Gentleness, Not Forcing, Being Me, and Believing in MeToday I had a little decision to make, but it actually was a big decision that I've been thinking about for a week (you'll see why later). LoveHubbie is joining a gym, and so I've been considering joining, too. Again. Yes, again. Despite that every time I've ever joined a gym, I've stopped going due to (1) injury or (2) lack of interest. I SO want to get in shape, and joining a gym would enable me to be serious (because I'm paying money), be with LoveHubbie, and be with my friend Karen who belongs to the same gym. But it has been this huge dilemma for me, and until today I didn't fully understand why.
I have this little personally-designed movement practice that I've been doing since last week. It involves:
Yoga...super-beginner yoga...mostly stretches, actually, but I like them. I'm using a book, but I have DVD's for later when I get a little flexible. The one I'll start with is yoga for obese people that looks like it's just what I need. In my forties I only was successful (as in didn't get injured or drop out from frustration) at gentle classes for seniors.
And yes, hula, a longtime ambition of mine to learn. I flunked out of the local community center beginner's hula class (really) after one semester because I couldn't get the steps...it was too fast-paced and strict for me. I would cry in frustration after every class, because I loved it so much but absolutely could not get it. But the desire to learn to hula has never left me. So I'm learning hula now from DVD's. And playing each part over and over and over and over again, giving myself the repetition my class had lacked.
And then there are the weights. I like free weights, although it's been years since I've worked with them. When I was in my thirties I was a personal trainer (can you believe it?) so I found and dusted off my weights and started back last week with a few simple upper body exercises that felt fantastic.
Oh, and I walk up and down my driveway (1/4 mile round trip) throughout the day to think and process things and sometimes take longer walks outside, too. I wear a pedometer and do an average of 10,000 accumulated steps.
Anyway, it's a very gentle and peaceful movement practice, and I do it here in my house in the woods where I can have silence or else listen to Oprah and Friends XM. I love it, but somehow it feels like it's not enough, or that I'm not going to keep with it, like I'll let myself down or I won't progress and it will just be a drop in the bucket for what I need to do. It's not "serious" like joining a gym. Plus, walking outside is great now in the Pacific Northwest, but is hellish for me in the rain and cold and snow and ice. It feels like it could so easily be a failure overall, because it's all up to me.
Well, today I realized that "gentleness" and "not forcing" is ME now, and it's the way I want to do things, even if it is slower, or riskier, or harder in the winter. I love being alone. And exercising in a gym, with the music, the indoor air, the machines that force certain predefined settings, the frenetic activity of everyone around you (and of you, too)---it's just not me now.
I want to take the step to trust myself and give myself a chance to succeed on my own terms.
I've had a free pass to this 24-hour gym for almost a week now and haven't been able to "force" myself to go once. Now there's a clue! I could listen to my body and my soul instead of doing what makes sense to everybody else, and in fact, is right for so many people---just now me, not right now. And believe in myself... It is a scary step for me to honor my feelings and my intuitive sense of what will work for me instead of whipping myself to do it the way other people think I should. And it is scarier yet to believe in myself when I've let myself down so many times before.
But it's what I'm choosing.
For many of you, this would probably be a normal, natural step, but for me it was an epiphany. I couldn't wait to share it with you :)