad I did. A half an hour of interval rowing flooded my brain with endorphins. Rowing sneaks up on me. My arms tire. My heart rate jumps up. All good things, of course, but unexpected to my sleepy self.

After the workout, I made an effort to make small talk. It’s harder for me at the gym than other places. I only know these people in the context of sweat and ugly lifting faces and rope burns and torn calluses. Intimate moments, sure, but specific. Somehow the conversation rolled around to political yard signs – marriage equality signs, in particular. Suddenly Vote Yes signs have begun to pop up.

“Scares the shit out of me,” I said, without thinking of my audience.

“Me too,” the six girls agreed.

What a nice surprise. These people who I assumed would be a mixed bunch ended up on my side. The side that I hope is the right side of history. It’s moments like this that embolden me to trust the world – at least the South Minneapolis world. Even if there had been a hater among them, the majority had my back.  I have to trust that.

A large woman entered the pottery studio after I’d been there for about an hour. She looked at my wheel, sighed loudly then sat next to me. With no one else in at the wheels she sat RIGHT NEXT to me. Obviously she wanted my wheel. That nice corner wheel where one can feel calm and safe. So what’s a girl to do? I left. I ran away from the woman and the polite Midwestern small talk we might have had if I’d stayed.

But at home I made these elephant bookends that the dog wants to eat

– so things worked out.

When I took driver’s ed the summer before my sophomore year of high school I had to ride my bike past fields of corn and soybeans to get to town. The ditches were filled with overprotective redwinged blackbirds sure that I was about to steal their babies. No matter how fast I rode I could see their ever larger shadows overhead until the boldest bird swooped at my head.

Today, as I ran around Lake of the Isles, that flash of red and yellow caught my eye. One little blackbird hopped onto the path as I passed. He looked right at me, I swear, but he didn’t attack. I jumped to the side and ran a little faster. I still don’t trust those little bastards.

Ever since I ran over a frog while mowing my mother’s lawn last year, I’ve been convinced that everything flying from beneath the blades is another tattered little body. As of yet, the debris has consisted mostly of leaves and the occasional fallen branch. No more murdered creatures.

I did, however, find this little guy hiding on the deck.

He doesn’t seem happy that I’ve disturbed his nap but at least I didn’t inadvertently disembowel him.

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