Last Saturday, the craziest thing happened. I went to my usual Pilates class, followed all instructions, did all the exercises and then: I touched the floor! I mean, I did a forward bend and instead of touching my toes, my hands went even further and touched the floor in front of my feet! This has literally never happened to me before, and I swear I am not misusing the word literally. I almost laughed out loud in the middle of class because I was so surprised/shocked/amazed that I had pulled off this amazing feat, involving my feet (pun intended. Get used to it.)! Even Kathryn, the teacher who helped make it possible, congratulated me after class! Talk about exciting!
It might sound weird, but I give a lot of credit to the nail polish that I had on at the time. It was Dutch Ya Just Love OPI (I “dutch” love OPI’s nail polish names! Wait, that didn’t work…) and I had gotten my special mani/pedi for my birthday the day before. Since I work with children, I usually don’t paint my fingernails any untraditional colors: I stick to neutrals and maybe a red if we’re coming up on a holiday and feeling festive. But I was on vacation last week, so my fingers and my toes were both a bright purple. As I was in pilates, I kept catching glimpses of my fingers and toes and I swear that sight gave me little boosts of energy. I felt my purple toes grounded on the floor and that I could reach my finger tips out even further than I could the week before.
The power of the purple came as kind of a shock to me. For as long as I can remember my favorite color has been red. Probably because my mom’s favorite color for me is red. I had red carpet in my bedroom as a kid, it was always the color that my mom dressed me in and it was my favorite color before I even knew what a favorite color was. Even now, I can’t deny that I do love the color. All of my kitchen accessories are red and I even have a giant red couch (which is my most prized possession next to my wedding ring, and god help you if you spill anything or put your dirty feet on it. You just won’t get invited back). But, in that class last weekend I realized that red is not the color that makes me feel powerful. It’s not the color I wear or go to when I need a boost. Frankly, red, as a color you wear, is a little too ostentatious for me. It’s trying a little too hard. Whereas purple has a quiet punch that I think gives people the sense that you are someone to watch, not necessarily watch out for. The bridesmaids in my wedding wore purple, my iphone case is purple, and apparently, when I need to be able to bend over and touch the floor in front of my feet, it is helpful if my fingers and toes are rocking the shade as well.
Now, I know that my incredible accomplishment in pilates cannot only be attributed to my nail polish, I know that it has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve been working towards this goal since May and actually attending pilates classes is a much more effective way to gain flexibility than sitting on your big red couch eating cheetos. However, there is something to be said for the sense of being able to do something simply because I felt like I could. That’s the feeling that the purple nail polish gave me and I really think it is what gave me the confidence to push myself over that edge between touching the floor and not touching the floor.
Feature image via.