One of the things I love about traveling is that it puts me in a new context and can make me feel like a different version of myself. Most of the time that’s a rewarding experience — I get to try on new ideas and patterns to see what’s a keeper. But sometimes, being in an unfamiliar place also creates a sense of not feeling like myself. After 10 (wonderful, fun, exhausting, awesome) days of tramping around Pennsylvania — eating verboten treats, relaxing with my family, taking in the scenery, meeting new people, exploring Philly neighborhoods, skipping workouts, enjoying the front row of the Bruce Springsteen show, and missing meditation — I’ve been not quite myself. Add in the continuing thyroid experimentation, and I’m feeling a bit unmoored.
Yesterday morning I was overcome with an undeniable desire to move. It’s been a few months since I tackled a CrossFit style workout, but my body feels like it can handle a high-intensity workout once or twice a week now, as long as I rest and refuel afterward, so I dug up an old WOD to start my day. It’s a modification of a workout created at CrossFit Central a few years ago when they did a series of WODs named for clients and made one for me.
30 box jumps
20 dumbbell push press, 15# DBs
I finished: 2 full rounds + box jumps + push press
Hatha Star yoga: lots of stretching hips, legs, and feet to make us grounded
My performance wasn’t remarkable. Just an everyday WOD to make me sweat — but it felt Good. Right. Since I stopped training hard last November to deal with my hormonal downward spiral, I’ve lost some of my fitness. But that’s the kind of thing that comes back! I felt encouraged, rather than disheartened by my workout. I know how to do this: do the work, rest, fuel, repeat.
I think when we take long breaks from training — for injury, because life gets overwhelming, when we’re traveling — we think to ourselves, “Now I have to start all over again!” But that’s unnecessarily harsh, judgmental, and unfair to ourselves. When I started CrossFit in 2008, I couldn’t do box jumps at all; yesterday I did 90. Sure, they were slow, but I’m capable of doing them so I’m not really starting over. I’m just picking up a thread that was dropped a few months ago. Are you in a place where you feel like you’re “starting over?” Now might be a good time to take stock of where you are and recognize you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting fresh.
To cooldown after my workout, I wandered across the street to take a look at the mosaic-in-progress in my neighbor Stef’s yard. (She’s the artist who created a bunch of the pottery we used in Well Fed photos.) Mixed into the mirrors and rose patterns are quotes from the famous, the infamous, and the loved. I’d never really slowed down to read them before, but because I was killing time, waiting for my heart rate to return to normal, I took a few minutes to read them, left to right…
If you decide to make someone the enemy and you’re pushing very hard against them, you don’t affect them at all, but you disconnect yourself from the stream.
Martin Luther king understood his worth. He had his god moment.
The world is not set up so that it is easy to be a righteous occupant of it. Award yourself handsomely for any progress made in this department. — Johnny Walker
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.
It was 101 and his hair looked fantastic.
It’s gonna be all right.
Just as I was chewing on the words It’s gonna be all right and gut-checking myself to see if I believed it, I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the mirror shards. I almost didn’t recognize myself at first. I’d been feeling sad, old, tired, and puffy for the last few days, but the girl gazing back at me didn’t look like any of those negative things. My cheeks were flushed from my workout, and my eyes had that fierce thing I get when I’ve just stared down a workout. The thought bubbled up into my consciousness: It’s me.
I visited FIT at the University of Texas last week to have my body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate tested (That whole story is coming soon.) so I have data to help me plan my new course of action. I’ve started my Armour treatment for my thyroid, I’m eating 100% Whole30 clean, and I’m revamping my training routine to include a little bite of CrossFit here and there. It’s a fresh start on the road to being me. Again. Still.
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