I’m warming the bench right now and there are parts of it that I actually really like. I’m a cheerleader at heart, I guess. One would think that someone who is goal driven in areas of health and fitness that I would be more sad about sitting it out right now.
However, my heart is not in that season at the moment. My inward time is being extended longer than I wanted but just recently I decided I am okay with this. I kept thinking that by fall I would be motivated. Then the next Monday, the Monday after that, and after a season of Mondays it did not happen. I kept trying, only to be met with sickness or other issues.
Then I felt 2015 would be the beginning of my year to dominate. God has not blessed it so and that is okay. I was not okay with it a month ago or 3 months ago or even 6 months ago. Now I am and here are a few reasons why.
1. 2014 was the very first time I signed up for a race and didn’t lace up my shoes for it. It was the most depressing decision I have had in terms of fitness. I kept trying to restart. I kept trying to force myself to want to. I kept trying to make it happen. I kept starting to train and then felt helpless. While I sort of enjoyed taking my children down to the 1/2 marathon and cheering on the other runners, it just was not the same. Not that cheering is not enough for me, it totally is. I had just expected (stupid expectations) to run it, not cheer it.
So this year, rather than make commitments I am not prepared to work toward, I’m not making commitments at all. At races get closer and I feel inclined to race, I might. I will not put any pressure on myself to do them this year. This is an absolutely freeing feeling. I have no idea when the race dates are and I have no inclination to get on my treadmill either… and for the first time in a long time I am okay with this.
2. I am working on other things in life. I have paintings in my head. I have things I want to write. I have things I want to do. I have time to play games with my children. I am not being rushed through my day with the stress of training at night (or the wee hours of the morning). I can play an hour of cards with my children and save the dishes and laundry until after they go to bed instead of doing chores while they are awake.
3. Finally, the third and most important reason why I am okay is because I am watching other people do it.
One of the guys I went to grade school with is doing a hitchfit transformation now too. I’m excited for him. My best friend from grade school is running long distance for the first time ever. I’m so proud of her. My brother and his wife joined a gym and have some lofty goals. And one of my closest friends has made some big, albeit attainable, goals for her health this year and she asked me to help hold her accountable. I am SO EXCITED to do this… to help her set realistic goals, figure up her body fat, and watch her put in the effort. It is like having all of the fun you get when you exercise without having to actually exercise.
It is a weird feeling to sit on the bench and watch your friends play. You want to join because you know what the joy of winning feels like, but it is just not my turn. Now it is my turn to be inspired again… to be a cheerleader… to just sit back and let someone else dominate.
It’s just so exciting to see. I want to see these folks succeed as well as I did… Even better than I did. I want to see them, and everyone else, get healthy and meet their goals and become a healthier version of themselves with great attitudes towards their bodies.
I looked in the mirror the other day and my body is starting to get its old shape back… not quite completely but trust me, the abs are gone, the skinny jeans are on a shelf and I’m using my older belt again. I thought to myself, “I don’t know what the big deal was about. You look just fine the way you are.” And while I think being complacent about health and fitness is bad, I also really like this realization that I’m okay. That my size is okay… that having an “average” BMI is totally acceptable or even good. That those wrinkles and dimples are okay. That a little bit of pooch on my belly is okay. That these things that are happening to my body as I age are okay and it won’t matter how hard I try, I actually am incapable of fixing some of this (extra skin on my belly, stretch marks, etc). It’s just part of me.
The other day my daughter came up to me and squished my belly. She kept saying, “it’s so SQUISHY!!” while she smiled so brightly. I remember I did that to my mother once as a child and she flipped out. She was so mad at me. While having a squishy belly is not something I hold in the same regard as my racing bibs, I will do everything in my power to project healthy self image to my children (primarily speaking, my daughter).
I responded to my daughter and said, “Do you know why it’s squishy?” She said no. I told her, “It is because I carried you two in my belly. Many women have squishy bellies from this and I would not change a thing.” She asked me something about when I was going to get strong again and I told her in time. I just was not in the mood but I am still making healthy choices to eat so all is not lost. She said maybe by spring or summer I will be ready to run again.
Anyway, for those of you who find yourselves in a different season than you would like to be, do not forget this:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. – Ecclesiasties 3:1
Our time will come again. It IS okay to rest.