Lessons

Stop Stroke Shuffle 5K

Lesson #1: Get out there when the mood strikes. It’s worth it.

I had the urge to go for a walk yesterday, which just happened to also mark the beginning of Dani’s Stop Stroke 5K. It was snowing, so I put on boots and warm clothes and topped everything with my purple raincoat. The snow had been falling long enough to cover the sidewalks, but no one else was out in it. It was quiet and peaceful and still. It was sort of wonderful. I’m so glad I just got up and went.

Honestly, I struggle with things like this on the weekends. We get so little time together as a family that I often feel guilty doing anything on my own. Sometimes even twenty minutes of yoga feels selfish. I did invite the husband and kiddo to join me on the walk and they weren’t feeling it. Most days I’d have sat back down and just hung out with them, but I was feeling antsy and wanting to earn my adorable heart medal, so I got up and got outside anyway.

It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, and in the end the forty six minutes I spent outside on my own served as a pretty effective meditation. I had time to think quietly. I had time to chat a little with my bestie. I had time to think through lots of what’s been in my head lately and it just made everything feel clearer. Plus the cold air was sort of invigorating, and not in that awful way people say it when they mean “freezing and miserable.”

Lesson #2: Do it yourself. I have finally learned that I do best when I eat protein and (not sweet) carbs for breakfast. This led to me buying super expensive breakfast sandwiches at local cafes and Starbucks. SO EXPENSIVE and not terribly good either. So I started buying the frozen variety. Cheaper. Less tasty. Finally this weekend I decided to just make my own. I got some frozen bagels, and brought them to work along with precooked bacon, eggs, and shredded cheese. This morning’s sandwich was MUCH cheaper, MUCH tastier, and kept me full longer.

Lesson 3: Don’t give up. There is a way. I planned to start the Beautiful Badass strength program today. I wrote out my exercises. I knew the first one was a pullup and I don’t have a gym or a bar or a suspension trainer, so I found a video online where you can sort of lay on a smooth floor with something slidey beneath you and pull yourself. I felt awesome about all my planning.

And then I got home. And the kid was cranky. And my period started. And I realized none of the smooth surfaces in my house are big enough for me to lay down on. And I tried pulling myself on the carpet with a mat, a garbage bag, a train of hardcover plastic covered kids books. Nothing worked. I couldn’t move my body at all.

I tried shutting my yoga strap in the bathroom door and using it like a suspension trainer, except that strap is crappy and doesn’t have enough resistance to be useful for anything. I fell down.

I abandoned the pullups in favor of pushups, then moved on to the one leg squats, which I also couldn’t do. I cried. I gave up. I messaged my bestie. I unloaded on her way more than she deserved.

And then, in the middle of wiping my tears, I realized I wasn’t doing one important step of being a Beautiful Badass. I wasn’t owning where I am RIGHT NOW. I wanted to be further along. I was upset and embarrassed by how much strength I’ve lost. I was trying intermediate versions of the moves. So I backed up. I did the easiest level of everything, and had to spend the whole workout ignoring the part of my brain that said this was too easy, shouldn’t be so hard for me, wasn’t worth doing, couldn’t be helpful.

I finished the workout. And I’ll do it again and again.

Lesson 4: Still working on it. I’m still (always, forever) working on food issues. When I saw this picture from Heather Waxman’s FB page today, it got me thinking.

I AM still struggling with food. I don’t eat well, and I turn to food when emotions or stress get overwhelming. It’s NOT going away…so what is it trying to teach me?

I have no idea. Really. It’s something I need to meditate on, I think.

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