You may feel the earth shift a bit. Be aware of it late tonight.

Why?

Mel is comin’ to town! I’ll call it the Melawsha (Mel/Tawsha) Show comin’ to ya live from Nashville y’all.

Who is Mel? Well, let me introduce you to my closest friend.

concert-picThis is us a couple of years after we met. I can’t find pictures of the time we first met so you can use your imagination. Most of the time we were in workout clothes complaining about it the whole time.

I went to a boot camp (fitness) class about a year after moving to Seattle. I had family but I didn’t really have any friends that I could hang out with. My first boot camp was at a baseball diamond. I got out of my car not knowing what I was doing and had a good 6 years of an exercise sabbatical under my belt. I was ready for anything.

Nope, no I wasn’t.

Mel was the very first person to welcome me to the class. She was so friendly. The instructor got us started on our drills and I immediately realized that even though my  mind remembered what it was like to workout, my body had forgotten.

This isn’t a fitness post so keep on readin’, my friends.

Mel kept staring at me. I thought she was concerned for me or wanted to be helpful. I was struggling a lot. I was sweating but not the kind of sweat that happens when you are in shape. It’s the sweat that barely escapes your pores because you’ve been drinking Pepsi for breakfast for the past umpteen years and your body can’t sweat that crap. My face was ho and throbbing and I had this girl staring at me. I couldn’t act like I was about ready to die.

race

I do believe I was on the verge once or twice.

I’m a competitive person so I figured that I could do what everyone else was doing…at their level. Idiot.

Mel finally came up to me. I was fully expecting, “Are you doing okay?”

I didn’t get that.

I got: “Are you gonna puke?”

All I could think of is that if I opened my mouth too wide to speak, I’d have to unclench my jaw and I’d barf all over this nice person who seemed to want to get to know me.

Long story short. Mel wanted to see me barf and I held it back multiple times.

I couldn’t quit.

That was my first “Mel encounter”.

After getting to know each other during this class that was shaping up to be the death of me, Mel and I got to talking about Justin Timberlake (duh) and random girl stuff (hair, makeup, etc).

The details are hazy on how we finally went on our first friend date but Mel had suggested we watch the new Justin movie “Edison” and then asked to borrow my triple barrel curling iron. That was it. We would be friends forever.

The two of us hit it off and Mel became my gateway to meeting really awesome friends (including her best friend Jamie). Pretty soon, I had a posse. I’m so thug, it’s redic.

pumpkin-patch

In the time we’ve known each other, Mel got married, we both bought houses, her husband has been deployed twice, we have both had kids (4 months apart), we’ve each moved across the country from said houses, and we’ve shared so many awkwardly awesome experiences together.

This weekend will be a continuation of those times.

holding-the-kids

Colorado – 2009ish

So, with our yoga pants on and smelling like tortilla chips ( for some reason, I smell like Mexican food when I sweat), we are going to do Nashville proud and…um…I actually don’t know what we’re doing.

Serious moment.

Mel has purchased her ticket to come see me and has things planned for us. I can’t even tell you how much I love her and the incredible friend she is. In being close with Mel, I’ve learned that people can give with no expectations. I’ve learned that “I’d do anything for my friends” isn’t just a saying, it’s demonstrated through love, kindness and a genuine heart for others. I’m humbled by Mel’s friendship and won’t ever take it for granted.

We shall see what this weekend brings. You’ll hear about it. Promise.

tawsha connell