I am sore all over. Mostly my legs, from running. And my back and shoulders and chest from binding all day long. Did you know that you have muscles in your chest? It’s ridiculous how sore they can get. Probably not helped by the fact that I am doing push-ups frequently. I can’t help it. The soreness of my muscles is a reminder that I worked out. That I’m going somewhere. It feels good. Like, I accomplished something. It’s a very good feeling. And it keeps me wanting to work out more. I can understand why my dad is addicted to it. When I’m lying in bed trying to sleep, I am much more aware of my body. Makes me want to work out more. Sometimes I give in and do a set of pushups in my pajamas.
I think this is also a way to connect to my body. It’s true that I feel shame about my belly being bigger than it was. I had to buy new camping pants today because the ones I’ve used for years don’t fit anymore. But, really, I like working out. I like putting my body through this. I like running. It’s kind of nonsensical. I just read an article in Runner’s World today about a run up Mount Washington. It sounded so miserable. Uphill the whole way. Hot. My only thought was that I couldn’t wait to do a run like that. Actually, there’s a race quite near my college in September straight up a mountain. I’m totally doing it. I think the reason I really don’t like my belly being bigger is that it’s a reminder of where I was just a couple months ago. I was not working out at all. No motivation to. I was eating so much. I lay around in bed all day. Really, I was not myself. So, that I want to get back into running, that I am actually doing it and liking it, is a direct example that I’m myself again.
I went pants shopping with my mom today. She took us right to the men’s section without question. As if it was the most obvious thing to do, because, duh, I’m a man. She even called me ‘he’ when someone who worked there was helping us. When it was evident that men’s pants weren’t going to fit me — let’s face it, my waist-to-height ratio is a lot larger than most men’s — she was really cautious and quiet in suggesting we look at women’s pants. It makes me really happy that my mom seems to get this. We used to have serious arguments when we shopped together, because I did not want to wear girls’ clothes.
Yesterday, when we were driving together, my mom had us listen to a podcast she thought I’d like. It was an interview with Chaz Bono, the trans son of Sunny and Cher. Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of information in there that I didn’t already know, I understood the gesture. My mom wanted to let me know that it was okay to talk about this with her. And also that she was really working to understand. But talking about trans stuff with her is something I’ve been really worrying about. It would have been great if she’d been with me in this from the beginning, knowing what I was thinking and the things I worried about. This happened when I was figuring out I liked girls, when I was figuring out I was a boy, when I was doing research on surgery. I never included her. That made it so that if I was going to talk to her about it, I had to “come out.” It makes it a big thing. Something to worry about. I would rather just chat about it, you know?
Spurred on by the podcast, and my desire to know if the surgeon in MN, Marie-Claire Buckley, went to med school with my dad, I said while we were making dinner together, “I have been looking into options for transition, you know.” “I figured.” This was her reply when I told her I liked girls. She’s way more perceptive than she let’s on, and I’m more of an open book than I’m aware of. I told her about the surgeon and she says, “Oh! Claire Buckley! Yeah, she and your dad were in the same class.”
Things are going pretty well, overall.