We're all Human
After a moment of good intention and a few glasses of wine, Kelsey and I decided to work out together. My husband, a personal trainer, wrote us workouts and I went to Kelsey’s apartment three mornings a week to get our sweat on. Our husbands questioned how long we would keep it up but faithfully for about five months we went to the gym. You should all be wildly impressed with this number because the early guesses were two days.
Waking up early, getting to Kelsey’s house before coffee and makeup, it felt like true friendship. It was in those moments that sincerity was formed. Walls fell down. It’s hard to be high and mighty when you are make-up free, sweating, and struggling to do a push-up. Nothing levels the playing field quite like burpees. If you are unfamiliar with burpees, just know they are an exercise designed for maximum humiliation and puking. They involve jumping, a push-up, and a heavy dose of humility all rolled into one movement.
A few months into working out we had a routine. We walked on the treadmill for five minutes to warm up and chat before jumping into whatever workout was written for the day. We struggled through 30 minutes of sweat, left the gym, felt good about ourselves, and began the process again the next day. In the midst of this, I was feeling so great. I felt strong, skinnier, and like I was an overall champion. Then ab day came on the scene.
My husband is a creative trainer, he mixes up exercises and types of workouts regularly to challenge his clients. One fateful day he wrote us an all ab workout that was filled with intervals of sit-ups, planks, and many more pain inducing moves. Kelsey and I were about half-way through the workout and our abs were on fire. We were in the middle of sit-ups and I was working so hard. I could picture myself in a bikini and I was looking incredible. My stomach was flat, my skin was tan, and I was giving Heidi Klum a run for her money.
Then I farted.
Not a silent, you can get away with this fart but a super loud, on the athletic mat, reverberated through the room moment of gas.
In my head I was quickly analyzing how to play this off. Should I ignore it? Act like it was the guy lifting weights across the room? Should I apologize and keep working out? After all, I was doing sit-ups so the exercise basically forced it out of me. Should I get my mat and walk out knowing that there was no way we would be friends after this heinous incident occurred? Should I call my husband and tell him to start packing up the house because it’s time for a move?
Instead, my elementary aged humor kicked in and I began laughing. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. When I looked over at Kelsey she was wiping tears from her eyes from laughing. We sat on those mats and laughed for fifteen minutes. All pretense was gone. Every defense I could ever have was completely shut down. Here we were, in an apartment gym, weeping from laughter over my gas.
This is one of my favorite moments with Kelsey. Sure it’s embarrassing and makes me feel like Shrek in comparison to Kelsey being Princess Fiona but I love it all the same. This moment reminded me that we are all human.
I’m human. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to struggle, I’m going to embarrass my friends. There isn’t anything I can do to change that. Being human means we have a level playing field. We all struggle with the same things. We all struggle with grief, anger, embarrassment, and unfortunate bodily functions. The people we look up to most, who seem like they have it all together, they are human. They feel the pain of twisting an ankle, the embarrassment of saying something silly after getting wisdom teeth taken out, the sting of loosing a pet, and the hurt of a betrayal by a friend. In friendship, it’s a good lesson to remember. We often put our best foot forward when we are getting to know someone. That is a good practice, I’m a big believer in being our best. However, we should try to let go of the intimidation we feel when making a new friend because at the end of the day they are human just like us. Their photos may be perfect, their life seem smooth, and their job seem like they get paid huge amounts to have fun. And all of that could be very true. Their life could for the most part be easy and great in the moment. But eventually, they are going to get pregnant, get the flu, have a boss who is a jerk, or have to go to a funeral for a loved one. They are walking through life just like you and they will experience the joys and the sorrows that all humans face. As you seek to start and develop new friendships remember that we are all human. Let go of some of the intimidation you feel and instead offer a bit of compassion. And ultimately, remember, everyone will laugh at a well placed fart.