I’m asked all the time about my tattoos.
Everything from Won’t you regret them when your skin sags? (Nah, I await the colorful-droopage) to May I touch?? (that’s typically asked by the under-5 crowd, they don’t really ask and I don’t much mind the exuberant leg rubs).
Since my leg sleeve is most visible it’s the one I’m more frequently asked about.
People either adore it (and point it out to their under-5 *and* leg rubs commence) or they adore Seuss but aren’t tattoo fans.
Either way it makes me smile how Seuss sparks people to reminisce about their childhood.
Each image holds personal meaning (e.g., one is how I explained adoption to the Child when she was small). And, the more I’ve chatted with
others about the books/images I’ve chosen, I’ve learned the same pictures contain entirely different “special meanings” for them.
(I studiously avoid the politics of Seuss conversations although I find that facet of him fascinating, too.)
Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Today we bring inflatable hats to school.
Today I’ve chosen to view the man who gifted us Bofa on the Sofa and Desert of Drize in an entirely new-to-me light.
6 things I learned about healthy living from Theodor Geisel:
Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?
What I learned: Screw motivation. If we are physically capable of moving our bodies we are, indeed, lucky. No matter how much we wanna whine, lament or moan about how bad we have it–the fact we are ABLE to exercise makes us one of the lucky ones. This book taught me MOJO? SCHMOJO just get out there and START.
And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.
What I learned: Use your imagination. Get creative. Things are often not as impossible or challenging as they may seem (or even as boring as they may initially appear). Choose to view life through the lens of where can I fit fitness into my day? This book taught me the lack of validity to the ever prevalent I have no time! whine and reminded me not to listen to those who may scoff at my nontraditional methods.
What I learned: Don’t waste time, energy (or money) worrying about what anyone else is doing! Is “everyone” doing Whole30? Are all your friends training for a marathon when you can’t yet run a mile? WHO CARES! No way is better than any other. Focus on your own belly and care not what others sport on theirs.
Pale Green Pants (AKA What was I Scared of? )
What I learned: Embrace fear. When we expose what we fear to the light of day much of the time we see there was nothing to fear in the first place! This applies to all fears. From fear of weight training (what if the people at the gym laugh at me?) to group exercise trepidation (what if I’m not good enough?) When examined most fears are pretty misplaced and, when we give ourselves opportunity to take that first step, conquerable.
What I learned: The importance of committing not quitting—even when things get rough. This book also taught me about service being the rent we pay for living. It reminded me of the importance of helping others when they may not be ready, willing, or able to help themselves. It admonishes us to “sit on their egg for them if need be” and if nothing else you, too, will benefit through getting a fab helpers high.
What I learned: Lots, but what resonated most with me was the notion avoidance doesn’t work. We need to ‘face down our problems‘ as Seuss instructs us. It’s only when we embrace negative emotions we can work through the feelings with minimal destructive behavior. Whether the “problem” is we’ve quit working out or we think we’ve blown our “diet” etc. it’s important to avoid the trap of thinking dark times/challenges will never happen. They will. They happen to all of us. Deviating from what we’d thought was our intended healthy living path and finding our way back *on* is part of the journey.
(gazes down at leg sleeve and decides to celebrate by wearing shorts today)
And that’s it.
The why behind my Seuss sleeve and six powerful ways his books shifted my thoughts on fitness and healthy living.
- Are you celebrating Theodor Geisel’s birthday?
- What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book and why?
Annmarie saysMarch 2, 2016 at 4:23 am
Aw I love Seuss and I love all your tattoo! I think my favorite of his book is Oh the Places You’ll Go- I read it to my pregnant belly (2nd daughter) with my older daughter every night before she went to sleep!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysMarch 2, 2016 at 4:28 am
We are in the thick of Dr. Seuss right now as my kids are learning how to read. They are so excited to read Hoo on Pop all by themselves. My favorite is Oh the Places You’ll Go! My husbands grandmother gave him that book as I H.S. Grad present and I thought it was perfect. It’s become a fav for me to give and for those to receive!
Allie saysMarch 2, 2016 at 4:59 am
YES!!!! I love so much of this. The boys are beyond excited to go to school today and celebrate Seuss, although they are dressing as Piggie and Gerald. Oh well.
My favorite is the last lesson about ‘facing down your problems.’ I wished I had learned at a much younger age that it’s ok (and you should!) feel all the feelings so you can work through them and move past them.
Have a wonderful day of brining people joy via your legs 🙂
Kerri saysMarch 2, 2016 at 5:53 am
I always celebrate his birthday because it is my birthday too! Wearing my Dr. Seuss shirt to school today!
Coco saysMarch 2, 2016 at 6:12 am
Love this! Love so many Dr. Seuss books. I think about the Sneetches in so many life situations – the comparison trap, prejudice/bias, etc.
cheryl saysMarch 2, 2016 at 6:18 am
Horton Hears a Who-
I live by two words pretty much. Pay Attention.
It’s pretty much all you need to do to lead a full and productive life…
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysMarch 2, 2016 at 6:31 am
Your tattoos are incredible. They are beautiful and part of you, and I love that these are dedicated to Dr. Seuss! I think that he was amazing at incorporating adult lessons into children’s stories. I hope that people revisit the stories as adults and take such lessons from them!
Terri saysMarch 2, 2016 at 6:49 am
I love “Horton Hears a Who” and “Grinch.” So many, it is hard to chose! I love your tattoos! I am hoping to get my first tattoo this year, our surviving son has magnificent tats. Something to honor and remember both my sons. Great post, thank you for sharing, I hope you have a great day celebrating Dr. Seuss!
Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness saysMarch 2, 2016 at 7:11 am
Wow, this is just simply amazing! You are a work of art darling!
Yes, we are celebrating Dr. Suess day at school too!
another jennifer saysMarch 2, 2016 at 7:18 am
LOVE this post. I can relate to all of your lessons. Girl, you would love my outdoor gym! Happy Dr. Seuss Day!
Dick Carlson saysMarch 2, 2016 at 7:20 am
Um, I had never looked closely enough to see that they were Seuss. You just jumped about three pegs in my “amazing” meter.
Maureen saysMarch 2, 2016 at 7:56 am
I loved reading what you learned from each book. Such a cool tattoo!
Patricia Young saysMarch 2, 2016 at 8:53 am
Happy Dr. Seuss Birthday!! Love the ink – love the post! When my daughters were born I gave them each a copy of “Oh The Places You’ll Go” and wrote a special message to each on the inside cover. My babies are now taller than me – ages 24 and 26 . They were raised on Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein (when their mother was a mime, she played the ‘tree’ in The Giving Tree! Lol), Winnie the Pooh and many, many others that will follow them no matter where they go in this life – or where they take life – keeping what they learned close to their hearts. Breathe Deep, Think Peace, Patty
Carol Cassara saysMarch 2, 2016 at 9:04 am
Crazy about this post. And that is quite a colorful appendage now! Whenever I see a sleeve like that all I can think of is “how much did it hurt, I wonder?” But back to your post. Yes, yes and yes. Agree whole heartedly!
Laurie Oien saysMarch 2, 2016 at 9:15 am
Carla, what a great connection – a tattoo should be something meaningful and you did it up amazingly! Also, what a woman to be brave and patient enough to have such elaborate artwork tattooed. My daughter is very artistic and in her senior year of high school she got permission to paint a whole Dr. Seuss mural on the ceiling of one of the classrooms (all by herself). It was awesome. So, needless to say, we’re Dr. Seuss fans here too!
Erin @ Erin's Inside Job saysMarch 2, 2016 at 11:32 am
Aw I love this. Thanks for sharing Carla! I recently got my first tattoo last year on the inside of my finger. I had never had anything against tattoos, I just didn’t know what I wanted badly enough to have it forever. I got a semicolon bc I LOVE grammar and it is a reminder of where I’ve been in my addiction and for all I’ve overcome.
karen saysMarch 2, 2016 at 11:45 am
I think I love pale green pants! I am so slow to try something new because I feel too heavy, too wobbly, too embarrassed…
maybe the gym experience will be a little different tonight 😉
Chris K saysMarch 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm
My brother, a HUGE Seuss fan, shares his birthday, so each year I try to find something new (to me) to share with him and learn more about my big brother’s hero. Your post is this year’s gift! Thank you, Carla!
Beth Havey saysMarch 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm
Wow, Carla, you grabbed all of us. Not only are you awesome with your leg sleeve, but all the concepts from Seuss are right there. I helped write the book about Miami Ink and learned that tattoos are a way of remembering and you HAVE major goals right there on your body. Love this, Beth
MCM Mama Runs saysMarch 2, 2016 at 1:17 pm
We celebrated last week with a book swap. I love Dr.Seuss and your takeaways from his book are awesome.
Doreen McGettigan saysMarch 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm
Your leg is beautiful! My favorite (my kids faves when they were little) Green Eggs and Ham and The cat in the Hat!
I love reading at my grandchildren’s school every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
shalama saysMarch 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm
My favorite book is If I Ran the Zoo. I still have my original copy from when I was a kid. I am not sure my full reason back then but now it’s more because of the nonsensical animals and rhymes that go on in this and all his books.
Jody - Fit at 58 saysMarch 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm
I love your Dr. Suess posts every year! Important lessons! I am always a work in progress… always but always need this!
Dr. J saysMarch 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm
A person’s a person no matter how small!
Lee Gaitan saysMarch 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm
I’m paraphrasing Seuss here to express my feelings about this post:
Every day from here to there
Brilliant thoughts are everywhere!
Wow, what a clever and creative way to express such important concepts! You nailed them with this post. And I looove your leg sleeve!
Rebecca saysMarch 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm
Oh my gosh I LOVE this! I had no idea of your love for Seuss!!! Love the tats! Thanks for sharing your broad interpretations of health to focus on realizations that bring happiness. I TOTALLY agree! SO MANY CAPS is such a good thing 🙂
Laurie Stone saysMarch 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm
Cool tattoos, Carla! I can’t think of a better permanent reminder to keep in life than Dr. Seuss. How great.
Alana saysMarch 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm
Those have to be among the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen – well done by the artist, too. My favorite book is Yertle the Turtle – I enjoy the “political” Dr. Seuss. I’ve seen a lot of his political cartoons over the years, a side of him many of his fans know nothing about (but you obviously do). “I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights,” is just as true now as it was in 1958.
Wendy@TakingtheLongWayHome saysMarch 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm
I love that your tats tell a story. So much thought and artistry put into those. That’s what I love. One of the moms of some kids I see here has beautiful tattoos. Her family owns the famed Jade Dragon in Chicago. She’s a work of art. I can appreciate that!
Lucie Palka saysMarch 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm
My little guy is 2 and he loves Dr. Seuss. We read the same 4 books over and over and over. He loves The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham and The Lorax (our family favorite). He definitely has great lessons to his stories.
messymimi saysMarch 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm
Too many of his stories are favorites for me to have just one. He taught me to never give up.
GiGi Eats saysMarch 2, 2016 at 9:42 pm
YOU ROCK THE HELL OUT OF THOSE TATS… Especially the ones on your LATS!
Did I make Dr Seuss proud with my rhyme… Give it time, give it time.
LMFAO – but seriously, can I touch??
Carolann saysMarch 2, 2016 at 9:52 pm
Oh wow, I am amazed that your entire leg sleeve is of the Dr. I love it! It’s so colorful and cheerful and to have each one hold so much meaning. You can’t ask for better than that.
John McElhenney saysMarch 3, 2016 at 6:14 am
I can’t believe it. I’ve known you for how long and I had no idea what was IN/ON your tattoo(s). Love you and love them all. And now I know.
jennifer saysMarch 4, 2016 at 7:14 am
I love all the books and I feel sad the kids are so old we haven’t read in a decade. I’m hauling them out this weekend! The Sneetches was always a good message . . . and the Green Pants, YES, the Green Pants!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysMarch 4, 2016 at 2:39 pm
LOVE this. I really enjoy reading his books as an adult – so many underlying themes.
I got “Oh, the places you’ll go” tattooed on my foot last year. 🙂
Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog saysMarch 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm
I could not love this post more. I am a huge Dr. S fan and have always felt that his writing has so many hidden lessons in it….for people of ALL AGES. Thanks for reminding me about all these gems! Sharing!!!
Farrah saysMarch 4, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Yay for Dr. Seuss! (Love your tattoo! 😛 ) My favorite two books were The Lorax and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 😀
Forever F.I.T. saysMarch 7, 2016 at 2:37 am
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Lovisa Karlsson saysMarch 10, 2016 at 7:00 am
I like this tattoo image it is looking great. Moreover, I love this fitness book. I am very excited to share this blog with my friends. I am sure they will also like it.