When I try to let it be and let it go, but I can’t.

Simple questions bug me. I’m constantly nitpicking, and I have little patience with what I consider stupidity all around me. Words annoy me – like “smooch.” Right now, my stomach is heaving as I write the word.

I wasn’t always this way … there was a time when I was much more accepting, not on edge, and friendly. Needless to say, I’m irritable and bothered by some very petty things.

Like this email I just received…

Few people and few things can talk me down from the ledge. Blogging is one of the few, so sit tight.

Six or seven months’ish+ ago, I started following a few new accounts on Instagram. I was looking to spice up my workouts.

As a renowned creature of habit, I tend to head for the exact weights, log the same workouts each week, and even walk the same route every time I lace up. Now there’s a lot to be said for regular, consistent exercise, and if I ever dial in my nutrition I could prove it. But there are benefits to trying new activities. While I tend to gravitate toward traditional exercises, over time I do get bored. And when I’m bored, I look for new ways to work my body. 

I’ve been working out a long time, and I’m pretty knowledgeable about exercise. Few things separate me from personal trainers: 

They have a certificate saying they passed a weekend course.

I studied anatomy and kinesiology.

I don’t pretend to know more about someone’s body than the person knows about their own body.

With. That. Said.

IF… I started following you on Instagram, and IF… we made our way into each other’s DMs, I KNOW… I gave you my history. My history, meaning a rundown of all of the forms of exercise I partake, and the many (many) years I’ve partaken. You’ve seen my pictures (we’re on Instagram, after all), and although I don’t post a ton of workouts, I do post some. Hopefully I look like I do OK in the gym, no? I’m not a bodybuilder – I’m a grandmother – but I’m also no beginner, rookie, greenhorn, amateur, or gremlin.

And with that said.

I received an email from a “trainer.” I want to reply to her, but I know my response will be less than kind. In fact, I’ll be mean.

I don’t want to be mean.

In her email, she tells me what type of lifting schedule is suitable for me. She also tells me what (in life) I should deem important. 

First, only I know what type of lifting schedule is suitable for me. And second, “guiding” me through life when you’re half my age is infuriating. 

Maybe it’s my ego. But the unsolicited email and unsolicited advice madden me. It’s making my already dark features grow blacker with anger. Like I’m fighting to contain a terrible fury. And how ridiculous, right! I mean, I can delete the email and get on with things, but noooo. So here it is:

Do not coach me on something I have not requested your coaching services on.

Do not coach me on setting goals.

Do not coach me on how my body feels.

Do not coach me on mental health.

Do not coach me on your definition of a balanced life.

I imagine as a coach she feels compelled to give advice, but this tells me she is ruled by compulsion more than self-awareness. And there’s no golden opportunity here. I am not in search of wisdom, and I have no problem I need her to solve. My crusade is simple: beat workout boredom. That is all.

Are you wondering whether I’ll address this with her? No, of course not. Besides struggling to find an inoffensive way to say what I feel, I am also terrified that if I speak my disdain into existence, then the entire glorious facade of our burgeoning digital relationship will come crumbling down, and I happen to enjoy the spicy moves I’ve stolen from her.

But really, people need to take note of the fine line between being supportive and being a kibitzer. Caring is what you want in a friendship; kibitzing, not so much. But if you truly feel you need to pour one out for this homie, then send pears, or cabernet, bad chick flicks, or text messages full of emoticons. You can even dedicate a prayer, mindfully. But please, PLEASE do not coach me on how to workout … or live. I’ve been doing both, by myself, and successfully, for several years.

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