When we're young, we are creative, fluid thinkers. We aren't confined by the world's view of how things work or are "supposed" to go. We chose to use boxes as spaceships, toasters as toy launchers, and couch cushions to make people sandwiches. We were not afraid to make mistakes or look foolish because to us, we weren't making mistakes or being foolish. Somewhere along the way though, we learned that creativity can make us look stupid, so we began to practice linear thinking. Even when we were teenagers, we wanted to be different and unique, but only if It meant staying in the confines of "normal". Somehow we gradually grew out of fluid thinking and moved into linear thinking. We even began to look to our left and right so we knew we were still moving in the straight line.
I envy the adults who have never really let go of the willingness to look stupid in the name of creativity. I may be willing to be the first bad dancer on a dance floor or volunteer for some silly show, but my fear of looking stupid trying a new venture, or worse, failing completely, stops me dead in my tracks even if I am moving 1000 MPH. I am more of a linear thinker than I would care to admit.
If you think about it though, life is any BUT linear, it's messy! We take 5 steps forward, 3 to the side and 3 back just to be in a new place. We even take steps spinning around in circles believing we're moving forward. Recently, I saw a picture of the hard core linear thinking I implement in my health jouney. Here I am almost 4 years into a whole new lifestyle, still fearing that if I go backwards it's going to look like it did 4 years ago, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In order to go back that far, I would have to spend a ton of time remembering my steps to the left and right, back stepping, forward leaping, and of course, circle spinning. There is no way I could go back. I'd still be going forward in my journey, just creating new habits; however, to create those habits of the past, I would have to unlearn the habits and information I have acquired over the last 4 years. How likely is that?
If you don't know, I suffered a pretty severe concussion almost 4 months ago. It's a long road to full recovery, but at least I don't lose my words as often, and I don't get nauseas when I workout. I still get headaches and have to take it easy and remember to get lots of rest- to include rest days from working out. That has been so hard for me. My go-to for stress management is working out at full intensity, but I don't have that as an option any more- no soccer, no half marathon training (yes, I did run one before I realized how bad things were), and no pushing the strength limits. I probably have to work out like normal people now- at least that's what everyone keeps telling me. What I have found is that my health is not rapidly declining as I had predicted. I am seeing my weight fluctuate through its normal 5 pound range and my clothes still fit, however, I am a higher body fat percentage (to be expected) but in a completely acceptable place. I haven't had to change my diet all that much because I eat pretty well (most times, and if I listen to my body, I'm not as hungry because I am not burning as many calories. There is nothing straight or linear about the path I am on, but I am still on my health journey moving forward-ish. Like one of my clients pointed out to me, "Just because you cannot workout like you could before doesn't mean your health is no longer a priority." She's right! If anything it's probably more of a priority. I find myself listening to my body more because the whiplash effect I had with the concussion is worse than the concussion. I take significantly more rest days when my body hurts, take yoga when I can, and consider walking my dog and training my clients enough for a day's workout.
I'm starting to see that this part of my journey is growing me even if it feels like it's a set back. I am less toned, a little hippier, and feeling soft, but the truth is I am OK. I have to work through the mental journey of being comfortable with greater rest- I don't want to stress or obsess over resting more, and I don't want to be so OK with resting that I create a habit of laziness. Like anyone else, I have to talk myself off a ledge from time to time, but I am going to be just fine and "survive" this down period until I can do more. Who knows?! Maybe this period of rest is going to contribute to overall ability to exercise for my lifetime. That's why the Infinitely Fit motto is "Fitness for a lifetime. Any age. Any stage." We all have different stages of health at different ages, and we need to be willing to zig and zag with the punches as they come. Keep fighting for what you want and one day, you may wake up and find that it's no longer a fight, just like I have with my fight for my healthy weight. Don't be afraid to share your own comments thoughts or journey! I would love to hear! -LJ