A few years ago I decided to get back into running. I ran a little off an on for years, but I never really found my rhythm in it. I was a little overweight and not feeling that great about myself when I decided to sign up for a 5K. For some reason I had in my head that if I ran this 5k, it would be a good indication that I should train for a marathon. Yup, that’s how my brain works. Being able to run 3.1 miles translated somehow in my head that 26.2 would be no biggie. This is also a good time to let you know that I tend to be a little impressionable, and I had read one too many books that basically said anyone can run a marathon. I bought into it hard-core.
So 10 months after running my 5k, I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. It was amazing. Literally. I can’t even describe to you the feeling that you get. I would highly suggest you doing it. After each one I’ve done I’ve sworn it’s my last. After #4 I had the forethought to stop telling my husband it was the last one, I don’t think he believed me anyway.
I also have ridden horses for more than 20 years. I was your typical horse crazy girl growing up and never let it go. While I have not been blessed to own my own horse yet, I have ridden and leased some amazing ones in my life. I try to get out a few times a week with a girlfriend and enjoy every second of it as much as I did when I started all those years ago. It will be an even sweeter endeavor when I actually do have a horse to call my own ;)
I got seriously back into writing a few years ago as well. I always dabbled in story telling, jotting down beginnings and ends and never really getting around to filling out the middle. I wrote poetry, some pretty decent, most embarrassingly bad, throughout high school and college, but the idea of a longer story started appealing to me. Around Thanksgiving of 2009 I started writing Four Corners. I had some of the characters in my head, but it blossomed into something greater than I ever thought it would. After years and tons of editing, someone else finally saw the promise that it has. Now the sequel is eating up some of my free time, and any time I am not sitting in front of the computer getting the story out, I find my mind wandering over to it. It is hard to shut off at times and still focus on the other things that interest me in life.
In the middle of all of this just to give myself something else to do (because naturally I needed something else to do), I started taking some classes at the gym.
I thought I was a good dancer. So I decided to do Zumba. If Zumba taught me one thing it is this: I am a terrible dancer. Though it did teach me an important lesson, sometimes you can get the best ab workout just from laughing at yourself. To spare the world, I quit Zumba.
Next up was yoga. Now, if all of this gives you any insight into my personality, you may have realized that I am a busy person. I run marathons, ride horses, swim, like to travel, spend time with my husband, friends, and family, work a full time job, and write novels (OK, maybe I sound more crazy than busy now that it’s all out there in list form), anyway, yoga. So yoga is supposed to stretch and relax, two things I felt I needed in life. So I went to my first class, ready to be calm, breathe, and listen to my body and all that crap. I hated yoga.
And by hate, I mean I watched the clock the entire 60 minutes of class. And it was hard, and yet somehow boring all at the same time. I complained to my friend that the whole time I was just thinking of the million other things I could have been doing that hour instead of taking a nap (I later learned the term is Savasana). What she said in response changed my whole perspective on it: if that’s how you feel, that you can’t relax and your brain is going a million miles a minute, don’t you think that means that you really need yoga?
Hmm…had I become so jam-packed in my life I was incapable of taking a step back and actually enjoying my life? I have so many things that interest me; it is hard to give them all attention and focus. I love running, but I don’t want to miss the days that I horseback ride. Writing is a passion of mine, but I also want to spend time with my husband. Maybe I did need to give yoga another shot.
And you know what? I really like yoga, I may even be toeing the love line. My friend was right, maybe I did need an hour to myself once a week to calm it all down. Most Monday nights you can find me laying down on a mat after a tough class (it really can be hard!) with a towel over my eyes listening to myself breathing. I let my mind be calm and sometimes even drift off a bit. It is a wonderful way to start the week.
And every now and then, a move the instructor tries to get us to do is so insanely complicated, I get a great ab workout just from laughing at my attempts to do it.