I can't believe it but I have really gotten into spinning at the Y (if only Schmidt was my instructor - then life would be complete). One of the instructors has awful music but I like his class because he's intense and really pushes me to my limit. I'm always dead after his classes so I keep going.
This morning, during one of his "motivating speeches" to get us to pedal faster, he wanted us to visualize that we were swimming in the ocean and a shark was chasing after us. It was a weird analogy (especially since, uh, I'm on a bike and not swimming) but it made me think about more appropriate mental situations that would make me want to push myself to the most extreme physical condition. A scary masked man with a machete? Yes. The scary zombies from I Am Legend? You bet your bottom dollar. A flock of birds eager to peck out my eyeballs? Probably.
The instructor went on about how we had to pedal as if our lives depended on it and as I sweated buckets and became that girl who grunted at the gym, I had to ask myself, "Would I pedal harder if my life depended on it?" I doubt it. Then I wondered, "Would I pedal harder if my children's lives depended on it?" Oh yeah. I would pedal harder, run faster, bench press more weight, do infinity push ups and lunge a million more lunges if I had to save my sweet boys. I doubt I will ever be in a position that the amount that I can lift matters to the well-being of my children, but it made me think about this "mama bear" instinct that I have.
I remember my mom telling me a story of a woman on the roof of a high-rise building. There was a tight rope from the top of the building she stood on to the top of a building across from her. A man stood next to her and said he would give her $250,000 if she walked across the tight rope to the other side. She emphatically said, "No!" Then he offered her $500,000 and then $1 million and each time she said, "No." Then someone on the top of the other building came into view, holding her baby. The man said they would drop the baby off the ledge if she didn't walk across the tight rope. Without hesitation, she agreed. I remember my mom explaining that the love she had for her children was like that - you would do anything for them. I know my mom is that way and now I can say that I understand that feeling of protection and feeling rage just thinking about someone harming my sweet children.
I guess what I'm trying to say is - if you hurt my kids . . . I will TAKE YOU DOWN.
Mama Bear Bryant
P.S. Speaking of "the bears", here's my favorite Jim Gaffigan bit (especially at 2:48).