Hey all! I’ve returned from three weeks of gallivanting around the UK with my hubs and am slowly settling back into real life. In the coming weeks I plan on sharing a few of the more interesting parts of our trip with you, getting back to working the steps for my body image project , and of course chatting lots about running, yoga, and all things fitness.
I really missed you guys while I was away! This community has become such a fun and inspiring part of my life; I really get so much out of the engagement that comes from opening up and sharing bits of my story with you. Thanks to all who followed me on Instagram during my blogging hiatus. I had such a blast having you along for the ride and taking your suggestions as we traveled from place to place.
Bit by bit, I’m getting back to some semblance of a routine. This weekend, I was in my usual Saturday morning yoga class and I had a bit of an epiphany. As I went down into triangle pose and started to feel my hips open, my mind traveled to an all too familiar place. I started to think about the run I would have the next day–where I would do it, how far I would go, the intensity. Then I stopped…
It’s really easy to say that I am focusing on staying in the present. I realize now though that actually doing it requires living with much more intention than I have previously. They say that if you want something different, you’ve got to do something different. You can’t carry on with the same old habits and expect results you’ve never experienced.
So when I desperately wanted to avoid that Sunday night dread that arrives before the first Monday back to work, I started to think about what I might have to do differently. Not planning every single minute of my life for the next week seemed to be key. That meant in that yoga class, at that moment when my mind got away from me, I pulled it back. I said to myself, “listen girl, you might die tonight and then your run tomorrow is a non-issue, just be here where you are, now.”
It worked. I had an amazing class. I thought since I was a little out of practice I would feel tired and stiff and maybe even sit out of a posture or two. But when I took each pose as the challenge of the moment, I stopped worrying about any difficulties I might have down the line. Each asana got my full energy (usually the posture I’m in gets about 60% and the other 40% is going to a pose later in the series, or even the next day’s workout!)
This experience was eye opening. It led me to resist all the normal planning and prepping I would do for a new week. I didn’t plan all my workouts. I didn’t make a mental note of what I would cook for dinner each night. I even skipped my normal Sunday cleaning of our apartment (I swear our place isn’t gross, we did a DEEP clean before we left so it’s really fine!). I also didn’t pore over googlemaps for an hour trying to figure out the best route to my new (more annoying to get to) office. I just didn’t.
So far, this is what’s happened: I had a rest day on Monday but did deep stretches for about 20 minutes in the morning before taking a shower. This left me rejuvenated and limber for Tuesday morning where I had a great lift and the best interval run I’ve had in months. Monday night I didn’t think about what I was going to make for dinner till I was on the subway coming home from work. When I got to our apartment I opened the fridge and got inspired as soon as I saw basil. I made lamb burgers topped with sheepsmilk feta and basil with a lovely cumin mayo on the side. I even chopped up a few herbs to mix into the salad I served with it (highly recommend. Takes a simple salad to a different level. I get lazy and skip it often but when I do remember…wow!) Oh, and I’ve now taken two different routes to work (and might take a different one tomorrow since I think I’ll be coming from yoga) and I’m quite close to narrowing down what works best for me.
So turns out life happens (and can even turn out okay) when you don’t plan each step and obsess over every detail. Spending parts of my day imagining or foreshadowing everything that might go wrong on a future day, doesn’t really give me anything. It doesn’t make those future days better or less stressful. I’m not more prepared because I let my mind spin around on the same situation for hours and hours. Really, all that living in the future does is take away from my present. That racing thinking lifts me out of whatever experience is in front of me and keeps me in a place where I’m always looking ahead to the next thing. Living like this, anxiety is inevitable.
I know now that the only way to get better at staying in the present is to practice it–even in the smallest things. Cause really, it’s the everyday stuff that I might gloss over and think is mundane, that ends up blowing my mind when I’m fully there to experience it. Fucking basil! Who knew?
So glad to be back guys. Let me know, what’s going on with you? Have you had a great run, a good meal? What blew your mind today? Do you ever screw mile 2 cause you’re worried about how you’re gonna complete mile 4? Tell me about it!