I like learning new things, finding good things, or noticing good around me. These are some of my more recent discoveries.
- Title Nine’s sports bras: For the last ten or so years, I have lived with perpetual chaffing from a sports bra. I thought it was a fact of being active, sort of like the occasional lost toe nail. But in January, a friend told me that she’d found a bra at Title Nine that really worked for her. I went in and was amazed to learn that they have lots of different kinds of bras and that they let you try them out and return them if you don’t like them. Crazy. I bought two, and one of the two works beautifully for me, so I went back last week and bought two more. $50 on a sports bra seems like a lot, considering I usually buy my workout clothes from Target. But I’m loving that I ran the Austin Marathon with no pain and my chaffing marks are fading. The bras are worth every penny.
- Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: I said recently that I don’t need any more new television, but I’m adding this show to my A list. I love sports stories. I love seeing humanity in sports and celebrating people finding a new part of themselves by pushing through a challenge. For example, the current episode includes a story about a woman from Pakistan who left her home to pursue her dream of being a champion at squash and a story about a gay male former rugby player who is now an ice dancer. Both stories are about people embracing themselves in the face of opposition. Bryant Gumbel can be snarky at times, but I enjoy that too. I love this show.
- Being annoyed tells me something: I’ve been reading this book called Wild by Cheryl Stayed. It’s a memoir about a woman who hiked the Pacific Coast Trail in an effort to find herself. Initially, she annoyed me because I felt like she made the most ridiculous choices that made her life unnecessarily hard. Then my friend Brendan suggested that, when he’s really annoyed by someone, he tries to figure out why he’s annoyed because he always ends up learning something about himself. As I continued to read, I thought about what he said and realized that he’s right. I was hating this woman for making choices about work and men and where to live that I could never make myself. That’s what frustrated me. I envied how carefree she was. I even envied her recklessness a bit. Thinking back, I had an equally strong reaction to Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I felt like she was chasing men all the time, and that got to me. Maybe I need to revisit that book and figure out why that annoyed me so much.
- Structure: I’ve mentioned before that I love my new triathlon training program. I was telling my coach Natasha that I’ve dropped weight in the few weeks we’ve been working together. She commented that the more structured we are on one part of our life, the more structured we are all the way around. And she’s right. Since getting on this program where I workout every day and report my progress, I’ve kept up and managed to fit more into my life. I’m working more, writing more, reading more, seeing more friends, and still making time for myself to sit and watch television at times. I love the additional structure in my life.
Random stuff, I know. But that’s what’s been going on. And yes, I’m aware of the conflict between what I learned about myself in 3 and what I love in 4. I’m very aware of it. It’s the story of my life.
I once heard or read that when we are irritated or annoyed by another person, it is usually something to do with unhappiness about a facet of our own personality that is being reflected in them back at us. That wisdom has stuck with me, and I have empirically verified its validity for me personally on several occasions. Sometimes it takes a little digging to figure out the root of the personal dissatisfaction, as in the case your reading selections, but it is always there lurking just beneath the surface … something we are not at peace with ourselves about.