It’s that time of year again. The beginning time. The time for reflecting and resolving. Instead of making resolutions last year, I picked a focus: running and writing. I had two big, quantifiable goals. I wanted to run my first ultra-marathon and finish a draft of my memoir.
I did the first one and immediately went into hibernation. Or what I referred to as “an extended off-season.” I was burnt out and injured and a break from running was mandatory. I do feel incredibly proud of myself for putting in the work and completing the ultra. Yet I also regret all the ways I went wrong during training. Namely – letting fear get the best of me. I ignored years of experience and knowledge, pushed myself too hard and ended up injured. If I ever attempt a similar race in the future, I will approach it very differently. And if I ever go after something longer than a 50K I will hire a coach.
The silver lining is I was able to pick up cycling during my “off-season”. I’ve only really dabbled up to this point, but I’m excited to grow in the sport. I bought a decent bike this summer and my husband bought me clipless pedals for Christmas. You know, the kind that clip to your shoes. (What’s with the nonsensical nomenclature?!) I’ve been busy riding laps around my court and am relieved to find that clipping out, and therefore not falling, is fairly easy. Clipping in is proving far more challenging than I ever would’ve anticipated. I’m currently sporting two beautiful bruises on the inside of my right knee because half the time I attempt to jump onto my pedal with a maximum amount of force and body weight I also slam my knee into my water bottle cage. Which reminds me, I also need to learn how to pull out my water bottle without completely lifting my bike off the ground. Baby steps.
I was also able to delve deeper into my yoga practice, which was rewarding until I injured my shoulder. I know – not another injury! I still don’t know the cause, but I don’t think it was yoga. That said, it’s been limiting and I stopped going to the more challenging class I had taken up for fear of making it worse. I’m trying to stay patient as it heals and keep the panicky, I’ll-never-do-shoulder-stand-again! thoughts at bay.
My home teaching business continues to grow, thanks largely to my neighbor who should really take up a career in marketing, and I’m excited to add a third class to my schedule. I look forward to seeing the transformation in my students and to discover new ways to share my ever-evolving practice with others.
As for the writing – I am halfway done with a draft of my memoir. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I clearly did not meet my goal. On the other hand, I made progress and I learned something about myself: my passions and hobbies are cyclical. It seems obvious now in retrospect… as things often do. In May, I spent every spare moment furiously making jewelry, very much enjoying it, and very much feeling guilty that I wasn’t writing. In October and November, I spent every spare moment, reading, writing, thinking about writing and feeling incredibly guilty that I wasn’t making and marketing my jewelry before the holidays.
In December, I decided that all of this feeling guilty was silly. Which is why for 2019 I’m choosing a word, instead of making resolutions or even picking a focus: FLOW. I’m just going to go with the flow and do what I feel compelled to do when I feel compelled to do it. I’m going to get carried away by my passions during their season and let their leaves wither and die when their time is done.
I do hope I can accomplish some of the more quantifiable goals I have, but I’m not going to beat myself up if they don’t happen or sacrifice my natural rhythm into order to force them into existence:
- Cover 1000 miles either by foot or bike
- Participate in an organized bike race or ride
- Climb a 14er or two or three
- Get back into half-marathon running shape
- Go backpacking
- Participate in a craft fair
- Finish a first draft of my memoir
- Re-establish a regular yoga practice
- Continue to grow my yoga teaching business either through regular classes, workshops or a retreat
- Establish a meditation practice
I hope going with the FLOW will also enable me to better shed the “shoulds” and live more authentically. To show up for myself, my family, my friends, my clients and my students with more honesty and compassion. To create space in my life to listen and heal.