I haven't done many writing prompts as of late, but I saw this one over at The Wink, and then I followed a couple of the links on that site and soon found myself pondering my childhood and why I am who I am.

If you too want to take a stroll into the past, the template for this thought provoking prompt is right here.

I am from nighties warmed by a heat vent, from Chef Boy’Ardee Ravioli, from huge bowls of Cap’n Crunch slurped up while watching Saturday morning cartoons. I am from Gilligan's Island and "Never dress, until you Caress" from Little House on the Prairie.

I am from cool hardwood floors, sun shining through smoky windows, air always tainted with strong black coffee, the house on 3rd Street. I am from bikes flying through—and later, beer hidden in—the laurel hedge. I am from chasing flying ants with a broom and playing war and climbing rough-barked trees.

I am from the house of roses, fuscias and rhododendrons, from the giant red cedar, from the acre of little farm nestled in the backyard of downtown. I am from raspberries, bursting with tang, from plums so heavy they drop from the tree, from home-canned green beans, put up in summer and plucked—too hot—from a saucepan in winter.

I am from Friday night eating out, and using good manners, from Daddy—who was not my father but was my Daddy nonetheless—and Mom and stories of the South and poverty and peddling. I am from a mongrel line, with no particular lineage—a mutt. (But mutts do make the best companions).

I am from worry and fear (because babies died before me). I am from be careful.

From stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about and you can be anything you want to be. (For a time, I was going to be a brown cow). I am from do your best and quiet let’s hear this now! I am from I love you.

I am from being dropped off for Sunday school, from loving kneeling at my BFF’s Catholic church, from tears at my First Communion. I am from guilt and fearing the wrath of Godand trusting the Son.

I'm from Alaska then Washington then Arizona then back to Washington (this is what divorce can do). I am from Kraft macaroni ‘n cheese and thinking margarine WAS butter until college. I am from good luck ravioli before basketball games, from ham and cheese sandwiches eaten in the gym, from Cinnamon Kitty.

From the barn my Dad built, telling me it was for goats when really it was for the horse I’d been pining for (and I believed him!), from being born in an igloo, from hiding my vitamins in a house plant—which grew very well. I am from watching my mother take night school, from hopgrassers and muhidity and “accidentally” pushing nasty cough syrup out of a window. I am from standing in the grocery store with my hands on little hips, indignantly telling my mom, "Well you're certainly not a choosy mother," when she insisted on the house brand of peanut butter.

I am from a drawer overflowing with snap shots, fading blue ink scrawled on the backs. From people I don’t know, never met. I am from grade school and buck teeth and orange ribbons and fat braids. I am from a mother who endured too much, a glass half empty. I am from a family of five, a family of three.

I am.

Y’all be proud of me. I drug my sorry ass out of bed this a.m. and headed to bootcamp at gym where the judge goes regularly, and I haven’t been to in… well, it’s been a while.

I used to take a lot of classes there—kick boxing being my favorite. Pretending to beat the crap out of an imaginary guy really did something for me. I developed a lovely right jab and left hook. My roundhouse wasn’t great, but I could follow it with an uppercut that would knock the poor guy out cold.

I was a regular then, and had earned my spot in the front row. The instructors knew me and would say hi at the Farmer’s Market and such. I felt like a rock star inside.

I’d see the older, perhaps a bit out-of-shape, ladies come in and head to the back of the class. I would be nice to them. I mean…they were making an effort, you know? They were getting out there and trying to keep the upper hand on the old aging process. They were cute.

Well, as one of my favorite bloggers would say, today I got bitch slapped.

I was that older, slightly out-of-shape woman. I’m still cringing at the recognition of it.

The judge and I were a minute late, which was completely my fault. A 5:15 class is early, WAY too early for a not-morning-person like myself. The judge brought me coffee and everything, but it just took me a while to become completely conscious. I know you other not-morning-people know what I’m talking about.

When we got there, they were just about ready to do a warm up. “Who are the new people?” the perky teacher called out. Um, yeah. So much for melting into the back.

There were four of us newbies. I believe I was (gak!) the oldest.

Warm ups ended and I was winded. And breaking a sweat. Not a good sign when the warm up is a hot up.

Thankfully, there were about 12 stations Perky Girl had to explain, which provided a great breather for me. I got my wind. My brain rallied. This will be great! I said to myself.

40 minutes later, my legs were shaking, my shoulders were in knots, I had a major spasm forming in my lower back, and I was dripping sweat. Mmmmm. I love a good sweat, but the pain, and yes, embarrassment, were putting a damper on the sweaty joy.

The Perky Girl paid a attention to me. She told me to go ahead and “modify” the moves. Oh, and start with the smaller weights.

Really, why didn’t she just announce, “Hey see this one here? She’s past her prime!”

“Modifying” became setting the ten pound weight on my head, instead of holding it above with straight arms. My V-sits became crunches, and then something resembling a turtle flailing about while on its back. When the instructor said we were done, I said a little prayer of thanks.

I had thought we had to do two circuits! I was wondering if anyone would notice if I sat in the bathroom for the second time through, stretching my crampy back and licking my damaged ego. But it was just one grueling 45 minutes, and we were done.

Perky Girl came over to me. “Are you coming back Friday?” she asked.

It’s a bit foggy now, but I think I said yes.

By then I was fully awake. I had the day’s workout in. I knew I had a whole bottle of ibuprofin just waiting for me at home. Come after-work hours, I wouldn’t have to feel guilty for not taking a walk. And Friday was a long ways away.

"Yes. Yes, I think I am,” I told her.

(Uh, no. That's not me.)