Slower Than A Herd of Turtles in Peanut Butter
My heart was pounding in my chest loud enough to drown out jackhammers and construction workers swear words on a balmy summer's day.
My insecurities were screaming to stop, to work out inside, to not subject my neighbors and friends to my shaking fat, shotty sprints and slow steps.
My blood was rushing, whooshing, blushing my cheeks and thighs, calling attention to my easy exertion.
My breath came out in loud jagged rushes desperately exhaling and greedily inhaling any oxygen in my neighborhood.
My ill-arched sneakers hit the gravel road with a much softer thud, thud, thud then I expected.
I was certain that every move I made would shake the world, shake the ground, bring all the neighbors attention to me but no, the only thing I was shaking and breaking was my old lifestyle by committing to a new one.
My legs were begging my brain to stop but my heart chanted encouragement to my legs to keep going.
I was rarely in the moment, attuned to the sounds of my body, of nature , the playing kids, the internal battle waging in my head, the highway that was close by and so much more.
Yet, over all that noise, I heard you.
You called me a fat bitch.
You and your friends were driving by listening to noise without substance believing the pretence that it's music and you sir in the passenger seat called out my desperate attempt to run by calling me a fat bitch.
Mocking my movement, saying it was about time for my whale ass to do something.
Your laughter dwindled as your car turned away.
I kept running.
I debated stopping to lick my nonexistent wounds.
Yes words hurt.
They can cut deeper and more precisely than a knife.
However, my determination, my resolve, my will power comes from no one else but me.
I cannot let outside influences affect my inner motivation.
People will mock me. You too, don't worry.
They will prey on our obvious flaws or work hard to find out the ones we have hidden from society simply to expose them.
To ridicule, tease, taunt, jeer our imperfections, our failures, our shortcomings for all to see.
Maybe they want to wound with their words because they are deflecting their pain, their turmoil to someone else-anyone else to give them a reprieve from the pain they deal with.
Maybe they have been conditioned to be biased against anything that falls out of their interpretation of acceptable, of normalcy.
Maybe they are fighting their own demons, their own battles and forget others are too.
I don't forgive you young man.
There's no need.
Your words while unkind were not taken to heart.
Did my already low (although trying to climb higher) self esteem consider those words, taste them, relish them want to use them as an excuse to stop?
Did I want to yell something unfortunate back in a moment of anger?
Did I worry if my neighbors heard those rude words and suddenly think less of me?
Yes to all of it.
However, if I'm serious about change I need to know I'll face hurdles much more than open doors.
I need to come to peace that people have no clue how far I've come but only have an idea of where I should go.
I need to keep going.
So I kept going.
Even though I'm slower than a herd of turtles going marching through peanut butter I'm still moving.
Away from excuses, old habits, and mean words.
And brushing away the negativity of those who don't understand my journey, won't take time to, and never will.
Choosing to keep walking, running, sprinting, towards my future, one step at a time, towards a healthier lifestyle, a happier existence and a more confident me.