Do you ever find it fascinating the difference between who you see yourself as and who you actually are? Listen, I'm going to be honest, I'm having a hard time adjusting to getting older. Granted, I know I'm not that old and some still call me the "baby" of most of my groups of friends, but carrying all this extra weight for my entire life is starting to really age my body and I feel it. My hips are out of whack, it's easy to injure my back, my shoulder, my anything... joints pop that never did... and we won't even get started on my feet and heel spur issues. And I haven't even had kids yet! I can't imagine starting a family right now... bearing a child, having to carry said child around... I can barely carry ME around!
I was at the gym yesterday doing some interval training on the bike and a recurring thought came to me. When I was active in boot camp, I didn't weigh too much less (10-20 lbs I'd say) and I was in the shape of my life. I was SO fit and felt so great all the time. I knew my body could keep up. Once my feet started really bothering me, some of my walking/hiking activities were sharply cut back, but in the gym, my body was ready, willing and ABLE. I felt like an athlete. I knew I could out perform most of my thinner friends who did not exercise like I did.
And now, as I lift weights with 3-8 lbs hand weights and can only do the bike for cardio, I think, "where did the athlete go?" Because I still feel her with me. Inside I feel like this:
But the second I realize I'm NOT that right now, I feel like this:
Granted, I realize that WHO and WHAT I am is neither of these, but it's how I can feel about myself sometimes. A round, strong, capable and easy-moving warrior is within me, but when I cannot find her... when I find my body not respond to my heart and head the way I expect it to, I feel like the slovenly lazy pig.
So I have to find out how I get back to getting my actual self more in line with the image of myself considering my limitations lately. I have to schedule time at the gym. I need to give my body some self care stretching time (which I almost never do, but desperately need). I need to rope in friends who are willing to work out with me sometimes. I need to do things that are totally out of my comfort zone (like a cycle class) and to the best I can without going full bore ahead because classes like that are things I can make notable improvements in and won't have to injure my feet. I need to NOT GIVE UP.
I'm creating an action plan. And I'm waking each day with intention. I'm starting each work out and stretch session with intention. I call deep within myself and I beg that inner athlete... the warrior within, to show herself once more. I don't wait for her, I take steps each day to entice her to me. You create the life you want. Sometimes it just takes time and reminders and more effort than you think you have sometimes. But I perservere.
There is no other choice.