This week I also intend on exploring the strength of my body a little more. Think: vinyasa yoga, Pilatess barre and 5km beach runs.
That was my declaration as I wrapped up last week’s Self-Centred Sundays, and – holla! – I was onto something.
Active Living (a term coined by Lorna Jane) is an unwavering theme in my life right now.
I’m chomping at the bit to get moving.
MORE, written by Lorna herself, arrived in the mail this week.
Hell, yoga and Pilates are even hanging out in my astrological chart at the moment, I kid you not!
You could be hitting the gym hard or adopting a core-based practice (the sixth house rules the abs) like yoga, Pilates, even belly dancing.
But before I share with you how utterly amazing I feel, a back story.
I’ve been a little afraid to exercise.
I have a history of over-exercising and self-loathing.
I dead lifted till I couldn’t walk.
I used to leave the club at 5am – high as a kite – to make it to volleyball training by 6am. And there I’d stay, for 3 hours of elite-level strength and conditioning. There were times, after training, when I was sitting in my car, gulping down a protein shake from the service station across the road, that I thought I might literally die. My body was ablaze with nausea and franticness. I couldn’t recognise my face in the rear view mirror. I couldn’t think straight. I’d tremble.
My addiction to my Party Girl identity spoiled exercise for me for a good long time. Once my volleyball career finally did walk out on me, I still trained hard; I trained angry. I didn’t know that there was another way. Nights out on the piss would mean that I’d have to ‘punish’ my body with a gruelling spin class. I’d stack too much weight while bench pressing. I’d run my little legs out, and never bother to stretch. I clung to every statistic in Women’s Health magazine and ate meat 5 times a day, so I could look like one of ‘those’ women.
It was high-energy, high-stress, high-hatred.
So you see, it has been difficult, abrasive even, re-discovering exercise, particularly after returning to a somewhat ‘normal’ lifestyle. When I was snowboarding for those four-odd years, I would have scoffed at your exercise regime, cuz baby, ‘those mountains up there, that’s my gym.’
And it was good for me. It saved me. Snowboarding brought me back into my body. It filled my lungs up again. It made me cry with aliveness.
And then I came back to Australia. And I started a business. And I would sit at my computer for 14 hours a day. And my body starting changing again. And just like that 21 year old, trembling in the car with her protein shake, I started to not recognise the girl staring back at me in the mirror. She was bigger. Swollen. Puffy. She was blogging about living a vibrant life, and well, she didn’t look too vibrant.
I was scared to move. Scared to sweat. I didn’t want it to be hard anymore. I had ingrained, deeply sketched memories of exercise being married with suffering. With unreachable goals. With unrealistic expectations.
My work in personal development, alongside my commitment to spiritual practice, has changed everything. ‘Strive’, ‘achieve’ and ‘should’ are words that don’t exist in my world anymore; they’re like planets that live far, far away.
I adopted ‘gentle’ as my new life speed, promising my body that we’d step it up only once she was ready. No more battling. No more forcing.
I started with walking. Soon after, Glen and I started running along the beach.
I had a feeling yoga would crack me open, and it did. I was nervous to get back on the mat, but I remained present, remembering that ‘where I am right now, is perfect’.
When my body was ready – for more strength, more sweat, more endorphins – we tried Pilates Barre. And we celebrated in a hilarious, alive heap as our butt took days to climb the stairs without the tender, but oh-so-worth-it soreness.
This body of mine is stronger than I ever thought it was. It’s endured a lot in my short time on this planet, and you know, moving it just feels plain good.
Yoga teacher training cements me in my practice and opens my body up to limitless possibility. Pilates makes me feel powerful and feminine. Beach runs make me smile as the water laps at my feet. Hikes with my honey bring out my adventurous spirit.
It was a nervous journey; this one of getting back into a rhythm of Active Living, but one absolutely worth navigating.
Can you accept – I mean, truly, madly, deeply accept – that your body is the way it is right now? Can you accept it, be with it, and love it (even just a little).
There’s a lot of – dare I say it – ‘unwholesome inspiration’ out there. Start where it’s easy, beautiful. Your body deserves it.
How I celebrated Self-Centred Sundays this week
I had the most divine day. Early morning yoga, runs along the bustling Burleigh esplanade, juices and smoothies, arts and crafts on the deck, and I even snuck in a few hours of Vitamin D – in the middle of winter! I’ve gotta say, I’m a little bummed that myfavouriteshowinthewholewideworld, Elementary, is now finished. Obsessed with that program (or, it could just be Johnny Lee Miller).
Oh, and Universe, here’s a visual reminder of what Glen and I are manifesting for the new year. You got the memo, right?
Here’s how YOU celebrated! Hashtag that shit #selfcentredsundays
It’s a creative time, right now (can you feel it?), so I’m-a ride this energy out and go where it bends and sends me.
I’ll keep writing, keep moving, keep sitting in the silence. Keep doing my job. Keep smiling.
Like I said, no striving. 😉
I want to hear about your relationship with exercise. Where are you at? What resonates? Are you resisting? Let me know in the comments.