Balance, whether on the yoga mat or juggling all the to-do’s in life, without it something will always be missing. The holidays threw me off balance for the end of 2017. Family, friends, dinners and celebrations filled my calendar; along with an exciting trip to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl and coming home with the flu that took me out for almost three weeks! During that time on the couch, I couldn’t think more about just wanting to be healthy! After a month of not having any sort of exercise, I resumed my yoga practice on Sunday, followed by a total sweat session at Vie Athletics (an awesome all-women gym in Tacoma, WA.) yesterday.
I am sore and felt a little discouraged in class, feeling out of shape. Then I remembered training for a half marathon a couple years ago. At first, a mile was hard to run, non-stop. Then after adding a mile each week, I would find myself running ten miles on a Saturday morning, no problem. What seems impossible, can be possible, with a little training and effort. Yesterday I could barely do a push-up or plank. My core feels weak and it is if I am starting all over again. But, that is OK. In fact, I am a little excited about it. I have some motivation, now is my chance to get back in the game. It is never too late, to start something new or try again. I am 37 now. I have been fit before and if I want to be fit again, I can make that happen. I don’t expect to be as fit as I was at 24, but I would like to see the best I could be now. Instead of wanting to be skinny, like I have in the past, I want to be healthy and strong. My priorities have changed! After going through the flu, the first time as an adult, I am reminded how important good health is. It is something many take for granted, until we no longer have it.
So here I am, for the downward dogs, one minute planks, healthy meals, carrying my water bottle and getting rest… and flow…
If you are in the Tacoma, Washington area and would like to check out a new yoga studio or gym, Expand Yoga http://www.expandyoga.com and Vie Athletics http://www.vieathletics.com are great and welcoming!
I have been riding my bike more frequently and decided it was a good idea to sign up for a class at REI regarding bike care. A friend of mine was interested as well, so we registered for the free class together. I had never been to that REI location, even though it was close to home. Arriving to the store a half hour early, gave me some time to wonder around and check out their merchandise. I was instantly reminded how much I love being active and how lucky I am to live in the Pacific Northwest, where adventures are right outside our doors. For being a Tuesday, it was out of routine to go to a class, rather than the gym and I at first struggled with the idea. Class began and the instructor was not only informative, but funny as well. I learned how to change a tire, clean my bike properly and what items are good to carry on a bike ride. I realized there is much more to know, but I am new to the cycling world and I am still learning. I definitely recommend taking a class at REI, if you are interested in a new hobby, especially since many of them are free.
If we want to change things in life, we have to step out of our comfort zone. Doing something out of routine can introduce new passions and hobbies. Life isn’t meant to always stay the same and doing new things help us grow! I encourage everyone to try a new adventure or hobby… you may just find you like it!
Sometimes I wonder why we know what makes us happy, but we chose not to do it. Before traveling to New Zealand earlier this year, I was in love with my yoga practice. I was going 3-4 times a week and to the point, I was questioning whether or not I should become a yoga instructor. I was far from doing a perfect headstand and my left hip still wouldn’t stretch the way I wanted it too, but yoga gave me a sense of peace that I needed. In a hectic world that we live it, it felt rewarding to be quiet with myself for 60 minutes, unable to check my phone or even having to speak. I would go into class feeling tense and come out relaxed. Each month that went by, I wondered why I wasn’t going to class. There was always an excuse I had in my head. It cost too much. It was already too hot outside. It was going to be hard again. On Sunday, I decided that it was time to give up the excuses and get my yoga pants back into class. The instructor remembered my name as soon as I walked through the door, which made me feel a little guilty. I wanted to explain that it wasn’t anything personal, but she was just all smiles and welcoming. I spread my mat down and laid on my back. I instantly felt at home again. Class began and I realized I had hardly stretched in the last six months that I have been gone. I was tight all over. The hour was tough and I am still sore two days later. But, yesterday when the day became hectic, I felt an inner peace inside of me, that I knew I could thank yoga for. I am happy to be back to my practice and once again doing what I know makes me happy!
I worked out for three weeks in the morning before work, finding myself each day exhausted by lunch time. Yesterday, I took a nap in my Jeep in the parking lot at work and decided, I don’t want to work out in the morning anymore. Here is the thing; yes I enjoyed getting my workout done for the day, but the cons outweighed the good in hitting the gym early for me. I wasn’t able to workout as hard as I do in the evening, just because I felt like a zombie, not fully awake yet. I hated getting ready at the mirror in the bathroom, sharing a space next to other women that didn’t speak to each other (felt awkward!). I didn’t like lugging all my shit there. I didn’t like feeling hungry and grumpy all morning from being tired and burnt out from exercise. And, I found myself just going home after work, making food and drinking wine, to sit on the couch for too long before bed. Yes, I am tired after work, but I like the extra burst of energy a night gym session gives me. I like getting ready in the morning with all my stuff. Working out at night gives me something to do rather than just sitting on the couch. So, I am going to switch up the routine again. I am still learning myself, still trying to find the balance of what works best for me and like they say in yoga, I am a work in process. I have to admit sleeping in an extra hour felt like being on vacation this morning! I naturally wake up at 7am, and maybe I would someday get to 6am being the norm, but at this point in life, why? I like staying up until 11 at night reading and spending time with my boyfriend I haven’t seen all day. And I know that I need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night or I feel like a zombie. I feel like, finding a routine that works best for the most sleep, energy, well being and productivity is my ultimate goal. Having a nightly routine of shutting off the cell phone, taking a bath, relaxing while reading a book is the best way for me to unwind. Being able to get ready and look my best in the morning, helps me feel good all day. It is the little things I am finding that make a big difference in the quality of life.
All last week, I hit it hard in the gym, waking up an hour earlier, to fit in a work out. That left me with the nights, available to go for a bike ride or take my dogs for a walk. I was motivated and with the scale slowly going down, it was that extra push to get up each morning. I thought it would get easier, with this being the second week. I was wrong.
I question if I will ever naturally be a morning person. I have had multiple attempts and have came to the conclusion on several occasions that I am a born night owl. Who am I kidding? I was the girl that like to stay out all night and party, sleep in til 11 and not set my alarm. But, there comes a time, a few times out of the year, where I get the urge to give this morning routine, one more shot. Although I appreciate my free evenings, with the choices to do whatever it is I please, without the pressures of having to make it to the gym; I find myself lost at a decision as what to do with my extra time. Last night I made dinner, laid out with my book and a glass of wine until the sun started to go down, continued my book in a bubble bath and felt it was bed time. The problem was it was only 8:45pm and still light outside. I somewhat forced myself to go to sleep, since I have been beyond zombie like tired all week, but woke up feeling the same as a late night bedtime and pressed snooze for forty-five minutes before getting out of bed.
Is there any hope for me?
It makes me question if this waking up early and going to the gym thing is really worth all this tiredness? In addition to not knowing what to do with myself after work, I am too tired to stir up any motivation to be creative. Will this tiredness pass? Shall I continue to be a zombie in hopes of eventually becoming the desired morning person? I will give it a month, any more than that, and I don’t think I can handle the brain fog and fatigue any longer. If this all works out and I can become one of those consistent earlier rises, I will need to figure out what to do with all this extra time!
This whole week I embarked on a new routine of going to the gym in the morning before work. It hasn’t been easy. I am not a morning person naturally and tend to wake up all through the night (I am working on better sleeping habits as well). But, tired or not, I got up anyways and went to the gym. I put out my gym clothes the night before, packed my bag with a towel, items to get ready and an outfit for work. The first day, I was excited of course because I was doing something I had set out to do. The second day was a little tougher, as well as the next. Although this morning, was no different in that I was exhausted, I felt a sense of accomplishment of making it to Friday and achieving my goal. Being able to go grab dinner at the waterfront on our first Sunny day in Seattle felt great, because I knew I had already got my workout done for the day. On other days, instead of spending my evenings at the gym, I have gone on bike rides and walked my dogs. Getting some fresh air is equally important to me regarding my health. It feels good to finally be taking action and being on the right track, literally.
I went from being a lazy couch potato to being active again, this past weekend, just like that. I was literally sitting on the couch with my laptop, watching a movie and eating pizza, reading about how to get your mojo back. I read about being in the bad habit of sitting on the couch with your laptop and watching mindless television, looked down at myself and decided enough was enough. Although I was not feeling like doing anything, but being lazy, I forced myself out of the house. I took the dogs down to the park and went for a long walk. I immediately felt better. I’ve have been wanting a more passionate life, but one cannot seek passion- action creates passion! I created a list of all the things I have been wanting to try. I had no reason to be lazy and plenty of things I have been wanting to try. The next day, I made a healthy breakfast then got in the Jeep for an adventure. I drove out to the mountains and hiked Squak Mountain with my dogs. I started to feel alive again and could feel my “mojo” coming back. I went to the store and bought healthy foods to eat for the week and prepared them in easy take away bags. I made a choice that I no longer want to wish for more energy and passion, I am going to make it happen. I packed up my outfit and make up for the next day, set my alarm and was at the gym at 6:30 am this morning. With summer coming, I don’t want to spend my evenings in the gym, I want to get that out of the way, so I can go on bike rides and walks in the sun.
Anything we want in life, is just one choice away. Each day we can decide what we are going to do with our time and if the choices we make take us closer to our goals.