Hopefully you’ve all heard that old adage, “When you assume, you make an ASS outta U and ME.”
Get it? Assume? Ass-U-Me. Of course you get it. Because you’re all super smart smarties. (I mean duh! You’re reading this blog. Of course you’re geniuses.) It’s a classic. An old tried-and-true saying that AP English professors across the land relish in telling their new pupils.
Well, I’m bringing up this folksy, jokesy phrase because I can’t stop thinking about it. Partly because people made some assumptions about me this week that I didn’t appreciate AT ALL. And also, I made some assumptions about myself that I didn’t appreciate much either. In both of those instances, I ended up feeling like ass.
Allow me to explain.
We had shows all weekend, and I had the job of hosting. That means, as myself I come out before the show starts and welcome the crowd. This is also where we do housekeeping reminders (Turn your cellphones off etc.) From time to time at the theatre where I work, we’ll also welcome special groups. At their request, we’ll give these groups a personalized shout out from the stage at the top of the show. This is a fun simple thing that we can do to make their group event even more special.
Well, one night, we had another CrossFit group (not Solcana, another gym in town) come to the show to celebrate their company holiday party. I welcomed them to big applause, and because I do CrossFit, (and can finally say that out loud without feeling like a liar,) I added:
“This is exciting for me, because I do CrossFit too.”
And the audience laughed. They laughed at me. Like I made some hilarious joke.
Not the CrossFit group mind you… they kinda cheered. But the rest of the audience laughed. I was instantly rocked, and not in a good way. Knocked off my game for a split second, before regaining my composure and starting the show. It felt like an eternity, but it probably took less than 5 seconds. I felt embarrassed, but I know no one noticed but me.
In the next moment I had to think, I could feel my face get hot, and my heart sink. The audience was convinced I was making a joke. I wasn’t though! I was just talking. But they took one look at me, and thought, “Oh what she just said, must NOT be true. Look at her! There’s no way! It must be sarcasm!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha” In other words, a group of 200 people made one big assumption about me, and ended up being very wrong.
Now, part of me gave them a pass. Because I am a comedian, and I was about to embark on a sketch comedy show for them… I could see where they might want to laugh. And I know from experience, that once people know you to be funny, sometimes they just laugh at you for no reason. Even when you’re being serious. Even when there’s no joke in sight.
Most of the time that’s an AWESOME response. Because I want to make people laugh. It is LITERALLY my favorite thing to do. But when I’m feeling serious, and I’m not being treated that way, it can also hurt. Quite a lot. You get it right? Of course you do. Cause you’re all whip-friggin-smart.
But they didn’t laugh at the cell phone comment. They didn’t laugh at the other regular non-funny bits of housekeeping I shared with them. So what’s with the assumption? Why did they ASSUME like that? Why now? And why about CrossFit?
I tried not to spiral. But this proved to be a Herculean feat when I was right in the middle of a hard week, and a rut, and not feeling particularly strong or fit or proud of what I was doing with my body, or my mind.
I tried to let it go. I talked it out with some cast mates. I tried to put those troublesome, burning feelings into the universe and release it. A beautiful thought with real intention, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure how successful I was.
Because that laugh, that ASSUMPTION by the audience, tapped into all my hard stuff. That I’m not doing enough. I’m not enough. That no matter how hard I work or try, I’ll never be right or okay. That maybe I’m not an athlete after all, even though I spent the last year convincing myself, (and letting myself be convinced,) that I was. All that hard work, all that prep and practice, and for what? FOR WHAT?! So random people can still assume incorrectly about me?
HOW DARE YOU RANDOM PEOPLE!!! DAMMIT! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!
Deep breath in… and release. Okay Anderson, get it together.
Sorry dear readers. I whipped myself up into a frenzy, and I spiraled. Right here on paper for all to see. But that’s seriously how tenuous it is sometimes. Sometimes I’m a citadel, sometimes I’m made of glass. Especially when it comes to my body. For as strong as I’ve become, sometimes I still feel so fragile about everything that I could just snap off in the wind. And I’m not even talking physically here. I’m talking about the mental business that goes into the body business.
So what do you do when you’re not sure what else to do? I took everything I had left and I reached out. I called Coach Jenn, and begged her to meet me for a one-on-one workout. I told her what happened. I told her about my emotional slump about my personal athletic slump. I was in a weird and new place on my journey.
Coach talked me through it. She said that every athlete in this joint has gone through this at some point. You’ll go through months where you’re charged up and ready to go, and other months where you’re dragging your body bit by bit. Some weeks you’ll make gains, and then you’ll go for months with no movement at all. And that’s part of it.
The important thing is to not give up. Stop assuming that you are this broken, terrible thing. You’re just in a weird spot. And this, like everything good or bad, will pass. Because not only are these assumptions not true, it’s not serving you. It’s just making you feel like an ass.
During the workout I made some more discoveries about assumptions I was making. Like this one:
Hey Anderson, don’t assume you can leave your CrossFit shoes in your freezing trunk with a LaCroix in your workout bag and be able to use your shoes to work out.
There was LITERAL ice on my shoes. If that’s not a metaphor for getting my ass back to my regular routine, I don’t know what. All right, Alright Universe! I hear you!
Coach Jenn decided to move me through some of her Body Adapt lesson plan. The Body Adapt class is specially designed to get you in your body, and to get you in your right head space—at the same time. If you are looking to start working out, I cannot recommend this program more.
We worked form and function. We went slow. It was hard, and it felt REALLY REALLY GOOD.
Here’s some more assumptions:
Hey Anderson, don’t assume that just because you’re not using weights it’s not gonna be tough.
Hey Anderson, don’t assume that your but will automatically touch that ball. You gotta get lower!
Hey Anderson, don’t assume that your core is engaged. Because it’s not. Breath in, and Brace.
When we were done, I felt spent, and refreshed. I felt re-committed to myself, and this new way I am in the world. I am an Athlete. I do CrossFit. I have good and bad days with it. But I think about a quote I saw once, and it simply said “It’s a bad day, not a bad life.” And that’s how I felt.
I won’t make the mistake of assuming a minor slump can take me away from something I now love. It hasn’t worked in my career, or my relationships, and it’s not going to work at my gym either.
I got knocked down, but look who’s getting back up again?! (Thanks Chumbawumba.)
I thought about that audience that laughed at the idea of me doing CrossFit. Assuming that a person like me was anywhere else than at the gym at 10 am on a Sunday morning (when I worked till midnight the night before.) And I smiled.
They look like such asses right now, don’t you think?