Heavy Lifting

I just finished lifting packages that said “Unassisted lift can result in injury”. It’s pouring down rain and they were delivered while I was out getting my kids from school. When I got back they were just sitting there, in front of the garage, soaking up the rain. I knew they needed to get inside the garage, but we don’t have a garage door like other garages. We have barn doors that we built and that have to be manually unlocked and then unlatched and then latched and locked shut again. It would have taken more time to open and close the doors than to work around them.

So, why am I telling you this very detailed story about moving packages?

Well, today I had planned to do a track run and then swim. I am about 5 days behind in my training; which means that I’m actually about a month behind in my training. Hence all of the two-a-days. I got up, did what I needed to do to get out of the house. Dropped the kids at school and ran two errands. After being almost an hour behind I ran a third errand. Then, I looked at my schedule for the day and it was basically blank. I just had a few easy computer things to do…..no serious commitments.

And then I thought about how my legs ached and it was kind of chilly and gloomy out. It wasn’t raining right then, but it had been and more was coming. I thought about a lot of things…..

I thought about how I haven’t spent much time with friends lately, not even talking because I’m not in a sharing mood.

I thought about how my relationship is going through a rough patch and I feel like everything I do to calm it doesn’t work but everything I do to fight for things makes it worse as well.

I thought about how upset I am with my sister and how our relationship is bad right now too.

I thought about how helpless I feel to change my current situation and how helpless I feel to help my family through some tough times they’re having.

I thought about my grandmother who is currently in the hospital with CHF far away in Iowa.

I admitted out loud, to myself, that I AM DOWN.

And then, I got in my car, ran one more errand and went home. I skipped working out today because I can. I did my computer work and then got some water, crawled under a blanket on the couch, and watched a little HULU. I took a me day, not to be sad and wallow, but to take care of myself. Today was not my day for working out, but tomorrow will be…..or so I thought.

And then the boxes arrived…..in the rain.

I tell you this story because I have one main goal behind this blog: Honesty. I am a fitness professional who sometimes struggles to exercise. I am not perfect and it doesn’t always come easily for me. And because I can be honest about this struggle, hopefully you too can be honest about the days when you struggle. And when we can be honest, we can also be compassionate. Today I took all of my heavy heart and let it sit and rest. I treated myself well and honestly recognized that today was not a good day to push any more than what I had.

A lot of bloggers I read write about the spoons…..about running out of them by the time they get dressed. I didn’t run out of spoons today. I still had enough left to lift those boxes and drag them into the garage through the rain that was pouring inside and out. I have enough left to parent my children and to be an active participant in my life. I am strong and not just physically.

Tomorrow will be another day and I will be out there running the streets with a smile on my face as wide as it will reach. But, for now, I’m going to go and dry off and get back to my snugly blanket + two kids.

 

What do you do when it’s a heavy lifting day for you?

How much honesty and compassion have you given yourself today?

2019 Wellness Wednesday Reset

I’m not making 2019 a year of anything right now. I am just trying to let life flow, but I feel like a blog still needs structure and a predictable format. So, I want to still do Wellness Wednesdays (and eventually alternate them with Workout Wednesdays). In 2018 I tried really hard to focus on my wellness and I did a great job of learning more about myself and standing up for things that made me well from time to time. This year I’m continuing that trend and stacking my wellness bit by bit. My body may not be a bank account, but I am definitely investing in my wellness.

So far I have been consistent in working out for the past 7 days. I had started a new routine before Christmas and quickly put it on hold that day. Why? Because I chose not to stress about my physical wellness at that time. Wellness means so many things that I needed to make sure that I was giving the correct balance to the areas that needed it during that time. I took Christmas Day off and then drove to Iowa the following days and spent time with family and drove back after the New Year. Then, the day after I returned….I started back up again.

Another area of wellness that I am working on this year is being more financially well. I have stopped using my credit card for anything that’s not A- work related for which I will be reimbursed or B- a serious emergency that I can’t cover at the moment. Knock on wood, but B hasn’t happened in a LONG time. Unfortunately, A hasn’t been happening as much lately either. Stopping credit card spending isn’t the only area I’m venturing into in this category, but I’ll write more about my attempts at #adulting as I go along.

My mental wellness is an area that was in major turmoil from about September 2017 until just recently. Mental wellness encompasses so many of the dimensions of wellness that it’s hard to define just one way of making yourself well. For me, as a fitness professional, it also has a lot to do with my physical fitness and my intellectual stimulation. If I’m not moving and not learning new things, then I suffer.

In the coming weeks I begin teaching Wellness Lectures again. I hope to keep pushing forward past just the posts on Moving, Self-Love, and Breathing that I’ve already written and to watch my wellness continue to grow this year.

Which parts of your wellness will you invest in this year?

Head Problems

So, it’s Thursday and I’ve debated whether or not to link up with the Think Out Loud crowd and decided at the last minute to say yes I will. I’m still writing today about the Distinctions in Rubin’s book that I started talking about the other day. You can read the first part here and the second part here if you like.

Today (and yesterday) I have been suffering from a bout of depression and a migraine that is threatening my sanity. I don’t get them often enough for anyone to do anything about them. For the most part I can keep them from getting bad. I usually down a Mt. Dew at the first sign of a smaller headache and I’m good. But I know when the big one is coming and a caffeine laced drink isn’t going to stop the storm. So, I am suffering through with the feeling that part of my head is going to pop off and roll away. I hate all noise. I hate all light. I hate standing up because I feel like I’m about to collapse. I hate food as the smell and taste make me nauseous.  But I taught today and I’m eating and drinking and pretending to be normal.

It’s part of my baby steps. And one of those steps was a goal I had last year….to get back in the pool. So, today I donned my swim suit for the first time that I can remember (probably since before my first son was born over 6.5 years ago) and I got in the pool. The tightness of my cap and goggles aggravated my migraine and I almost gave up before I started. But I told myself that I could do 20 minutes….and I did. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.

Why? Because I’m a finisher. I know that about me. I’ve had that same swim suit since I coached swimming in Colorado. I left that job in 2007. I like to wear things out….to see things through to the end. Starting new things on the blog and in life are always a little tumultuous for me. I think I’ve passed that trait on to my oldest. He cried today over old tennis shoes. I know the feeling….sometimes new isn’t as exciting as old is comfortable.

And that’s the last distinction… I think, that oddly enough, I’m a little more of a novelty lover. This seems to go against the idea of being a finisher and wearing things out, but I like things to be new in certain categories. This is part of the field I’ve chosen. I teach at colleges and universities…..each semester means new students. I might teach the same thing over and over again, but I tend to teach it slightly different than the semester before (or even the hour before). I like both the familiarity of teaching and the novelty of new ideas and experiences that it brings. I like the novelty of the ever changing fitness industry.

I like the novelty of moving to a new place and new faces and new running routes. But, it’s all the same at the same time. I like to see my same furniture in a new house against a new wall in a new arrangement. I like to see my same books on the shelves of a new office. I have had 20 residences in my lifetime, and yet, I still have the comforter that was on my bed in high school…..it’s been at all my residences since and still hasn’t worn out. I’m definitely a finisher.

What this tells me is that probably part of the reason I’m feeling down these days is because I have been in one place for longer than I’ve ever been before. My “new job” isn’t that new;  I’ve taught this class before….new school….same class….new students….same problems. I am still a little antsy about wanting my PhD and I feel like I haven’t been traveling much lately. Perhaps I just need a new adventure? Maybe it’s just a symptom of the moment?

What are your thoughts on familiarity vs. novelty and finishing vs. opening? Tomorrow I’m going to work on the next part of Better Than Before. I hope you’ll join me then.

The Word “DOWN”

I searched my old posts for the word “DOWN” today and found a fair amount for the past few years. Why? Because (although not currently formally diagnosed) I suffer from depression from time to time. It’s something I sought treatment for once in my life. Treatment that was offered didn’t work for me. It was a combination of medications and therapy. I found neither to be helpful. I’ve found exercise to be helpful and journaling to be helpful, but both are sometimes just patches on a gaping whole in my heart. Today the patch isn’t holding. Today I am down.

I decided to get on here and write instead of continuing to lay in bed and feel depressed. I can feel depressed and hopeless while not laying in bed. I also feel sad, scared, and angry. The anger is usually what motivates me to start moving. And then when I think about being angry and how it hurts to feel angry, I get sad again. And then I start crying and trying to figure out what would help. Time. That’s about it. I just need time to move from this state of being to the next state of being.

I read an interesting article on NBCNews.com the other day:

How Being Angry Can (Sometimes) Be Good for You

but I’m not interested in being angry right now. I want to feel good and good seems a million miles away, but getting out of bed is one of the first steps in the right direction. Writing here is my second step. This tells me a little more about how to be me:

I take little steps.

This was really evident in the way that I approached running awhile back. I wanted to get more consistent and faster, so I started running the shortest course I had and added on a little at a time. I need to remember that it’s not big steps that motivate me, it’s little ones.  And

I’m a marathoner.

When I work on a project, like myself or work, I take a long time to do it. Everything in life takes me time. And sometimes that means I have to step away from the work in order to better assess if I’m headed in the right direction. Today I needed to get in bed and just be for a minute….I needed to get away from life for a minute to reassess…and then start back up again. Even this far into writing and I’m already feeling a little more “normal”. Finally,

Sometimes I just can’t decide who I am.

When thinking about the promotion vs. prevention focused personalities I’d say I’m pretty much a split down the middle. Promotion focused individuals are looking for achievement; something I’m always seeking….to feel like I’ve finished something and done it successfully. Prevention focused people are seeking to avoid consequences like loss and punishment; this is also me. I am a health and fitness professional partly because I want to avoid the health problems that have been prevalent in my family members. I budget because I’m afraid of being in debt. I had a speeding ticket and am now terrified of getting another. Yet, I’m always looking for gains. Sometimes….I’m just not one or the other.

More of what I’ve learned about myself today is that it’s okay to be me, even when me is not who I want to be.

Please share a few of your thoughts and join me tomorrow as I finish exploring this portion of Rubin’s book.