You look good with drool on your chin and vomit on your spandex. Sweat is in this year, and that color always matches your skin tone.
What can I say - there's something about the struggle that's sexy. Long after everyone else has stopped, you wrap your wrists, kiss the bruises like they're saints. The mind says stop, but the body says "more," and it's the ambition that becomes a feast.
There's nothing like a flying spin kick that misses your face by two inches to remind you that you've got a body designed for only one thing.
Well, two things. The second comes later: when you've stripped out of your wet clothes and are standing in the dark of your laundry room/bedroom and feel - is that arousal? Just from being alive?
That's a new one.
The struggle is both inward and outward. I go to martial arts class after having wiped tears from my eyes, because I feel like I'll never be loved, and I am broken, but then I dive straight into doing kicking drills and pulls. And one becomes more immediate than the other. And one heals the other. Because I am both mind and body, and the eternal conflict cannot leave one untouched and sacrosanct.
But if you unlock the joy in that - the eternal two sides of all struggle- you can conquer the world.
I had a panic attack the other night, driving home from L.A. It was a consequence of waking up I think - really waking up, I mean - something about how I could only see darkness and there was no reference point on the black landscape. My mind began to choke. I made it home, but with my throat buzzing.The next morning we took the dogs to the beach and I told Robert I was going to drive. (I almost never do.) I asked him about halfway there if he could see how nervous I was, and he said "Yep." I told him about the panic attack.
"So you're driving because you were scared?"
"Yes," I said.
He smiled a little, and said. "What a soldier."
Inwardly, even while the terror grips me, there's a child in me laughing. It says, "You are terrified of the darkness without end? Bring it on. Bring it on, we'll see if there's really an end. We'll meet ourselves at the end. I am both the beginning and what will come."
And that's the secret to hard work, to struggle, to discipline- the inward joy, the laughter - that's when the walls and barriers in front of you cease to give the resistance they once did. That's when you see them as something not to fight, but to work with. Because those barriers? That's what's going to make you strong.
The warrior does a pirouette.
Eats cheetos and redbull and rubs a dog's belly.
Bounces in her seat while listening to Nicki Minaj
Laughs underneath brightly colored hair, even while the tears are flowing.
"See?" I say to the inner child, as the sweat drips from the throat, as I pull my hands into fists. "I told you I was going to take care of you, didn't I?"