It was an interesting dynamic, being in a classroom full of 45 exercise instructors (and future instructors). I was, absolutely, one of the biggest girls in the room, but it actually didn't bother me too much this time (progress? I think so). What was most interesting was the amount of effort that so many of these ladies put into being seemingly perfect. It exhausted me just to watch, I can't imagine how they felt. Now, I'm not trying to bash these women. Really. I'm not. I just feel sympathy for some of them I guess. I remember feeling the way they feel. Trying to emulate perfect posture. Every move, from picking up a water bottle to the covering of a yawn, was entirely calculated as if it had been performed in front of a mirror hundreds of times. Smiles that were more practiced than authentic. Laughs that were stifled into giggles instead of deep pure belly laughs. Makeup that was applied and reapplied and reapplied and reapplied. At times I felt like me and my crazy Tom's shoes were intruders in this Stepford-Wife-meets-"Get-In-Shape-Girl"-Barbie world.
There were a few times when I felt like the others were shocked that I instruct Yoga at all (let alone 5 classes a week). Maybe because I'm chunky. Maybe because I didn't fit the mold of the typical exercise instructor. Maybe I just was assuming they would be shocked. I proudly walked in with my giant diet soda and maybe I snacked a little to much. Maybe I was trying to observe all of their 'quirks' because I was afraid they would judge me first. Maybe.
All I know is that it is incredibly exhausting to try to be perfect all the time. I spent a lot of years wasting my time, my youth, and my health trying to achieve perfection. What I learned was that there is no such thing as perfection (with the exception of Jesus, of course). Perfection is unobtainable and I don't have the energy to even try to seem a little perfect. I am so very thankful that my friends and family don't expect me to be perfect, because they would be sorely disappointed each and every day.
I just wish that we could all be authentic. It must be so tiresome (and is exhausting to just watch) trying to control every muscle in your body to perform every day tasks in a calculated manner so that every move you make looks absolutely perfect. It wasn't as if we were being photographed for some fitness magazine. I just wanted to scream, "For Pete's sake, just let your perfectly manicured hair down and be yourself for two seconds!"
I'm sure that I'm coming off crass, or maybe even jealous. And that's fine I guess (just know that I truly and sincerely have no desire to be perfect). I will admit that I would love to be thinner and toner, but perfect? No way. I want people to understand that it's okay to be who they are, to be who God made them. We don't have to or need to try to achieve this unachievable level of perfection. If you surround yourself with kind and authentic people, they will allow you to be authentic as well.
Be yourself. Love your imperfections. And remember... you're In Good Company.