Advice from a Reality Godmother – Part 2: Fitness

Part 2.
(READ PART 1: WINTER)

Chelsea closed the door behind her and heaved a sigh of relief. “Another work day in the books!” she thought to herself. She took off her boots, hung her heavy winter jacket in the closet and collapsed on the couch.

Her trusty feline friend, Chester, soon hopped onto her lap, purring as he curled up and closed his eyes. Chelsea grabbed the remote control from between the couch cushions, hit the power button and the screen came to life. “Ah, this is exactly where I’m spending the evening,” she murmured to Chester, momentarily closing her eyes too.

“Oh no, you’re not!”

Chelsea’s eyes flew open to find that woman, the one who called herself her “Reality Godmother”, standing at the foot of the couch. She groaned,  “What are you doing here again? I am NOT going for a walk around the block again. It’s dark out and I’m tired.”

“That’s right, you’re not,” the pesky woman answered. “You’re going to a fitness class.”

“What?” Chelsea shrieked. “Didn’t you hear me? I just said I’m tired.”

The woman’s clear blue eyes seemed to look right through her. “Exactly. You’re always tired – you’ll feel better after the class. No excuses. I’ve prepared your gym clothes for you. Now get going.”

Chelsea knew better than to argue. Fifteen minutes later she was headed out the door.

“Have a good time, sweetie,” the woman called with phony sweetness as she stood waving at her from the front door.

At the class, Chelsea’s feet and legs felt like lead during the warm up. She had removed her fleece hoodie and she shivered in her gym tank top.  After the warm-up, Cardi B’s “I like it” blasted through the gymnasium and the instructor showed the class a simple choreography. At first Chelsea was frustrated as she tried and failed to follow the steps. But then her body started moving to the rhythm of the music and a fine sheen of sweat covered her face and shoulders. Before she knew it, she had the steps down pat and was enjoying herself.


She returned home buoyant with new energy but, just like the day before, she was loathe to show her Reality Godmother she had been right.  

The woman had made herself comfortable and was sipping tea and reading a book by the fire. “So, how do you feel?”  she asked the minute Chelsea stepped in the door.

“I feel hot and sweaty. I need a shower,” Chelsea replied trying to sound annoyed.

The woman smiled, “Women don’t sweat, dear. They glow.  But can you honestly say you don’t feel better?”

Cornered, Chelsea swallowed her pride. “OK, OK, I feel a little bit better. Are you happy now?”

“Ecstatic!” the woman answered. “See you tomorrow!”

“What? Wait, no!” Chelsea shouted but it was too late. Again, the woman had disappeared, leaving only a fine mist of smoke behind.

The Tale of a Resilient Squirrel

I nosed my car into a parking spot facing a chain link fence. Massive trees with trunks so thick I couldn’t wrap my arms around them stood on the other side of the fence. As I turned off the ignition, I spotted movement on the side of one of the tree trunks. Soon a squirrel came into view, clinging effortlessly to the bark.

Now this rodent knew how to prepare for winter! His body was as round as a little barrel, but he was still making provisions for the long winter months ahead. Clamped firmly in his mouth was a slice of toasted bread, cut on the diagonal. Who knew squirrels liked toast? I laughed as I pictured a good gust of wind turning the bread into a sail and sending him airborne.

But this was no laughing matter for the squirrel. This was the serious business of stocking food. I leaned closer to the windshield and watched him scamper up the sturdy trunk until he reached an outstretched branch. My lunch-time errand forgotten, I settled back into the driver’s seat for a first-row seat at the show.

Like a skilled high-wire acrobat, he stepped daintily onto the branch. It quivered beneath him and he stopped to steady himself. But his trophy put him off balance and after a few steps, he dropped the bread. Not to be deterred, he turned and began to make his way back down to the ground. That’s when I noticed two other squirrels already on the frozen ground. I held my breath as I waited to see if they would mount a charge to steal the coveted treasure. That just wouldn’t be fair!

I found myself rooting for my little friend, silently urging him to hurry. I don’t know how things work in the squirrel world, but the other two squirrels didn’t try to snatch the prize. Is there an unwritten code that finders are keepers in the squirrel universe? Or was “my” squirrel’s dominance established and therefore he was not to be challenged?

Whatever the reason, with the slice of toast once again firmly in his mouth, he began the climb anew. I cheered as he made it back to the branch. He seemed to gain confidence and, with the agility of a circus performer, he leapt onto the branch of a neighboring tree. His treasure still intact, he soon disappeared from sight to hide his well-earned treat.

Well, that was entertaining, I thought. But as I left the car and started walking to my destination, I realized it was more than that. It was a lesson in persistence.  Seeing a tiny creature act on the words “Don’t give up” or “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” was humbling. I guess it’s time I get back to those writing goals.

Written for the December 16th “Word of the Day Challenge”:  Charge

A Tale of the Moon, the Wind and the Clouds

The moon peered down from her perch in the night sky and sighed contentedly. Her light radiated as far as the eye could see. On Rosemont Street, a man hurried home from work guided by her silvery beams.  A block further at the park, a Mom and her two children glided across a skating rink, the ice and snow glistening in the moon’s rays.

But the poor unsuspecting moon would not have a peaceful night. Close by, the wind and the clouds conspired. “Let’s make the world dark! People will lose their way; children will be afraid of the dark. It will be fun!” They laughed out loud as they huddled together to hatch their plan.  Minutes later, the clouds floated toward the moon, riding on the wind’s gentle breath.

Suddenly, the wind puffed out his cheeks and blew hard, sending the clouds barreling over the moon. The moon, who had been napping, woke with a start. She looked down to make sure everyone on earth was fine, but all she could see was grey mist. The clouds giggled and wrapped themselves even more tightly around her, plunging the earth into total darkness.

The poor moon tried as hard as she could, but she couldn’t see a thing.  Suddenly, she knew what to do. She took a big, deep breath. Then she exhaled slowly as she repeated softly, “Wind, be gone. Clouds, be gone.”   Each time she said it, her light burned a little bit brighter and a little bit hotter. Soon the clouds began to feel scorched.  They loosened their hold and began to drift away.  “No!” howled the wind. He scooted past the clouds and tried to blow them back over the moon.

But the clouds had had enough. They stole away like thieves in the night, leaving only a smudge of grey behind. Once again, the silvery light of the moon lit up the world. The man on Rosemont had made a wrong turn in the dark. He turned around and headed back in the right direction. The mother and her two children had stopped skating, afraid to fall and hurt themselves in the blackness. As the light shone down on them again, they smiled and sailed across the ice.

The wind shook his head in disgust and left to wreak havoc elsewhere. The moon smiled to herself and settled again to keep watch on the world below.

 

 

© Linda Thompson, August 26, 2020