Sometime in late August I took the dogs for a walk around our local county park this weekend. We walked the same trails that we used to run back in early Spring.
We walked along the river, across the wooden bridge that crosses the water and up the steep hill, where I paused for a moment. Both dogs turned and looked at me, wondering why we’d stopped. “This,” I thought to myself, “is how far I could run before having to stop for a break.”
While finishing my walk with the dogs, I kept thinking, if I hadn’t stopped running I’d probably be signing up for 5K runs by now.
I was pretty bummed the rest of our walk together. I couldn’t get away from my thoughts which kept reminding me that I’d tried yet another exercise on which I never followed through. More on this in a moment.
While in my twenties, I was having a conversation with my practice husband. I don’t recall what the conversation was about, nor do I remember what I said to him exactly, but I made a comment about referring to myself as an artist. His response to that statement was, ‘just because you work on art, that doesn’t make you an artist.’ In that moment I caught a glimpse of what he thought of his wife as well as what he didn’t think of her. I just stood there, feeling exposed and confused. I’ve never forgotten it, and for a long time afterward I felt stripped of a title that I felt comfortably described in part, who I thought I was.
It’s many years later and do you know that as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I still find myself struggling to find words that describe me? Yes, I am considered a sister, daughter, friend, acquaintance, caregiver, and wife. But, don’t these descriptive nouns reflect more about what I am to others? What words define me? This is a tough exercise, and one worth exploring for anyone who is going through life trying to find his or her place within it.
Back to my thoughts about running. It was during that walk that I suddenly realized I wasn’t bummed because I didn’t run anymore – I certainly didn’t miss it; I think I was just secretly hoping that by trying my hand at running, I’d stumble across a solid, stable word to keep tucked away in my private ‘Who Am I’ resume. I was bummed that I couldn’t add, ‘I am a runner’ to my list.
Now, I know the first rule of blogging: don’t compare yourself to others – we are all different and each have our own strengths. Still, I found myself wanting to stumble across what many other bloggers seem to have already found – like Laura, Lynn and Jenn for finding their passion for running. Or Sharon for her love of hiking; Roxie and Jill for the enormous amounts of joy their bicycles give them, and Tim for his unwavering determination to walk and walk – and walk! I envied those losers/maintainers who found a passion for their exercise of choice.
Why this need, you ask? Well, I think it’s because it wasn’t until I actively began losing weight that I started to see what my body was physically capable of. I’ve been at this exercise game a long time now. Isn’t it about time I am committed to something? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know I’ve tried many different things, some for the first time on this blog: hula-hooping, retro-walking, kayaking, running and biking. Kayaking could have been my ‘thing’ if I lived in a warmer climate, but it just doesn’t seem right to lay a claim to something that I’m only able to do a few times during the summer months, so I didn’t really feel like I could count that.
There is something I want to share, though. Something is happening within me and it has to do with my involvement in yoga (remember when I walked into the yoga studio for the first time as part of a comfort zone challenge?) That was back in August. I haven’t blogged much about it since then, but I’ve been keeping things quiet for a reason. I wanted to fully explore the classes, compare the good with the bad, and then share my thoughts with you on what it’s meant to me. Like other things in my life, I don’t want to have to question myself anymore as to who I am or what I do.
I want to be able to write with complete confidence the things that I know defines me: I am a confidante. A nurturer. A sometimes risk-taker. A protector. I am an artist. I actively practice Yoga.
And I love it.