SUPER VISION REQUIRED
By: Lauren Anderson
A few years ago, I was staying at a nice hotel while on a business trip.
I had a few hours to kill before our clients needed us to be in the ballroom to get the kick off party started, so I decided to walk around the campus of the luxury Florida hotel.
I like to get the lay of the land you see, because even though I have been known to arrive late to a friendly brunch or two– I like to be ON TIME when it comes to work. I needed to get my bearings.
It didn’t take long before I found the pool, and the business center, and where you board the shuttle to get to the nearest place to hold a baby alligator. (Ahh Florida….) I took a right then a left, and soon I was down another hallway, remarking to myself how incongruent hotel art can be, when I passed the hotel gym.
Outside the door to get inside the gym there was a sign. It said:
“SUPER VISION REQUIRED FOR CHILDREN.”
Hmmm, that’s odd I thought. So, kids with glasses are not allowed inside the gym? And how would they know who had excellent vision or not? And why would they phrase it like this? What constitutes “Super”?! How could the hotel possibly regulate and enforce this? Why would a hotel regulate and enforce this? Why is this a thing? Did a kid break their glasses, and the glass shards cut an athlete?
My mind reeled at the odd specificity of the hotel gym sign. And I’ll admit, I got a little angry on behalf of all the children who have less than 20/20 vision. I mean, why kids would want to go hang out in the gray dull hotel gym when there was a pool with a water slide literal feet away, I’ll never know– but it was the injustice of it all!!!
Then I figured it out.
Ahhhhh. Lauren, you silly goose. SUPERVISION. Not SUPER… VISION. Hahahahaha!
As in, a parent should be present in the gym with a small child. Right? Like No D’oy, Anderson. Not where my mind jumped first. You know, the much more plausible request of any kids entering a gym must be able to see through walls and shoot lasers from their eyes.
I stopped and laughed at myself for a good long time. I went back to the gym and re-read the sign. In my defense, the tracking or kerning or whatever you want to call it was off in the lettering of the sign. So it really did look like two separate words.
Why my mind didn’t just adjust to the most likely scenario, I’ll never know. I guess I could chalk it up to my improv training. It has taught my brain to burn through the mundane into the innovative at very high speeds. And because in my job I am rewarded and required to reach this innovative space quickly and in perpetuity, I don’t spend much time on “the likely”.
Or I dunno, maybe it’s just my deep penchant for whimsy?
Either way, this little misunderstanding has been a story I enjoy carrying around. Firstly, because it is very on brand with the L. Anderson thang. But moreover, I like to reflect on this story, because it keeps teaching me new things. Like the most simple: READ THE SIGNS ANDERSON.
As in, are what people saying, and what I’m hearing the same thing? Am I really listening, or am I just hearing what I want to hear? Because let’s be honest, the SUPER VISION sign is a lot more fun than the SUPERVISION sign. With a lot more incredible possibility. But… that’s not always helpful.
And I think I have a tendency to look for the magic, when maybe I should be looking for the warning?
And sometimes I benefit from this, and sometimes I get it really really wrong.
Another lesson this story reminds me of is: IMAGINATION IS POWERFUL.
Our brains and our ability to think outside “the box” is a muscle and a skill that should be worked out as hard and as often as our bodies. What if we practiced living in the “what could be” area of our brains just a little more often? How would that change the world?
But today, the lesson hits a little closer to home. It’s this: WHO GETS TO COME IN?
Today is Election Day. So this idea of “who gets to come in” or “who gets access to the amenities” or even “who belongs” is really resting heavy on my mind and heart.
There is so much rhetoric and hate speech nowadays. There are so many people in power trying to scare us and divide us. They are trying to tell us there is only one way to be. But that’s not who we are right? I believe, at our core, people are good. And we have more in common than we have differences.
And if you’re staying at the proverbial Hotel, you should get access to the damn pool.
AND THE GYM.
I used to feel excluded from athletic pursuits, because I thought you had to be and look a certain way. I was held back by what I was being told literally everywhere I turned in the media and at other gyms. And then Hannah and the rest of Solcana suggested that it could be a different way.
Every single time I walk into Solcana, I am reminded of how powerful it can feel to belong. Sometimes I still giggle to myself about how big a part of my life my gym is. It’s just so wholly different from what I thought was “my story”.
I guess that’s the power of living in the “what could be” mindset.
Solcana whose literal mission is to bolster and include! Let’s take a minute to re-read it together:
Solcana is a Minneapolis based, queer-friendly, social-justice minded, feminist gym designed for folks of all fitness levels and backgrounds. We offer classes that will help you tap into your inner athlete and find the best version of you. Find your family here.
Our mission is to empower everyday athletes to become their best. We challenge ourselves, and each other, to accomplish goals once seen as impossible. We welcome all members of our community, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender expression, and work together to give back to those around us through programming, charitable giving and active volunteering. We strive to create athletes who have the ultimate strength of humility, and take equal pride in both their defeats and successes.
I mean c’mon right?! That’s good stuff right there.
That’s some next level shhhhhhhh. I want everyone to feel like this, not just at their gyms, but in their neighborhood, and in their country too.
As someone who always felt like I would never belong in a gym that taught CrossFit, it is no small experience to walk into that space and feel like I not only belong there, but I am also called an athlete.
I feel included and supported and safe to take some pretty big risks, in sharing my story with this blog, and what I attempt to do at the gym.
And to be honest? It’s like having a super power.
In a sense, it’s given me the SUPER VISION to see the potential in what my body can do and who I can become.
It may not be laser eyes… but it’s pretty damn close.