fitness

Music for lesbians, “old lady luxuries,” and you should sit if you need to

I’ve got a thing for some of the women whose music was the soundtrack of my youth. I love Stevie Nicks (saw her in concert with my son last year and a few years ago in Canberra, Australia), Madonna, kd lang, Ferron, and Chrissie Hynde. Lots of others to love too (Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, the Parachute Club, and more) but these are all women I’ve seen in concert.

So I couldn’t resist a chance to see Carol Pope when she played in Toronto recently. I was shocked to realize she’s now 70. She makes 70 look pretty good. Pope is still tearing up the stage. She was part of a concert she’d organized called “Music for Lesbians.” I rounded up some friends (all bloggers here, Hi Sarah, Hi Susan, Hi Cate!)  and though none of us are lesbians (bisexuals all) we had a great time.

Love that Carol Pope shared the stage with Rae Spoon too. Here they are on stage together.

Okay, you’re thinking, what’s any of this got to do with fitness?

As you know I’ve been sick recently. As of the date of the concert I was still tired by the evening and coughing up a storm at night. I debated not going but it was a date with friends and I’d hate missing out. I was certain I wasn’t contagious. I was just suffering from a cough that hangs around after.

Anyway, I looked at the tickets and was thrilled to discover that I’d paid extra for us four to have seats in the balcony. There’d be no need to stand around. Yay!

But other friends were in the regular section and I felt guilty. I couldn’t hang with them and I couldn’t dance. I had to sit. Jokingly friends referred to where we were as the luxury section for old ladies. (Yes, the tickets cost more.)

This feeling of being aware of my needs being different than the needs of others was new to me. It made me realize how privileged I am that this is usually not true for me.

When these piece came across my newsfeed that same week, What a Dolly Parton Concert Taught Me About Living With Chronic Illness, it resonated in a way it might not have before.

“The next time anyone gives me drama about sitting down or bowing out of a standing room-only event, I’m just going to remember Dolly. What would Dolly do? She’d probably smile graciously, keep singing her heart out in all her rhinestoned finery and completely ignore those criticisms. You do what you need to do to look after yourself. That’s something I constantly tell myself, and Dolly helped remind me of it.”

I know I’m frequently the person on the blog who advocates standing over sitting, and moving over keeping still, but yes, sit if you need to. I did. And Dolly does too. No guilt. No shame.