Friday, September 28, 2012
If I had a quarter for every time I said, or heard someone else say, "I'm going to get into shape" I'd have quite a few quarters ;) I believe it is one of the best goals you can make for yourself. Why do I think that? Because to accomplish that goal, you have to dedicate yourself to yourself and that, in my book, is aka: self love. And self love is an extremely important piece of life. Without self love, you can end up in all kinds of places that are not healthy to be.
But what about the pain? I don't read a whole lot about how painful it actually is to change your body. When I first started working out years ago, I wasn't walking well for a few weeks. My legs hurt that much. But I was doing what I was told was going to give me my goal of being "in shape." I was doing the power walking, the weights, the crunches. I wasn't naive enough to think there would be no aches and pains along the way, but I surely didn't read about it anywhere. Now, many years later, I admit that it is painful to change your body. I still ache after a run. I still ache after a really good ab workout. I've just changed how I look at the pain now. If I'm walking funny because my ham is hurting, I nod a little in acknowledgement of it because it means I had a darn good run the day before.
Then there's the other pain that many deal with. The emotional pain. Yes, that dreaded pain that no one likes to face, but can be the leading cause of turmoil for many people....me included. I recently stretched my hamstring and after nursing it back to health, I tried running again. The first run was a timid run for me, out of fear of re-injuring it and getting sidelined again. But I made it through and felt great about it. I threw ice on it almost the moment I walked in through the door, in an effort to ward off any "pain" it might bring. That method worked great for me. Then I ran again the next day. I went one mile longer than the night before. I hit the beginning of the 3rd mile and realized I wasn't going to beat my best time and while running, burst into tears. I know how important my timings are to me and to fail at beating the previous one was too much for me that night.
I continued that run, through the tears, and listened to what I was actually saying to myself in my head while working through it. My head was telling me to give up, to call it a night and try again in a few days. But my heart was telling me "damn girl, here you are in the dark after being awake for 14 hours, running your butt off and you're missing your best time by only 2 minutes. You are AWESOME."
I listened to my heart and not my head that night and finished up that run with the best time I could crank out, knowing full well I gave the best I could give to myself during that run....complete with tears and sweat. I've found that it's a theme in my life now to listen to my heart, rather than my head. My heart is the reliable one for me, my head is more of the impulsive, defensive part of me that was battered and scarred at one time, and is now in the stages of becoming in line with my heart which is filled with love and joy. I see the progress, though, in knowing which one of those parts I need to listen to right now and fighting through the tears that the other one brings at times.
There is hope, there is a different perspective out there and as always, I'm thankful for the gift I have of being able to look for the more positive one now. I treat that gift as an invaluable asset that I earned through pain.