Girl code

Can you please take a picture of me?” I asked a girl in a green ensemble at the Venice beach boardwalk. As soon as she nodded, I placed my phone in her palm and lurched for the rings swing.

There I was, suspended midair, legs dangling freely above the Venice beach sand. The strain in my shoulders was tempting me to release my grip but I held on. The warm pacific wind whirled around my legs, tickling my inner thigh, inching the orange silk dress higher up my hip….

In the dizzying delight of the moment, I heard a group of girls cheering.

“Go girl.”

“Work it then.” Emboldened, I willed my awkward legs to contort into an acrobatic move, but all they could do was sway and dangle. It took all of 2 minutes for my stamina to expire. I unclenched my fingers and tumbled onto the sand.

The girl in green placed my phone in my hands and reached for the swing. She fastened her hands in the rings and in a fluid movement, she somersaulted in the air. It had never occurred to me that I could use the strength of my upper body to urge the rest of my body into various positions. But before I could gasp, she had folded her body in two and flipped in the air. My jaws parted in awe. Whereas my legs had just dangled, her body inspired positions I could not even imagine… How do you respond when someone can do something better than you? What do you do when they look better than you, earn more than you or dress better than you? Does the familiar sensation of envy shoot through your veins and cause you to tear them down with slit eyes and snide comments?

As I watched the lady in green twirl and roll, a familiar sensation surged through me and made me scream: “You go girl. Work it. Higher, higher…”

When she unfurled her body onto the ground, I rushed her.

“Hey, look, I took pictures of you.” I grinned, tilting my iPhone in her direction.

“Oh wow, they are beautiful! Could you send them to me?” she replied.

For a split second, I thought of the roaming charges I would incur, but damnit! The moment was too blissful not to be shared. I hit send. Here’s a new girl code, next time you see another woman doing something better than you, applaud them. Then take a moment and capture their success it in your heart. What they did may look effortless, but chances are it took them years of training to get there. With hard work, one day, you can be just like them or even better.