Well it is officially time to set a new goal!
My fitness has always been a priority for me. It is important for me to set an example as a fitness professional, but it also important for me to take good care of myself so that I can take good care of others. For the last five years, however, my fitness program has been centered around doing what it takes to manage pain and chronic fatigue. Eating right and exercising at lower intensity levels were required in order to combat chronic adrenal fatigue that was brought on by the emotional and physical toll of the harsh reality of life. To compound the struggle, I was also diagnosed with skin cancer earlier this year and I am plagued by cervical spine degeneration and cranky SI joint.
Throughout all of this, I knew exactly what I had to do to stay on my feet and working to support my family. I had to give up teaching group exercise, training for half marathons, and anything that required heavy lifting. I learned how to back off and rest. It was not an easy lesson for my hyperactive personality, but it was critical to my healing process. I did a lot of walking, structural strength in the weight room, and stretch/release work in order to come back strong.
The excellent news is that I can feel my strength and energy returning. I began teaching group cycle again after a three year break and each class brings a renewed love for the format, power in my legs, and an intense desire to get outside and ride. I am running again, too! I am slow and it is not for very long, but I finish with a big smile on my face because the joy is back and the pain is minimal in comparison to what I have dealt with in the past. I am swimming again. It is a time of peace and meditation for me and the movement keeps my neck loose and my shoulders strong. I am not going very far or fast yet, but I feel like a million bucks for the rest of the day after a swim.
Today I decided to sign up for a half iron-man triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.2 mile run). It has been on my bucket list for years. I need the motivation. I feel healthy enough now to take on the volume and intensity of training that will be required. I have a training partner committing to do it with me. We have five months to train. We are not trying to set any records or place in our age groups, we just want to do something different and train for a goal…just because. We are going to laugh our way through the saddle soreness, blisters, and freezing cold water temperatures. Most of all, its just going to be a heck of a lot of fun to get out in the fresh air and breathe again.
I think it is important to understand that life has a way of getting in the way of your dreams. That is okay, as long as you do not give up on them just because it gets a little complicated. Patience is the biggest gift that has come with the turbulence of the last half decade. Rolling with the punches and learning to adapt to the situation are valuable skills that hopefully will now assist me in the adventure of the next several months as I ramp up the workload and juggle responsibilities. I have been granted a wonderful opportunity to share that with others. I saw people working so hard and seeing awesome results. It was so hard not to be jealous of them. I kept reminding myself that my day would come.
It is my turn now and my hope is that others will join me.
To those of you who need rest, take it. Be patient and allow the body to heal. Fill it with healthy things that nourish, slow down and breathe, take days off, and know you will come back stronger for it.
Wherever you are in your fitness adventure, embrace it fully and smile, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
Originally posted on www.mindbodyunlimited.com