My posting of late has been delayed due to travels and weather. First, I had the most amazing 24 hour visit with my long time friend Sarrah whom I hadn’t seen in person for almost 6 years. It was bittersweet fun as I knew it wouldn’t last. This, I believe, is how you can measure true friendship…take a 6 year break and it feels like you just saw the person the other day. Here’s to hoping it’s not another 6 years before we’re back together!
I was able to get in a nice 4 mile walk with Sarrah while staying at my in-laws. This is a place where exercise is usually thrown out the window and especially since my husband stayed home by himself for a few days. However, I took advantage of nap time and having grandparents on hand to handle any emergencies with the boys.
When we returned home (and even on our trip) the weather was bad. We have had some serious down pours over the last week which have prevented a lot of runs and walks. This is probably a good thing in some respects as I have now worn an “almost hole” into the bottom of my shoes and am looking forward to starting regular work in August so that I can get a new pair.
I drove a lot in the few days I was gone and while driving for hours on end with my children in the backI heard a great slogan:
“You take your car in for a tune up; why not your body.”
This got me thinking about all the things we take care of on a daily basis that do not include taking care of ourselves. I tried Googling a statistic to see how many Americans get a yearly physical and instead got a whole slew of info about why you do not need one. I’m kind of in a different mind set all together about the practice. For one thing I do agree that many doctors will order unnecessary tests and lab work during physical exams and therefore jack up the cost of health care. However, I think that Americans (as a general population) are not taking very good care of ourselves and therefore may need to check in a little bit more with their health care professionals.
I have a 13 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. The little one is still going to the pediatrician every 3 months for a variety of vaccinations, growth checks, etc. The big guy is going just once a year and a second time for his flu shot. I haven’t had a full on physical that was just for me since I was in high school and playing sports. I have had yearly exams for my female health and all of the necessary check ups when I was pregnant. I get eye exams yearly, mostly because I wear contacts, and visit the dentist every 6 months. But I started thinking about all of the other ways that we should get checked up or tuned up each year.
This ad was for a massage company (almost said parlor, but that wasn’t even close to right). They suggested by their slogan that we regularly need time to release the tension in our bodies, but I think we need more than just that. I wish that my insurance company would pay for several different yearly physicals. I want a yearly meeting with a nutritionist in order to talk about my eating habits at each age (because I have a different metabolism at 33 than I did at 23). I want a regular mental health professional meeting. I think it would be nice to know that twice a year I could go and talk to someone about what I’ve got going on without it costing an arm or leg. I also don’t think that we should only seek out therapists when we’ve got something “wrong” or feel depressed. It’d be nice to talk to someone when you’re on the up and see how best to maintain that feeling. I’d also like a chance to meet with another personal trainer (one who has a degree and holds an accredited certification) to help me set new fitness goals and teach me some new exercises. It’d be nice if that person could observe me as I do my regular workouts and see all of the things I’m missing myself.
I believe in preventative maintenance for my car and myself. I think this is why I am so deeply drawn to yoga. Yoga focuses on the individual (all aspects), but also as the individual as a part of the whole. By doing more yoga I feel more deeply connected to those around me. I notice simple things like how the sound of my breath can put my baby to sleep or calm him down. I notice that when I am grounded that I parent better and let go of tension easier. I notice that when I feel limber and loose that I perform better in my running and other physical training. And I notice that when I meditate I see more clearly my life and the beauty in it.
Today is a good day for meditating on the self and getting in tune with the body. In listening to the body, think about what areas are telling you that they need more attention. Consider which areas are telling you that things are going smoothly. Sometimes, when all we listen to is the negative, it’s easy to get down, but if we can also hear the parts of our vehicle that are driving us forward we can hold out until our next pit stop and know that things are going to be okay.