The Body as a Gift, not a Tool

I had a disappointing turn of events last Sunday. I was having a totally normal day, normal workout, normal life stuff, when out of nowhere my lower back seized up and really started to hurt. By Monday morning I was in excruciating pain and other than getting older I couldn’t pinpoint a culprit. Not immediately, anyway. It’s now Friday and I haven’t “worked out” aside from gentle yoga specifically to soothe my back. What I have worked out however is the culprit and it wasn’t one dumb thing I did or my age… it was a lot of dumb things.

IMG_1354.JPG

As I’ve expressed before, I tend to have tunnel vision. I get really focused, I love a good routine, and I kind of forget to step back and observe my progress or take a break. If something seems to be working I go full steam ahead. This can be great from a productivity standpoint but other times… it really isn’t so great. Like, I have a hard time hanging out if something from work is on my mind.

For months now I had finally gotten a new workout routine that I loved. I was working out 6 days a week, eating pretty well, and seeing some incredible results in my body. I also just felt stronger in general. But what was once a dope ass workout plan quickly became this rote practice. Sure, there were days I took off because I was tired, or I decided to do yoga instead of something intense. But for the most part I worked out everyday, in the same sort of style, because it was easier than assessing any sort of goal or next steps. And my body first got used to it and then got sick of it (stopped seeing results) and then finally gave me the big middle finger with an injury. It’s always an injury that is my wake up call.

I’m sharing this not as a pity party but to make a point to the people following along with me. Sometimes having a solid routine and insane dedication to it, isn’t always what we need. And the what we do need is to listen to that little, tiny, baby voice way back in our heads. It has great ideas. For instance… for a couple of months I considered taking classes again, having someone teach me proper from for a number of things. I thought about taking low impact classes like yoga or pilates but couldn’t find the time. I am also terrified of pilates. I thought about switching up the routine into longer workouts for less days. I thought of it all but I didn’t act on any of it because what I was doing was safe and I was being kind of lazy.

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

But now that I’ve had the time off to consider all of this, I am re-dedicating myself to an actual healthy lifestyle. I will take the advice of the inner me; she really knew all along. I need to come up with some new goals, reassess my fitness style, find things that I love to do that push me in new ways, and let myself be led by others. It’s like, I know I have shit form for a lot of stuff, so I really need to get out there and learn from someone better. It’s embarrassing and super scary… but I really don’t want to get hurt again because I was being stubborn.

And stubborn I am. So, I want to know from all of you. What’s something in the back of your head that you know you could be doing better, but don’t? What’s that voice telling you? And I know this is hard because I would read stuff written by other people about this “voice” and I’d be like “I never ignore her!” But I secretly was. That’s how tricky this is!

I also wanted to make it a point to be open about this injury and the fact that I am not always right. I get a lot of messages on my IG stories about my dedication and how motivating it is but also how down people feel on themselves because they aren’t doing it the exact same way as me. Guess what, we’re all different and we all need to listen to what our bodies are telling us. They are gifts, not tools to a destination. What I need to remember is that there is no end to healthy living. It grows and changes with you. Better start adapting!

 

Advertisements

A New Borough & Drive Renewed

NYC
Moving absolutely depleted me. And for that I am grateful.

It doesn’t need to be explained again, but I am a person that enjoys feeling busy. Actually “enjoy” is probably too positive a word. I am a person that needs to feel busy, I find value in busy, and that is a very dangerous way to be. I fill my days to their max which in many ways makes me very accomplished but in many ways inefficient and completing tasks that don’t mean much to me.

Because I am a busy bee, I lack focus, and jump from one project to the next with reckless abandon wondering why I’ll never “publish that book” or “finish that collage” or just “get my shit together.” I know what I am like and I am trying, really trying, to change. (Mean it!)

Having to move forced me to focus. For the past three weeks my mind has been set on a singular project, with many different tasks, with a very strict deadline. It was all I thought about and all I worked on. I was focused and driven and exhausted! But… It got done. I moved. And I love my new place! I even found my passport after I panicked that I had lost it in the move.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Post Move//Pre AC & Bed Frame

The move reinforced what I already knew– that I work best under pressure and with an immovable deadline. Now to create those sorts of deadlines for myself… well… I am working on this. I need to find an accountability partner. (Taking applications now! Must be a hard ass!) Or a system that will place high value on real deadlines.

The move also showed me how much time I have in a day if I really dedicate it and direct it to one goal, not many. I was worn out, exhausted, and sore every night but I also was moving through my tasks on deadline (sometimes ahead of deadline) and went to bed each night with a sense of accomplishment and little panic about how I was going to get it all done. Because I was getting it all done. (The novelty.)

Moving myself, with no partner or roommates, was a terrifying task. But as I moved through the steps I realized that I was fully capable of doing it. I even called my mom and said, “Apparently I became an adult at some point and missed it.” Moving, like living alone, is not something you think you can do by yourself until you just do it by yourself.

And like my best friend, Kate, once told me, “Fear means go.” And so… as I shop for curtains and strange wall art I need to regain my strength to totally and completely drain myself with the projects that mean something to me. And to focus for crying out loud.

How Do I Build a Meaningful Life?

My first post after a long hiatus and I find myself deeply changed but not yet able to cope with those changes, or what they mean, or how they will alter the course of my life. What I am trying to learn, what I think we all wish to ultimately achieve in one way or another, is the ability to live in each moment. To be able to grasp the problems of our now and change it. Not to fret about the future or dwell on the past, but to handle what we can in our given moment with our given strengths and learned tools.

My now is that I find myself single. I find myself single and in New York City. I’m suddenly a television show. I’m suddenly a different person. I’m suddenly alone. I’m suddenly navigating single-dog-parentdom. I’m suddenly bleeding cash. I’m suddenly moving. I’m suddenly sudden.

I’ve approached this before. My personality and how I am happier when I am making others happy. Happier when there is a need for me. These days, there is little need for me. My dog, who is now definitely and without hesitation MY dog, Ajax, needs me. And I need me. That’s about it. And that’s hard for me.

The optimists say to look at this as a moment of rebuilding. I have a chance to completely change my life. I have the chance to add and remove at will. I could go anywhere, I could do anything, I can finally, finally, build my meaningful life.

But how do I get there?

I’m compelled to bring up Bridget Jones’ Diary. It has always been a favorite movie of mine, and one that I watch once or twice a year. I actually do prefer the film to the book, which is rare for me. It has always spoken to me, regardless of my relationship status, because at its root, aside from the love triangle and dashing men, it is a movie about building a meaningful life. It’s about creating a life that you love. And sometimes that doesn’t look like someone else’s life.

In fact, it isn’t supposed to look like anyone else’s life at all.

It’s supposed to look like mine. Yours is supposed to look like yours. How am I just learning this? How far deep has my head been buried under the sand?

I’m trying to dig out. After a vacation and indulging in many nights out with friends who nod their heads and celebrate my life and my choices, I’m here now. Back to my words, back to the keyboard, and back to discovering what it is that I was meant to be doing here on this planet. It’s hard to find myself back here again. Because where I once wrote from a joyful heart, I now write from a lost one. Like Esther Greenwood’s heart beat “I am, I am, I am.” I feel mine asking, “Am I? Am I? Am I?”

So it’s time to build my meaningful life. To throw away and add at will, to see what happiness is, to test the waters of many different things. To share with you what it’s like to start anew at 27. Whether I am ready to do so or not.

It’s easy to want to hide from the news that I am single. And I have been. Because it was so many threads unraveling from a very big blanket. It took a little bit of time, but the whole blanket finally unraveled. It’s still hard to explain and scary to share because I don’t want to be accused of airing dirty laundry. For some reason I still want to protect him, his reputation, his own meaningful life.

But then I realized there is a difference between dirty laundry, and what are facts of life. Facts of MY life. And those, I can share. Those I can tell you all about. My life with a blank slate. A slate that I’ve been eyeing for weeks but that I’m not quite sure I know what to do with it. What to say about it, what to write on it. I imagine it will come to me. It has to. It has to. It has to.

Because maybe that’s where I’ll find something that makes me, and only me, happy.