As I am about to end what has been a crazy year of running, and with the big “What Now?” question still always lurking in the back of my mind,I’ve been trying to figure out what 2014 is going to look like for me. I was told to start making a list of races I want to do. Easy enough. So I sat down with my laptop, a pen, and a notebook.
But as I clicked around the internet trying to fill my year with races and goals, I couldn’t come up with a good plan. I found myself getting upset and frustrated. This post half funk I’ve been in is still kicking around. A place of feeling unmotivated, feeling like I’m so far behind the rest of the pack. As much as I know I’m a real runner now, and that I can do what I put to mind to- it doesn’t mean those negative thoughts don’t creep back every now and then. I just couldn’t find a combination of races that inspired me. That gave me something to look forward to. I told myself that I would stop when this wasn’t fun anymore. It’s not fun right now, but I don’t want to quit. So I tore the page out of my notebook and threw it away. Closed my laptop. Woosah.
All relationships- whether they be with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, family, yourself- they take work, dedication, evolution. Sometimes relationships fade away. Sometimes they come back, even stronger. Sometimes you just need to find a new way to connect. Your relationship with your body, your health, and your fitness needs to be handled in the same manner as any other important one in your life. Some would argue it’s the most important.
So with that in mind I’ve been trying to focus my energy on other things, such as my swimming. It’s funny that in the beginning I told myself I wouldn’t step back in the pool after I finished my triathlon. And then when that was over I said “Well, maybe I’ll go every now and again.” And now? I’m there at least twice a week. Suddenly I crave the feeling of gliding through the water, the scent of chlorine that stays on my skin even after I shower, this fantastic new feeling of tiredness in my shoulders and in my arms. Suddenly I’m finding that swimming has become for me an outlet just as much as running has.
My other new venture? Yoga. For anyone who knows me in real life- ungraceful is my middle name. I also tend to have the attention span of a fruit fly, so yoga didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. But as much as I rolled my eyes at the concept I keep being told that it will help me as a runner. And we all know that these days I’m willing to take all the help I can get. So as much as I feared rolling into someone else’s downward dog I begrudgingly headed to my first class. And while it didn’t take my breath away, it didn’t scare me away either. I headed back for a second helping.
I have to admit- I’m intrigued by yoga. I’m digging that it makes me slow down, makes me more aware of my strong legs and arms, makes me stop and appreciate all that they do for me. And somewhere in the middle of trying to will my legs into Tree Pose last week- it clicked. Yoga (Maybe it’s different elsewhere, I’m just glad this is a judgmental class) is about accepting where you are in your journey. If my gawky legs can’t hold it together it’s not the end of the world- for trees are meant to sway. Suddenly yoga class turned into a life lesson: my tree doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s, nor should it. What it will grow into is dependent on how I nurture it, how I care for it. I’m sitting here trying to fit my round peg into other people’s square holes. I’m trying to write my story based off of someone else’s cliff notes. And really I should be focusing on how far I’ve come, and where I want to go. It’s my journey and I’ll get there in my own time, on my own two feet… swaying as I go. I I understand the concept, but it’s going to take a while until I’m able to practice it fully on my own. Yes, I think yoga is a good place for me to be for a while.
PS. Shout out to April the awesome yoga instructor… you may just convert me after all