Sunday, March 20, 2011
I wrote that defiant blog yesterday, "No Matter What" as my statement that at least THIS weekend, anything that happens is not going to get me down. My training program called for 5 miles on Saturday and 9 today. But, I had this restless spirit and a desire to go have a long walk in the brisk near-Spring breezes. And I did.
I wound my way to the bike path that heads Southeast through the suburbs, and walked 4.1 miles to a big box store, where I needed to pick up a couple of pair of slacks for work. I did so, and then walked on home.
One aspect of this walk was the freedom to hike across open fields to get from the trail to the store, and from the store back to the trail. Walking through stubble and grass is a totally different kind of workout from walking on sidewalk or trail. It has its own need for balance and strength. It reminded me again of my childhood, when I would walk to a mall that was about a mile or so from my parents' home. It, too, was surrounded by fields, and I would take the short cut across the fields. Who wouldn't?
And I thought about my grandmother. I blogged about her last Summer, but she didn't drive... walked everywhere or took the bus or a cab (on really special occasions).
And this morning, I tried on those pants... and they are too big and I'm going to have to take them back and exchange them for a smaller size. Sigh. Guess I still don't know how big or little my body is!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Life is full of "stuff"... and a lot of it has tumbled into my world of late. But I'm not unique. Everybody's life has "stuff". We all have work stress (or sometimes out of work stress). Every one of us at some point or another will lose a loved one. Or a pet. No one is immune from having an accident or injury. I have yet to meet a human being who never embarrassed him or herself. We all have relationship issues from time to time, being human.
This is the basic, laid-back Barb attitude, the "helper" personality type. Cut everybody else some slack. But the risk of the helper personality type is putting the needs of everyone else ahead of yourself. Eventually that leads to an internal build-up of unmet needs... burnout or outburst is the likely outcome.
Or, in the case of the compulsive eater, not wanting to have the outburst... an eating binge. Weekends are my weakest time... no structure of work day to keep me on track. Rest days from my training plan are also weak times.
This weekend, this is not going to happen. If I have needs, I will talk about them (or write about them), I will not eat over them. I will not suppress them, or pretend I do not have them! I will cry if I need to. I will walk it off, if I need to. But I will live it. For me. I will reward myself. I will put my own oxygen mask on!
No matter what.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I have recently walked home from work. Once last Friday, once last night. It is 6.2 miles from the office to the house. This brought back memories of walking home from school. Remember when you were a kid? This applies to us over-50's mainly!
1. The family had one car. Dad took it to work, unless Mom needed it for something special, in which case he took the bus.
2. There were no school buses in our town, except for field trips. You got there by walking, and only got a ride if somebody's mom had the car for the day... even then only if it was really cold or wet outside!
3. We lived anywhere from six blocks to two miles from a given school, depending on whether we're talking elementary (six blocks), Junior High (mile and a half), or High School (2 miles).
4. We got where we needed to go by walking!
5. Our moms really believed that kids should play outside whenever possible.
Did we think about fitness or consciously exercise? Not unless you were going out for an athletic team. BUT... our lives made us fit! We were clocking two miles a day even in elementary school, because we walked home for lunch. In high school, until the driving kicked in... it was four miles a day.
Several thoughts occurred to me as I walked last night (besides enjoying my MP3 tunes)...
As a kid, the walk to and from school was just a chore. As I got older I started to appreciate more what I was walking past. First, I was walking past people's homes. Some have lovely gardens or plants, which give delight as the seasons change. The pride the owners have in their little places of refuge shows. I first started noticing this in my high school years.
This week, I chose to walk through some residential neighborhoods and across some parks as well as making use of our town's extensive hiker/biker trails. This is a great town for walking. I noticed that pride in ownership in the neighborhoods. I noticed kids out riding bikes or playing in yards. I noticed I was not alone in using human powered means of transportation... some people regularly bike to work.
My walk may be a little longer than others. It may take quite a bit of time, which I don't have every day. An hour and a half to walk home isn't practical for most people, but there are a lot of commuters in this country who have a drive nearly that long! When I walk, I am living in the now. I am seeing real life. I am a part of my community.
And it doesn't get a whole lot better than that.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Yesterday on one of my break walks from work I passed a group of kids, playing on the capitol lawn. Some were running down the gentle slope, just for the joy of the moving. One little girl was rolling down it, "log" style. She was grinning with sheer joy. I smiled and continued my walk with a lift in my spirit.
After work, I left the house in the warm late afternoon sunshine and hiked around a nearby park. Part of my walk was across the top of an earthen dam that forms a small lake. On that dam top the wind is at its strongest, and it was a breezy day, for sure. Any joking comments about "if you lose any more, you'll blow away" took on a near-literal meaning and I almost giggled thinking of them... except I was leaning into the wind to stay on the ground!
There is something so invigorating about facing the wind. And it occurred to me: this is why!
I keep moving so I can have moments like these. Here's to the moments of now!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Yes, the title says it - the battle of "why"!
I guess that's it: why maintenance can be so difficult. It is sometimes a struggle to even remember WHY I'm doing this. When self-pity, fear and anxiety creep in... when comparison to others and the competition factor blind sides me... and when I want to give more to other areas of my life and think I can steal it from taking care of the business of self-nurture... I am at risk of losing sight of why it's important.
So, let's review: WHY is it important to ME?
1. Because if I want to give more to those other areas of my life... I'd better be healthy enough to do so. Taking care of my health is not taking away from the rest of life's activities, it is supporting everything I do. "Put on your own oxygen mask first, THEN help others."
2. Nursing hurt feelings over comments made by others is not going to make them go away. Eating to mask them only lets me be in denial about the feelings, it doesn't heal the feelings. Work on real healing. That starts with honesty to myself. Forgiveness and communication follow.
3. Let's talk about performance anxiety, because that is an element in this most recent lapse. I had this lofty performance goal for the half marathon, not set by me, but I bought into it. It looks at this point in training like it won't be in my reach. I have to admit I'm afraid of letting someone else down. That's really what it is.
Be proud of being able to go the distance, let's not talk about speed... and let's not throw road blocks in the way of doing my best by self-sabotage!
This is who I am now. I am not that hide-in-a-cave slouch-on-the-couch person. I am strong. I am capable.
WHY? Because I can. Because I must. Because it is a part of me.
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