I learned a new word today: psithurism. That’s the sound of wind in the trees. Beautiful, right? I had to smile when I read the definition because I experienced my own kind of psithurism tonight at boot camp.
We met in the park behind the hospital because the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Eighty degrees. A clear blue sky. Juicy green grass scattered with violets. A soft breeze moving through the tops of the trees. Twelve women getting stronger and cheering each other on.
I missed last week because we were celebrating G’s birthday. And today, I thought about skipping. Even though I felt exhausted after a busy day, I forced myself to get up from my desk at 5:20 p.m. to change clothes. I even thought about quitting while I was getting dressed–there’s nothing like trying to wrestle on a size G sports bra in a narrow bathroom stall to tear down your spirit. But I managed. Then I pulled out the shorts that I had packed this morning, only to realize that my leg shaving schedule is…a bit behind. Again, I almost gave up on the work out. We’re not talking about a fine stubble here–this was more of a Sasquatch type scene.
There in that yellow bathroom stall, I had a good laugh at myself. Really? All those years of therapy and I’m worried that I can’t go out in public with some hair on my legs? I’m 45 years old, for goodness sake. My body is mine and I have rejected many of the “beauty shoulds” that I lived with for decades. For two weeks, I’ve been sporting gaudy manicures done by my six-year-old daughter because they are important to her. Her opinion is more valuable to me than anyone who might judge me for having fluorescent pink nails with hibiscus stickers on them! I haven’t worn makeup in months. I quit dying my hair after Carlos was born and people assumed I was his grandmother, even after the Miss Clairol. And now I was going to let a little hair on my legs stop me from enjoying my afternoon in the sun?
It felt so good to be out in the fresh air, under the wide blue sky. While we were warming up, I resisted the urge to make a joke about my hairy legs or make some apology for their state. I got the hell OVER IT. We did some dancey moves, stretching and swaying. During the part of the warm up where we balance on one foot and swing the other knee back and forth, I felt something crawling on my leg and swatted my shin to shoo it away. No luck. Every time I swung my leg forward then backward, I felt the little creepy sensation but couldn’t see any insect.
Finally, it dawned on me.
There wasn’t anything crawling on my leg. It was the feel of the wind in my hair.