Monday, February 25, 2013

Bashing into walls

Today I accepted a friend's request and went to her 5:30 AM spin class at a nearby gym. It was crazy, stupid fun. Before class she showed me tons of toys I've not seen before  - especially the plyometric stuff - including a HUGE black box,  about 3 feet high for doing jumps from the floor on. That tiny annoying voice in my head said, "No way! You can't jump that high!" even as my feet lept from the floor, square into the middle - nailing the landing! I wanted to roar like a lion because I DID IT!

Like I said, stupid, stupid fun.

During class though, I tweaked my right shoulder a bit by being careless when I came up to a standing run. This is a real problem - my right shoulder is my GOOD shoulder and for it to hurt at all is bad, bad, bad.  Then at one point, we transitioned down to a seated climb and I noticed an ache in my back, probably caused by not supporting my core enough and allowing my back to cave in. Again, this is a problem - my back (and core) has always been a strength.

Great, two separate new pains to contend with, in previously strong areas. I finished the class angry.

Externally, I looked fine. Internally, I was bashing into walls - furious with myself. Not because  I'd injured myself, but rather the same ol' refrain of regrets...
"Why didn't I start exercising years ago when I was young?"
"Why didn't I discover how fun this was when I had 20 year old knees?"
"Do you realize how much harder all of this is at your age?"
"Why didn't I run and jump and play all along?"
"Why did I wait so long to move?"
"Why? Just why?"
I had this mental vision of myself in a small room hurling into wall after wall, uncaring about any damage I might be doing, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth until finally I came to a complete stop and sat, slumped over, exhausted in the center.
And there, in the stillness,  the author of my life gave me the answer to all the "Whys?"
"Because, my dear, your time is now."
No explanations, no apologies, just that one simple statement, spoken with love and kindness and caring.
  I accept.
 I kind of have to accept.
And in that lovely quiet moment,  I had another mental picture of the people I've met on my journey in the last 2 years.  If I had picked up exercising 20 years ago, would I have met them at all? Would our paths have intersected? Would I have hurt myself at some point in my youthful foolishness and now be regretting doing too much?  What would my life be like now and would I like it? There are no answers to those hypothetical questions, and in a way, those questions are useless.
My time is now - in my 50's - to exercise and move and play. I give up bashing into walls and asking "why?"  I think I'll just laugh it off and love doing what I do - jumping onto 3 foot high blocks, swinging from hammocks in aerial yoga, nailing burpees, blazing through indoor cycling, and discovering the usefulness of ibuprofen!
Because, my time is now. Right now. No more questions, no more fighting, no more bashing into walls. Acceptance.
Thoughts to take with me today: It's my life. I can love it or fight it. I think I'll choose to love it and once again, choose joy.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Body Image

So today, I'm on the net and an advertisement catches my eye - "Plus Size Dresses For Spring Now On Sale!"

I clicked on it thinking I could use a new dress for Spring.

Then sat back in amazement.

I'm not a plus-size and haven't been for a very long time.

This prompted me to go looking around the net wondering if I'm sorta unique and come to find out, nah, not really.

It's called "Phantom fat."  I get it...truly.

The idea is that just like in losing a limb and the body still feels like it's there, in my case, my body has lost over 85 pounds and still I feel like the fat has never left. Ever.

How to get over this feeling? Well, apparently, it's pretty simple - time. Just time. Time to adjust to what I see in the mirror, time to feel, look, listen, and believe.


My life can be different
The weight is gone, forever
What I see is real
I can relax
It's okay

Maybe next year, I'll see the same ad and smile and know that's not my area any more.

Maybe the year after

Either way, it will happen

Thoughts to take with me today: Who knew there were so many steps to healthy?

Monday, February 11, 2013

"It's not fair...."

I teach middle school. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard this phrase. Generally directed at me when I've asked my kiddos to do something that doesn't fit in with their immediate plans. Such as school work. Funny how they seem to be surprised when they are in school and the teacher gives them work to do. Can't figure that one just comes out of the blue to them time after time.

But then I hear the same phrase come out of my mouth and I blush to hear the "whine-i-ness" of it.

It's not fair that ...

it's so hard to eat right
my knee, hip, shoulder hurts
my body won't do what I want it to do
people don't 'get' me

This attitude is not real attractive to be honest.

On a good day - a day where I have some control over my emotions - I can step back and reflect on what is really REALLY not fair.

It's also not fair that I have...
a house and bed to sleep in every night
food in my fridge and pantry
a body that moves and runs and plays
friends that accept my quirks
children who make me proud
a husband who adores me

We aren't guaranteed any of these wonderful things and there are plenty of people around the world missing any and or all of the givens I so blithely take for granted while whining and wishing and moping I had something else.

Attractive? Nope, not so much.

A while back a friend shared that every night before she goes to bed she records three things she is grateful for in a journal. I pondered that idea, and actually looked for a journal but just didn't see one that spoke to me. Then a few weeks later, another friend, who had no idea of the first conversation handed me the most beautiful bound journal completely out of the blue. That has become my journal of gratitude.

I've recorded about 3 weeks worth of statements of "I am grateful for..." and it is eye-opening to go back and re-read and be reminded of how truly blessed my life is.
No, "it's not fair" to be granted so many wonderful daily gifts. Not fair at all. Instead of whining, I think I'll smile and say "Thanks" to the Source that has provided so richly for me.

Thoughts to take with me today: I am grateful for my life.