Three times a week I put on my work-out clothes, take my gym bag of goodies, and head out to Waynesville Recreation Center, whereupon I put on my running shoes, climb upon a treadmill, and work my ass off—running, skipping, jumping, flailing, hopping, and jitterying about. The music is blaring in my ears (which is a joy, for I don’t have a chance to listen to music as much as I’d like). I am facing forward, seemingly in my own world as I do what gives me great pleasure—
I thought I was an island of me, until people began to approach me. GMR calls them my “fans” and it makes me laugh, the sorta-kinda-irony of it being I am more well-known in that gym than I am as an author here in my little town, or at least it seems that way. Even outside the gym, I am stopped and told, “Hey! You’re that woman in the gym! The one on the treadmill!” I don’t mind. What makes me happy about it are the things they tell me—that I’m a bionic woman, superwoman, that I have so much energy, that I am—and this one really makes me happy—an inspiration to them to work harder. When I am gone away from the gym when I travel, they seem to miss me, asking about me, asking where I’ve been. I feel missed. I feel thought about. I feel substantial. When I’ve worked extra extra hard, they notice: “You sure tore it up today! That treadmill must be broken!” I grin at them and say, “I sure did, didn’t I?” What they don’t know is how they are inspiring me to work harder–because they notice, because they see me, because I don’t want to let them down. I want to be the person they think I am. I want to be better and better and better.
Far as I know, none of them know I am an author. They all know me as “that bionic woman on the treadmill.” It’s a persona I have come to love. Those who see me on that treadmill, and then on the matt-work afterwards, see my dedication, my passion, my energy, my love for what I do. They see how hard I work, how I kick-ass and then give a little more, and then more, until I have no more to give, and then I try to push just a tiny bit more. They see me sweat, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of the workout. They see all of this because it is right there in front of them.
If only my readers could see me as I create—see the outside and the inside of me, the workings of me. For my writing is manifested in the same kind of way—through energy and love and passion and hard work and kicking ass and then giving just a little more and a little more until I am exhausted but happy, happy danged ole happy, and then I push a tiny bit more. They could see me staring ahead at my screen, fingers flying over the keyboard, my brain filled with activity—tensing and releasing as my synaptic firing flings words and characters and setting onto the page. All for you. But you cannot see that, my dear readers. Unlike my “fans” at the gym, I sit alone, out of your sight, working so very hard for you. What you do not know, just as the “gym-fans” do not, is that you are also inspiring me to work harder–because I don’t want to let you all down. I want to be the person you think I am, and more. I want to be better and better and better. I want to give you joy when you read my offerings. I want to make you think, and laugh, and cry, and wonder, and wander, and I want you to ask for more from me and of me–because I have more to give, so much more.
Because I love it. I am passionate about the writing, my books, my words, the language, just as I am about being fit and healthy and strong. I want to make you happy. I want to make you proud of me. I want to inspire you. I want to be known as the Bionic Woman of writing. I want you to miss me when I am not around.
When you pick up one of my books and read, imagine me—metaphorical sweat dripping, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of my workout. The passion. The love.