checking in with my body and thoughts on "training"
I stopped working out last summer. My digestion couldn't handle the intensity. My belly ached. I felt heavy and weak. Interval training was out. Olympic lifting was a no-go. Climbing wasn't fun. I wanted to connect with my body and enjoy using it again. I wanted to climb. I wanted to play. Mostly, I wanted to feel good.
Without multiple doses of sweat at the gym every week, I found myself walking a lot more and adding miles to my daily treks. Along with walking, I practiced more yoga but not every day. I focused on healing my digestion through food. I wasn't actually eating so differently, but my mindset and approach shifted. Somewhere within all this, Dave noticed that I seemed less "stressed". The things I said mattered actually started to get the most of my time and my energy. I handled life, even as uncontrollable circumstances popped up. Acceptance lead to calm, the antithesis of stress it seems.
I connected to my center and stopped holding tension there. Really, I better recognized when I was holding tension, so I could let it go. It's something I'm still aware of and working on. I felt less achy. I didn't get "fat" or unfit when I gave up traditional exercise. Crazy as it seemed, my body fat actually dropped. The "abs" I've always fretted over, they're there now...once I stopped fretting...once I stopped dwelling over it and judging myself daily. Things fluctuate, even day to day, but I don't really care. Maybe they actually aren't "the abs I always wanted" but - without the distraction of bloating and upset - I can feel and appreciate the functional strength of my core.
I'm happy with my body.
I feel strong. I feel agile. I even feel beautiful. Practices I once approached reluctantly and fearfully, like hand and forearm stands, I am now throwing myself into (safely,) with child-like playfulness. Climbing is fun again. We make getting outside during the weekdays a priority, meaning we make time to do so. We turn "training" at the climbing gym into games. I laugh. I tease my ego. I fall plenty. I let myself struggle and feel uncomfortable.
All this said, I miss challenging my body and incorporating specific strength and power training. Dave built out half of the garage into a beautiful gym, and I've started to include training sessions. I find myself standing at an interesting crossroad, hoping to find a merging street.
The scientist and athlete in me wants to look at measurable, objective gains; but an intuitive voice is gently reminding me to let go of some of the rigidness seeping back in. If I want movement to fit into my days in a seamless, playful, and sustainable way, I need to open my arms to spontaneity and playfulness. I don't want to undo the healing that happened over these months.
I'm not quite sure what to track or assess or reflect over...
Gains in the gym? Push ups? Deadlifts? Climbing projects? Steps or miles walked? Mobilization standards? Less tangible outcomes? Body sensations? State of mind? Feelings of agility and rested-ness?
What I do know is that greater awareness has better tuned me into my body, and intention in this area seems to be the way to nurture this connection.
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