Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

Taking Stock

A pal of mine told a story in a meeting yesterday about “letting go of outcomes.” “There are two people in a boat—one is you, and one is God,” he said.

Somebody has to row, and somebody has to steer.
And God don’t row.

I’d brought up the topic. I’m feeling a bit nervous about giving up control of outcomes of a couple of situations. Both situations involve this blog. One is personal; and one is about an internal leading to step back and take some inventory about what I write here. Both situations involve a big character defect: my fear of disapproval. Of abandonment.

Did I ever tell you the story of the time I was locked out of a house when I was 3? Or the time I was locked in the car outside overnight, at the same age?

Some of my fears come from times like those, very little-girl times, and some fears come from times when I was about 13, and then there are other fears that come from the year I turned 23. I haven’t figured out whether I’m writing about my fears in a way that allows me to let go of the hurt—or in a way that requires me to hold on. I want to let go. So I can help you let go.

I’m taking stock in other areas of life as well. Finished my second round of P90X.

Diamond push-up.

I can now do 160 non-girly, on-my-toes push-ups per workout. Twenty-four of those are dive-bombers. I can do clap push-ups and military push-ups and diamond push-ups. I’ve met the two goals I set for myself—to do pull-ups, and to test my strength.

But: I don’t have a six-pack. I’m still five-foot-five-point-five (I’ve grown half an inch from doing core workouts) and 117 lbs., but the thing is, I’m not sure I even want a six-pack. I may not be willing to restrict my diet in the ways required to produce “cuts.” At least, not for reasons of vanity. I’ve discovered that I actually LIKE to eat. I like the taste of food. Yesterday I bought a bag of Utz chips and ate them with half a chicken-salad sandwich, and I enjoyed myself.

Two days ago I played tennis for more than two hours, and totally kicked ass with my serve, and I was so fast that I made it to every point—it feels powerful to be that fast on my feet—and I felt deliciously wrung out when we quit. “We totally want you for our team,” one of the women said. Tennis is more fun than P90X workouts and I realized that I don’t want my life to support my workouts.

I want my workouts to support my life.


  1. Good for you !~! I was impressed while I was reading. Then I got to the paragraph about push-ups that you can do and I began to feel simultaneously defeated and inspired. Still wondering which will stick.

  2. guinevere

    September 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Lynda… It can be just as demoralizing doing those 160 push-ups as it can be to read about someone else doing them… which is why I need to consider why the hell I’m doing so many. What have I got to prove?

  3. What an inspiring post! I too am working out a lot at the moment, and hopefully I will be able to do the things you do one day too… 🙂 I also love that elated feeling after a good workout. About proving something… for me excercise has stopped being a means to an end, to get fit is a nice bonus, but now I do it for the buzz during and after, plus it gives me more energy to other things in life. It might be a new addiction, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the drinking variety!

  4. G: yeah, the “Let Go And Let God” is one that is a challenge for me, more often than not. And letting go of outcomes is something that I will need to practice and challenge myself with for the rest of my life. Just the concept of “letting go of outcomes” is such a new one for me, let alone actually doing it. But the idea of it is so comforting – and a huge relief, when I can pull it off. It helps me to just read those words, consider them, roll them around in my head and realize that letting go is an option. Who knew?

    I’m so impressed with your fitness and workout goals. Way to go. You’re inspiring. It’s so important to acquire and maintain core body strength, balance, and cardiac fitness. They will extend and enhance your life in ways that truly matter. You’ll be able to more easily enjoy and engage in the physical world with your family and friends that will provide another layer of opportunities for connection . . . and freedom! However, I’ve found that no matter how hard many people work at re-shaping certain areas of their bodies, genetics and ‘natural’ body shape/type prevail. Some people are just born with well defined muscles and ‘six packs’ that are easier to sculpt than others. Don’t beat your head against a wall that serves no real, meaningful purpose. Right now, you’re in great physical (and mental, I might add) shape. Jus say’in.

    Personally, I love your blog, posts, discussion topics, just as they are. However – I applaud you for re-evaluating things and looking for ways to re-new and refresh. I probably need to do the same. In any event, I am President of your fan club and will be a loyal reader, no matter what you do. Love ya.

  5. My workout buddy is my 16 year old daughter. We enjoy it for all the reasons mentioned plus we are doing something together.

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I look forward to warriorized edition.

  6. How does it work? Can you watch the dvd’s on a computer screen? Do you need only a mat? Do the two of you do it together? Is it regimented or can you mix it up? All i know is that many people swear by it, and we’re heading into that time of year when the outdoors is less hospitable.

  7. guinevere

    September 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Peggy & Richie, thanks, mates.

    Kevin, I’ll be posting a blog soon on my friend John’s website ( answering some of these questions. John is a surgeon who within six months lost about 50 lbs. on this regimen, and he has chronic injuries that help him assist others who need to take care of their injuries while exercising. He and I approach it differently, which is to say that John is a coach entirely dedicated to passing on the awakening he’s had (and I’m not a coach, I don’t urge other people to “bring it” and “keep pushing play”—I’m a storyteller and someone who prefers to allow others to take what they like and leave the rest). His site offers lots of information about the program from the perspective of a man who knows anatomy and physiology. Tell him I sent you.

  8. I like the P-90 x. It is a really good workout. You are doing great, G. Keep it up. And yes, having balance in life is a good thing.

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