Tuesday, June 7, 2016

More on the Subject of Oomph

I mentioned "oomph" in my last post, in terms of having it or not having it, especially when facing challenges.

Tonight I looked up the definition of "oomph" just to see if it also meant something I wasn't thinking of, as can be the case in this world of euphemisms.

Aside from learning that Oomph is the name of a German rock band, here's what I found at dictionary.com:


energy; vitality; enthusiasm.
sex appeal.
Goodness.   I'll admit I was a little surprised by definition #2.  That is NOT what I was writing about yesterday.  My husband assures me I've got plenty of definition #2 (I'm not going to argue with him), but this is a family blog, so I'm going to focus on definition #1: energy; vitality; enthusiasm

Energy.  Vitality.  Enthusiasm.

Here are a few times when I surprised myself with an what I consider an impressive level of oomph:

1) Learning to dive into a pool
My dad reminded me of this moment when we spoke yesterday.  He was surprised by my feelings about pool parties.   He remembers vividly too the evening we spent somewhere in the south, at a pit stop on our cross-country family road trip.  I must have been about eleven years old.  The sun had set but the air was still warm and dry, and we had the hotel pool mostly to ourselves.  He patiently taught me how to split the water with my outstretched arms, one hand over the other, breathing out through my nose.  His enthusiasm and gentle energy helped me find the oomph to learn something I had feared for quite some time.

2) Playing softball (yes, the dreaded softball) with my colleagues at my summer job in college
I can't believe I found the oomph to do that, having played NO organized team sports since my one year of little league and half-hearted efforts in high school gym classes.  I even had my parents send me my little league glove, the one with the signatures on it.  There were lots of dumb rules about how there had to be a certain number of women on the team and in the game at all times--to "even the playing field."  (Ewwww.)   It was probably pressure to fill the quota that provided the oomph.  I experienced little league all over again in some ways--I played right field, and the boy  (can't call him a man) at second base tried to make every play that came anywhere near me.  I did get to play catcher a few times, but the boy (again, not a man) at third also felt compelled to attempt to make any possible plays at home plate (not back me up--backing up I understand).  Still, I did play on the team.  And I had some fun.

3) Bringing this into the world.
I am indeed woman, and--if you were in Portland on the day Abby was born--you most likely did hear me roar.

 The only item on my birth plan was to have no I.V.  The nurse who checked me in for my delivery raised her eyebrows when I told her, but she rolled with it when I informed her that my doc was on board.  Oddly enough, that particular oomph (the no I.V. bit) stemmed from a story about my fear.  When I was in high school, my mother took me to visit her friend in the hospital who had just had a baby.  When we were walking back to the car I asked my mom, "Do all people get one of those I.V.'s when they have a baby?"  She said it was pretty standard procedure.  "Guess I won't be having any babies then," I declared.  I was wrong, but not about the I.V.

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