Among many activities this weekend, I went and did the morning wake-up workout and stretch for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Southern California. It was early. And when I got there, it seemed like most people were still sleeping. I wondered if they even really wanted me there.
I went to plug my iPod and microphone into the sound system. But there was no power. There were lots of cables, but no power. So I followed all the cables to a gas-powered generator. Luckily there were directions on the top, so I fired that up. But after just a few minutes, it died. Okay. So I looked around and located the fuel gauge. EMPTY. But, I didn’t give up. I looked around and found some gas, brought it to the generator, filled it up, fired it up, got all my sound gear set up and started.
At first I was the only person exercising–all by my myself, at 6:30 in the morning, in the middle of this huge field. Suddenly somebody felt sorry for me and started doing some of the movements from across the field. He never did come right over, but he smiled as he did them. I noticed other people from way far away around the field start doing some of the arm movements along with me. They smiled and they danced from afar as they packed their tents in preparation for the closing ceremonies. I joked about having the most spread out fitness class in history. But I kept at it.
Eventually, one woman came right over and danced with me for a little while. When I went over for coffee afterwards I heard from everybody what a great job I did even though I didn’t have a big class of people in front of me. The lady who danced with me got very excited when she heard about my class, and I think she’s going to come for some of them. And one lady even gave me a hula hoop to say thanks! They loved it! So I could gone home bummed that I didn’t have a photo opp with hundreds of people dancing in perfect step. But I chose to be thrilled that I made a difference for somebody–anybody.
So here comes the metaphor kids…We’d like to believe that once we put ourselves out front, we’ll achieve instant rock star status and have a huge following. We want to believe that a limo will pick us up and whisk us to a dressing room featuring our brand of bottled water and bowls of M&Ms with just the green ones. But my experience, in learning to put myself out there as a plus-sized fitness instructor who supports body diversity is that it goes a lot more like my experience in that misty field at 6:30 in the morning. Sometimes you’ve got to fire up and gas the generator. Usually, you have to make your own crowd. Many people watch. Some join from a far. And just a few step right up. But my dear chicklettes, you never know how much impact you’re having or how much good you’re doing. You never know when you’re changing somebody’s life for the better.
So my little chicklettes, I’m going to suggest you put yourself forward this week in some small way. Help somebody out. Share your positive energy with complete strangers. Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to make the world a better place.
The Fat Chick