Lest y'all think that I am off the struggle bus completely, in light of recent rants and opinions that I have espoused, I am not. I do manage to get through the day pretty happy with life in general. Of course everyday has its irritations but as a rule, I do not fuss about my internal workings.
The last several weeks I have not been myself exactly. I really have been sort of irritable and at times short and more than a little down. We are all entitled to these out of the ordinary feelings, as human are an unpredictable and sometimes unstable sort. I just had a super duper coaching call today that helped me discover a lot- a lotta, lot of things that I realize were coloring my outlook and bringing me down. Coaching calls are what keep me growing and realizing how many things that I hear myself thinking are skewed, off-base or simply untrue. Thoughts are really messed up sometimes.
One of the main things that I continually try to make peace with and find true freedom in is my activity and exercise. The thing is that I was identified in my childhood as the reader of the family. I really preferred to just be reading thank you very much. So therefore when my more active sister came along, she was deemed the athletic one- and the boys- well "boys will be boys". She could do the cartwheels and the flips and all that stuff- which is cool. They all dragged me unwillingly into baseball games.... So, when one is labeled something like that one tends to believe it.
When I hit college I discovered (notice how we skipped the horror of high school gym?? I will say I sort of loved doing gymnastics- the easy stuff as I sucked at it, and tennis which I didn't suck at) that I loved doing dance aerobics. I found a class - which was shocking- when I moved to the northwoods after I got married, and did different forms of it for years. Combine that and walking, and that is what I did, sporadically, until about the time I turned 50.
During my time of dieting with a capital D, I was fortunate enough to have a very nice little gym open up in our time, and I bought into the gym culture big time. I felt included and loved and I definitely was told I was good at weight lifting- which was a shocker!! I have never been good at anything athletic - I was the reader, remember?? But as I did with the dieting, I took it to the extreme, to a place where I was basically doing nothing with my life except cooking, eating, making food, thinking about food, planning my food and exercising- and I slept a few hours a day. I rarely took a rest day, and I worked out up to 4 hours on some days.
One of my biggest difficulties has been finding balance in my exercise. Stopping dieting and weighing myself was relatively easy. Dialing back my exercise obsession proved to be much harder. One really good thing that happened when I was on the diet thing was that I found myself and my joys. I found my courage and I have had many experiences that scared me to DEATH that have made me what I am today. Turns out I sort of like being scared on my adventures. I do not regret my past, but I am very glad to not be restricting and overexercising myself to injury and exhaustion.
So my goal- my eye on the prize- has become moving and doing things that give me joy, give me pleasure and support my adventures. I became an adventurer and am doing things that I never considered doing before. I need to be strong to have my particular flavor of adventures. But finding balance and peace took a long time and then there were the continued notices from the universe that I am not in charge of everything. I wrote in my main blog** about my broken elbows that really turned my life into something different. With that one fall, I quit over-exercising. I couldn't any more. And my mind was apparently relieved.
One of the things that bothered me over the last few weeks was the fact that I had a HEAVY mirror fall on my foot and I am pretty sure that my toe was broken- before Thanksgiving. My toe stayed and indeed stays a bit sore even now, a long time. It bummed me out- that and the ridiculous weather of either way below zero or then the crazy slippery roads that happened from the big thaw we had- kept me off the road for anything more than only a 2 mile walk once in a while. I have the need to be outside and take pictures and walk and find my peace and my joy. It is definitely a therapy and a meditation.
It made me question if I was still that person who could go on adventures and be strong and able to enjoy my life as I want to live it. Thanks to my coaching, I know I will be ready to do the next thing. I KNOW I will be heading out into the kayak early in the spring with my camera- go hiking on big hills again, and generally be who I want to be. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I actually do know what I am doing and I can trust myself, in spite of the voices in my head.
The key to my sanity is doing what I enjoy- I love to walk, kayak, lift, hike, bike...... fun stuff like that. I should get a tennis racket and a partner- I actually forgot how much I liked doing that! What I hate doing and for the most part is avoided- ellipticals and treadmills (running in any form) and stationary bikes (though I do the stationary bike to train for real bike riding- though it is deadly boring. I am looking for someone to hire to talk me through that 30 min. twice a week- any takers?) Why should I do an activity that I detest? What is the point of that? I would rather go for a short walk in nasty weather than spend an hour on a machine looking at a wall.
I am not exercising to change my body's look- I am exercising to make my life easier to get through every day. I can lift the 50lb clay boxes, the 50 lb horse feed bags, lift my grandkids, do my gardening, kayak for hours, climb ever mountain..... you get the picture. I don't do it to fit into the image of what we see on TV or movies or ads or anything else. It took some time to get here, but here I am and I am happy.
Don't let anyone- no trainer or tv personality or seller of snake oil or unpleasant exercise programs tell you what is right for you- you actually know. You know deep inside, when you are not kidding yourself, what makes you feel more than good enough.
Peas and carrots. :)
**This is the first post of my elbow injuries, you can see a slow awakening of reality in this and the following 15 or so posts.