Breathing Deeply

It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything. Frankly, I wasn’t in the mood. Nor did I feel like I had anything to say. I even debated taking this site down and shuttering it. But I’m not going to do this. While this type of writing feels very narcissistic, I do enjoy it and it does help me. So I’ll keep going – I’m not writing as often and my posts (in my opinion) are not that interesting as they were back in my racing, training, and Belgium days – but this is just like life – it ebbs and flows and we find excitement and thrills in different ways.

I haven’t been myself lately. I’ve been in a funk. I was frustrated with being injured. I determined that I “hated” summer (the last two summers I’ve been very sick) and now this summer I’ve spent close to six weeks being injured. I’m pretty good at snowballing small things until I’m neck deep in an avalanche barely keeping my head up. I was grouchy. I was unpleasant. I was behaving like a spoiled child. Good grief, I don’t know how Marc tolerated it – he deserves a few medals for his patience and logical words. I completely lost perspective on how unpleasant things can really be.

And now here I sit. I’m working hard at finding the good things in each day. I’m reminding myself how lucky I am and how much I’d rather have sore feet than a cranky and angry colon.  The last couple of weeks have been pretty good. While I’m not back to running and riding (I did manage a 35 minute road ride on Tuesday), I am able to get back into movement.

I know many people can’t understand how important it is for me to move my body and to feel my strength and physicality. Many people just shrug their shoulders and say something like “so find something else to do”. Well, the thing is, moving my body is my hobby and my passion. I love riding my bike. I love running. I love going to yoga. I like lifting heavy things. This is what I like to do. So when people brush this off as nothing – it is hard. Really hard. At first I worried that I’m a one-dimensional person – someone who only likes to do one thing. But this is not the case. I like to do other things – but I like to move my body the most. I guess for many people, moving your body equates to exercise – and many people associate exercise with unpleasant feelings and sensations. (This is kind of the way I feel about gardening, shopping, watching a lot of television, and not moving my body).

One really great thing that has come from this injury is my return to yoga. I used to be an avid yoga student – I had found a very welcoming community at Mountaingoat Yoga studio in Barrhaven. Talented instructors. Very friendly students. Going there feels like a deep warm hug. I didn’t realize how much I missed this until I returned a few weeks ago. Some of the faces have changed but really it felt like I had never left. Getting back into yoga has been a blow to my ego – I used to be very bendy and quite strong. But this is okay. This is me now. I’m happy with this me and I’m working to get strong and bendy again. Most of all, I’m appreciating yoga for more than a physical work-out – I’m discovering how much a yoga practice can do for my peace-of-mind and overall quality of life.

So this is the story. Small steps forward – both mentally and physically. Really learning to look around and see the good in all that I am lucky to have.

(As for the next trail race or other sporting event… I don’t know. I received some great advice on Monday – I’m not registering for any events – if I feel good the week of, then sure I might register. Instead of a focus on this race or that race, I need to focus on the process of fitness/training and overall body care. It’s so easy to get caught up in training for a specific event that, if you’re like me, you lose sight of correct training, rest, recovery, how the body is feeling and the bigger picture.)

And now, here’s some photos – photos that make me smile and feel great inside and out:

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