A Little Bit Extra

a little berserk

Photo by Claire Joyce

She is like a lynx stretching next to me- supple, taut, and smooth. After calm deliberate movements she sits poised in preparation for the hunt- her big push outward.

I, on the other hand, feel a tad chilly and also tired.  I am a little early for my second ever TRX class and I mentally prepare for my torture by glancing at my cell phone and pretending it isn’t going to happen. If I was an animal what would I be- a domesticated potbellied pig? Deep down my heart is a wild cat but, right now, my body is not so lithe or calculating. I’ll just do my best.

Push-ups, sit-ups, planks, kettle bell swings, ankles and arms pulling my weight with taut straps- over and over. My whole body is shaking, sweating. I can barely hold my position. I have to stop and catch my breath. I turn to glance at The Lynx- how am I fairing amongst the fittest? “You’re doing well” she says, “keep going.”

Fourteen hours earlier I am lying down next to my daughter. It is dark and warm and I hear her breathing shift into sleep. The warm calm peace of the moment pulls me in.  Sleep lures me. Maybe I will just stay in tonight. Once a month a growing group of “Mommy Friends” from the neighborhood go out and have a few drinks. Several of the people going I have never really had the pleasure of talking to without children chiming in or causing us to keep one eye focused away from each other.

I go.  I pull my tired body out of the warm envelope and splash cold water on my face.  Even after almost 3 years of motherhood (and many more opportunities to get out on my own than I had in the first year) I still feel this sudden shock as I step out of the door onto the street at night alone. “Oh yeah- there is this whole other life and world that exists.” I feel liberated and weightless. I show up late, laugh, commiserate, drink a little too much and stay a little too long.

Walking home, it is dark and extremely cold but I feel ignited. Pleased by the irreverent humor and the growing comradery of my friends. The street lights are shimmering and I am too- a sparkling combination of the crisp air on my face and the alcohol in my body.  Yes, when I go home I will take off my clothes and slip naked into bed with my sleeping husband. A seduction is the plan.

Things go swimmingly. My tired but waking husband welcomes my suggestions….

Then, as if out of some sort of deep biological imperative to remain an only child, my daughter who almost always sleeps through the night starts screaming. It sounds perfectly terrifying. A nightmare? “Mommy, mommy, mommy- I NEEEEEEEEEED you!”

I wake up in my daughter’s room, her warm little hand on my face.  Her nose almost touching mine. You might think it would be the opposite- but she always seems to wake up earlier if I fall asleep in her room. How will I ever make it through my TRX class today? A lot of coffee?  All the coffee in the world?  I completely ceased being a morning person as a teenager. I hug my daughter and squeeze her and rock her. “I love you. I love you. I love you. Good morning.”

After TRX class I chat with The Lynx. “It is okay to stop and breathe” she says “but then you have to get back up and keep going.  When I can, I always do a little bit extra.” I agree.  I am trying to do “a little bit extra” more often and for more things.

I feel a little high.  I came to class tired but I have an exercise endorphin thing going.  I am feeling really, really good.  The fact is that nothing I did in the last 24 hours was done to perfection or even to completion; however, in all things, I did “a little bit extra.” I feel stronger today than I did yesterday.

A friend recently received a fortune cookie that said- “If you want to win at anything- a race, yourself, your life- you have to go a little berserk.” I love the unexpected acceptance of a wild frenzy being required for winning.  Not just hard work, not just care, not even always doing extra- also a wild, rage or excitement.  With every “little bit extra” I do I feel something growing with in me- an inspiration to tap back into my wild cat heart.  So while today my new motto is “a little bit extra.”  Tomorrow perhaps I will even go a little berserk.


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