grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

Reclaiming Me :: Body

{Throughout 2015, one of the ways I’m going to overcome my Writing Laryngitis is to post about ways I’m Reclaiming Me :: Body, Mind, and Soul. Here’s a bit more of that Reclamation.}

grateful for the pain

<< Livestrong @ the Y // Week Three >>

Today, I hurt.

Like all over.
Like. My. Whole. Body.

It’s kind of hurt that actually has a sound.
If you’re really quiet, you can hear it pretty clearly…

Hear that?
It’s the sound of muscles screaming.

One of the trainers this week said he prefers the term ‘singing’ when referring to the sound muscles make WHEN THEY’RE BEING TORN TO LITTLE SHREDS during the workout process. Singing?

Hmmm…today, I think I’ll stick with ‘screaming.’
With each breath, every inch of me is being reminded that I did things this week that I haven’t done in years…and some things I’ve never done at all.
Things like spinning, zumba-ing, weight lifting, battle roping, ripcording, weighted-ball-twisting lunge-walking, step-upping. (I’m sure the words I’m making up have Fitness Experts everywhere shuddering…oh well, shuddering probably burns more calories so, Fitness Experts, you’re welcome!)

So, yeah…I hurt.
And, as I lay in bed this morning, breathing slow and deep in an attempt to motivate this sore, aching body to get up and out of bed, I realized that I’m grateful for the pain.

Grateful because it signals to my heart and mind that I am alive.
Grateful because it reminds me that the slumbering Amazon Queen inside of me is starting to regain her footing.
Grateful because it means I did something that’s going to make a difference (as long as I keep doing it *smirk).
Grateful because it calls to mind just how much this stitched-together, stretched, scarred body can still do.
Grateful because it helps me grab onto the miracle that I’m becoming a Thriver after spending most of my life simply surviving.
Grateful because it tells me that I managed to show up for myself this week.

You want to know a magical thing that comes to me as I sit with that last one?
That Showing Up Thing?
I realize that when I show up for myself at the gym, I tend to show up in other important areas of my life, too.
Without breaking too much of a mental sweat.
Without getting into a long argument with myself about it.
Without letting old tapes and messages play louder than the truth.
Showing up for myself at the gym is strengthening a lot more than just my body, it seems.

Maybe, just like my muscles that are being TORN TO LITTLE SHREDS (also referred to as ‘good trauma’ *maybe something for a future post?) in the strengthening process, the reasons I’ve historically been afraid to show up are being TORN TO SHREDS, too.
Ripped up.
Frayed and rent and mangled.
All so that my Showing Up Muscles can be rebuilt into the confident, strong, agile muscles they’re meant to be.

So I’m grateful.
Grateful the shredding.
The ripping.
The fraying.
Grateful for the pain.

It means I’m getting stronger.
In more ways than one.

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Reclaiming Me :: Body

{Throughout 2015, one of the ways I’m going to overcome my Writing Laryngitis is to post about ways I’m Reclaiming Me :: Body, Mind, and Soul. Here’s another bit of that Reclamation.}

The Struggle

<< Livestrong @ the Y // Week Two >>

** This past week was my second week at Livestrong @ the Y instead of my third because I got to spend last week out of town wishing my new son in-law well on his year-long deployment to South Korea and supporting my oldest girl as she started finding her footing at home without him.

You know that thing when you naively, even excitedly, commit to something that sounds so very good on the face of it, only to grind your teeth in frustration each time you force yourself to follow through, show up, and honor that commitment?

That thing when your alarm goes off AND IT’S STILL DARK OUTSIDE and you say, out loud, ‘Whose flipping idea was this?!’

That thing when the struggle to make like it’s easy…like it’s a piece of cake…overwhelms and turns you into a cranky toddler?

Well, I’m here to tell you THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

And what I know for sure is THE STRUGGLE IS WORTH IT.
{At least that’s what I know for sure so far…}

IT’S WORTH IT because when you get to the gym so crabby you’re afraid you may do something that lands you on the wrong side of the law but the endorphins produced in conjunction with all. the. sweat. help balance your mood, you grab onto the hope that exercising your One Precious Body could really be the key to overcoming The Gray that tends to nip at your heels.

IT’S WORTH IT because when you can increase your time on the elliptical without keeling over, you realize that those legs you’ve always thought of as Too Big are actually getting stronger every day

IT’S WORTH IT because when you sweat a half a bucket less (which is still A LOT) during thirty minutes of cardio than you did two weeks ago, you begin to believe that your respiration and perspiration may just be evening out and will eventually match each other in ways that prove increased stamina.

IT’S WORTH IT because when you hear one of the trainers say, ‘Look at you. You’re a natural.’, you are able to remember – and embrace – the fact that living inside of you all this time has been an athletic, powerful Amazon Queen patiently waiting to be rediscovered and invited back out to play.

When I was driving home on Thursday morning as, for the record, the sun was just starting to rise, it occurred to me how different things will be when the end of this twelve-week Livestrong session arrives the middle of April…

It will be light outside when that alarm goes off.
It won’t be such a struggle to get myself out the door (I’m projecting Hope and Faith into that future space here and now *grin)
My legs and heart and lungs and inner Amazon Queen will all be stronger
My moods will be brighter, lighter, and right-er.

And, I can see it from here — The Struggle will still be real.


Reclaiming Me :: Mind

{Throughout 2015, one of the ways I’m going to overcome my Writing Laryngitis is to post about ways I’m Reclaiming Me :: Body, Mind, and Soul. Here’s another bit of that Reclamation.}

just do it

<< Just Do It >>

Overcoming Writing Laryngitis is proving to be just a tad more challenging than I’d imagined it would be.

After all, shouldn’t I just be able to sit down and pound out a few posts, coherently elucidating the huge number of ideas and thoughts and feelings that have been banging around in my head and heart like so many tantrumming preteens protesting being sent to their rooms these last several months?

I mean, I can write so clearly and succinctly in my imagination.
Ya feel?

Notions and sentiments flowing and fluttering and floating from my fingertips with no real effort, no impediment, no barrier.

Doesn’t just the thought of that conjure up beautiful, peaceful, writerly images?

Let’s just sit with the peace it evokes for a minute, okay?

Ah. Who am I kidding?
I can barely type without looking at my fingers.
Even on my best day, the messages have to work to hold their shape and maintain their flow as my I-cheated-in-middle-school-typing-class fumbling threatens to squelch and erase them before they even see the light of day.

But I’ve let the pressure to produce, to write it all AND NOW keep me from writing anything at all.
I’ve let the belief that I have to have it all together AND NOW keep me from freeing those feelings from their Me-Imposed Time Out.
I’ve let the whispers that I have to say it all right AND NOW keep me from allowing my words to tumble and land where they may, welcomed and accepted in all their vulnerable messiness.

I’m done with that today.
Today, it’s like a Nike commercial up in here.
You know the commercials I’m talking about.
The ones filled with sweating, intense, focused, Just Do It-ness.
The ones that make even arthritic-kneed, middle-aged, round-edged mamas like me feel like anything is possible.

{And, for the record, there is sweating, intense, focused, Just Do It-ness happening right now…heavy on the sweating, light on the focus, if I’m being honest.}

As I argue with the Discouraged Perfectionist who knows she’s about to be evicted from her Bossy Throne in my head by all this Just Do It-ness, I can feel my heart beat faster, my knees shake a bit, and my courage flash its tiny, baby muscles.

Isn’t that how it seems to work?
You make up your mind to Just Do It which in turn unleashes all the Characters of the Status Quo who get their dander up and attempt mutiny on the itty-bitty brave new Decision to Do Things Differently.

But don’t let them win.
Tell them to quiet down.
Remind yourself, when the disloyal crowd of Characters gets loud and obnoxious and unruly, that Nike – before it was a shoe company with awesome, inspiring commercials – was the name of the Greek goddess of strength, speed, and, wait for it…victory.

So…you’ve got this.
Just Do It.

Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! ~1 Corinthians 15:57(CEB)