Hey Blogger land!
Happy Almost spring!
I hope you all are kicking ass- and not breaking yours! Lol I actually broke my tailbone a few weeks ago, but just got diagnosed a few days ago. Let me tell you, if a broken @$$ isn't a test of walking my talk, I don't know what is!!
After many, many years of mornings getting up and hitting the gym, the pavement, or my yoga mat, I have had to take a break. I've had to meet myself where I am! Boy, has my ego been LOUD! "You're being lazy!" she yells. "You're going to get fat and lose fitness!" she worries. "Push through it and suck it up!" she tries to encourage. Because exercise is such a habit for me, scaling back has been HARD! I would also venture to say that I use exercise as a drug to reduce anxiety and improve my focus- so as I've moved less- and some days not at all- I've felt anxiety creeping in, doubt not far behind, and a killer lack of focus and procrastination. (The kind where you start doing 5 things and finish maybe one or two by the end of the day, but you surfed the internet for hours, cleaned and cooked and organized things that weren't a priority... you know those classic things you suddenly MUST do before you study for a test? Lol)
But- I have found a glimmer of hope!
Somehow, magically, I have been able to really ease myself into my training routine this year! It started by making a pact to be accountable to a good friend of mine. We both wanted to work on fitness goals this year and so we've been in regular contact about our successes and failures, struggles and reality checks. Her reality check was a touch of burn-out from a crazy work and workout schedule, followed by a nasty cold/flu. She gave herself permission to take days off. And most importantly, she shared this struggle with me. Mine was a significant drop in fitness and activity since my recent move half way across the country. And now a broken coccyx. I had to slow down. I had to take days off. I had to listen to body in a more loving and compassionate way that I ever have before. Some days that meant going for a gentle walk and turning around the minute I felt pain and weakness in my back, legs, and hips as I was mid climb in my favourite local woodsy trail. More recently, it has meant doing whatever I can do that doesn't aggravate my injury, and as far as my weight training goes, that meant sitting or laying down to do some simple upper body exercises. It also meant I used at least 25-50% less weight than I did a few months ago. And the craziest most transformative part was this: I shared this struggle! With my friend, my journal, my partner, and now you! This sharing has somehow magically helped me be more cognizant of my efforts, and I have - for the first time- been able to be more consistent in my training because I did not push myself too hard the day before! When I was in my prime, maybe 6 months ago, I could kill it with heavy weights and a jog, and then do something equally intense the next day, as long as I used different major muscle groups and focused on cardio and stretching or yoga for example. But my body is out of shape right now. It's also injured. It's stressed from being in a new environment. It's stressed from lack of intense physical outlets for all of my frustrations and fears. It's stressed because when I can't use my body like normal, not only do I get grumpy, but I don't make as much money because I'm self employed. So now, I've actually taken my own advice. I'm starting where I am and reassessing where that is every day, and every hour. And guess what?? I'm feeling stronger every day! If I had to guess, I'd say I have taken more naps, down-time, and Epsom salt baths in the last two months than I have in my last 5 years combined! And it's been so amazing to see my body respond! It's gradual, but steady. I'm getting my energy back, and my motivation! I forced myself to buy an bathing suit that fits and get back in the pool for the first time since last summer!!! (Which felt great by the way;)
I've had some amazing moments of self-realization and self-reflection, and have built a bigger, more comprehensive understanding of what it really means to give compassion to myself. And what a beautiful thing! *Tears*
Side bar: Did I mention I got a concussion from the fall that broke my @$$? Cuz it has made me an emotional roller coaster too! Watch out for those symptoms if you fall folks!)
Anywho.... This new form of compassion has been so tangible, maybe because it's been so slow, I'm not sure, but I have literally felt the healing process as it mends my broken spirit and body.
And though I'm still on the mend, I was able to give these gifts of compassion and healing to some very special people. Yesterday I shared some of these struggles with a yoga class I was teaching. They shared their stories at the beginning of class, so I shared too, because I could recognize the physical and spiritual struggling. I shared to give them hope and perspective. I shared to honour their current reality. (They are all cancer patients undergoing treatment.) They know what it feels like to experience a sudden and drastic decrease in their health. They know the reality of significant changes in their mind and body. But as these brave souls continued to share their struggles -while attempting to relax in deeply restorative yin poses- I reminded them all to breathe. And with that, we all agreed: Hey! We're alive! We can breathe! And we are gonna love every last part of ourselves right NOW!- just as we are!!