It starts as so many things do:
a moment of frustration.
Not a moment, an hour, a day,
a time. A time of feeling foreign,
And I’m not the kind of girl
who works it all out at the gym,
throwing frustrations into punches
and loneliness into miles that lead nowhere.
I’m the kind of girl who curls up on the couch
with a bag of M&Ms
and my favorite book.
But my couch is thousands of miles away,
my books dusty and neglected,
and don’t even get me started on the chocolate.
So I spread a sarong on the floor,
tuck a towel under my back
to ward off the hard tiles,
and begin to count.
One sit up. Two. Three.
Does it still count as a sit-up
if I lose my balance halfway
and have to throw my arms out
just to keep from toppling over?
Nineteen, twenty, I stop for breath.
Keep moving. Lunges. Side planks.
Even a few (girly) push-ups,
though my arms protest loudly
and go on a non-negotiable strike
after a few of the unfamiliar motions.
I sit on the floor, panting, sticky,
dripping with sweat despite my loyal AC unit.
And then it happens,
a moment of clarity,
A breakthrough that so startles me
that I forget for a moment
that I don’t feel pretty,
that I’m lonely,
that everyone I know
is a thousand miles away.
A moment of unexpected ability.
I just touched my toes for the first time since elementary school.