Archive for December, 2010
I completely fell off my yoga mat in September. As in falling off the wagon kind of falling. I started a new job with a commute long enough for two travel mugs and a thermos, consequently somehow over 20 years of practicing nearly every day just vaporized.
I have to tell you it hurts in ways I never imagined. It hurts in my hips, the sides of my legs, my neck and my back. Its as though I aged 10 years in three months. I swear. I have come to believe all people over 40 should do some sort of yoga every day, and so today is my first day back.
Coincidentally, I had two different conversations with two different people today about beating themselves up over falling off of the exercise wagon. I am here to tell you it happens, and its no big deal, you just get back on. Life is not over. You are still a good person and people will still love you. Just stop the berating voice in your head, you know the one (and if you asking yourself which one, that would be the one) and get back at it. Channel the energy you want to use to beat yourself up into building yourself up.
On that note, I am about to go unroll my mat…
Sometimes the Fitness Movement is dumb, says the consummate fitness professional. Dumb because in the myriad of options and gimmicks available, the joy of moving for its own sake gets lost. If complex periodized programs, fancy gyms or expensive equipment work for you, then great, keep it up. If not, simple unstructured activities like blasting Santana and boogeying around the living room, running through every puddle you can find, or yodeling like tarzan atop a big hill are fun, cheap, easy and great exercise. Plus it feels great to let ‘er rip.
What about you? How might you bust a move?
Earlier this year I wrote about the joys of running at 5:00 AM in the dark with my Petzl headlamp. Yes, I was serious and yes I did admit to being a wee bit mad. Sadly, its all irreleavant now anyway as I started a new job this past September – one that involves a commute long enough for two venti-sized travel mugs full of good strong tea – and my whole life has been turned upside down.
I love my new job, but the culture where I work highly values commitment and dedication. So much so that booking an hour a day for lunch, (which for me means exercise) has been a real struggle, and I find myself often feeling as though I need to defend it.
The past few weeks have been chockablock full of meetings (which means way too much time sitting) with no time to think, reflect or plan, except when I am exercising. And so it has struck me that this one hour a day I set aside has become extremely valuable not just for my own personal health. Its also enhancing my work productivity significantly by creating space where I can think, sort through things, really consider options, proritize, plan and reflect. Consequently, I feel way more vibrant and alive in the afternoon. Well until about three anyway, when my chin inexplicably and involuntarily finds its way to my chest. Coincidentally, it seems to happen at the same time my eyelids close. In a meeting no less.
I”d like to tell you that I take off out running out the door and immediately loose myself in the sky, the trees and the fresh air, but the truth is I do some of both. I sort, file, organize and create space in my work brain, and I have some truly zen-fully-present-fully-alive Eckart Tolle moments.
The bottom line is my time huffing and puffing on the exercise bike, rowing maching and trails actually makes me better at my job. Its not only good for me, its good for my work. Nevermind that no one would work with me if I didn’t exercise an hour a day because I’d be so intolerable.
I miss starting my day off feeling like a Bering Sea Crab Boat Captain, but I am finding real joy and relief in exercising midday to. Our bodies were meant to move, and God knows my brain can use all the extra oxygen I can circulate. I think we should celebrate some form of exercise or movement as a necessary part of our work day, don’t you?