Journey Back to Something

Waaaaaaay back in January, the before times, as we say, I wrote this post about an unexpected inner journey that occurred when I was doing a lot of Yoga. I touched on a part of me that was not strong or graceful or confident. She was awkward and thought of herself as weak and deficient. She didn’t know what she could do and she was about 12 or 13. This part was not in touch with much of what the 51.5 year old me had accomplished in her life. I marked for myself that she needed attention and some reassurance. I also knew I wanted to show her the life we were living now, as opposed to being stuck in middle school with bad middle school gym teachers and not nice friends.

Then, all hell broke loose. I sunk into a hole of despair that was really profound. On the surface, I was functioning, working, coping and doing pretty well. I was busy spouting inspiration and holding up all the people in my world. But that was a front. Underneath, I was suffering and I don’t think I really knew it until well into May. As a person who works in the realm of human contact, the lack of it was like acid wearing down my soul. To be clear, I had some contact. I had my adult kids who are delightful. My girlfriend and I decided we were family enough even though we didn’t live together (yes, it’s Cate, a blog romance). I have pets. I had a lot more than many people I know both because of who is in my world and also the risk I was willing to tolerate. What I did not have was my clients in a room with me and day after day I spilled out my energy into an abyss documented here.

Meanwhile, that part of me that had just started to get some love, the middle school student with gangly arms, was also left languishing. I had no space to deal with her and her whiny crap, I was too busy trying to look like I wasn’t falling apart.

Then for some blessed reason 9 weeks ago, I decided I needed to do something more. I couldn’t tolerate self directed fitness because it was just too lonely. So I signed up with the mysterious “Alex” that Cate goes on about often, to see if there was anything more left in me than dog walks. I was suspicious about the idea that a trainer over Zoom could offer much value. Oh boy, was I surprised in the best way. My goal was to prep for the probably-not-going-to- happen trip back to Iceland to ride some more horses (see here for my first adventure). We immediately stumbled upon my imbalances and wobbly right side (I couldn’t stand on my right foot and balance for more than a second or two). So I’ve been working on these things twice a week now for just over two months.

The other things that Alex stumbled upon was realizing that I did not appreciate much of what I could do. I presented myself as a person who couldn’t balance, had little upper body strength and had given up on fitness for a lack of energy and hope. Yet she saw someone with tremendous core strength and excellent form when I did core work. She saw strength in my strong places and technical issues in my other places but everything had a solution.

Over a very short period of time I have acquired enough balance to access my strength. More than the physical balance, there has been some sort of emotional balance that has come upon me. She is over the top with her praise and sometimes I just laugh to myself listening to her. Yet, the 12 year old in me is wide eyed. That was something that occurred to me just today. Alex had basically tricked me into a wall-walk as I was talking about my horrible middle school experiences of trying to do hand stands. I told her how much I wished she had been my gym teacher and how different my physical life would have been. But then I realized that now, today, this moment, she IS my gym teacher. I’m not saying I’m going to do a hand stand in the next month or two, but I might. Certainly, I will walk up walls and hang out with strong shoulders and perfect form and feel like a frickin’ superstar.

This has been a long road back from wherever I went. It’s not over, as this virus just keeps building it, the end appearing and disappearing as the horizon undulates. While I’m walking on it, there’s a little one that has maybe caught up more into real time. She’s doing one legged squats and generally being a badass.

I got my trainer tire off my bike and the road tire back on. Maybe I will venture back up a hill or two in the next weeks. And if there are no hoof beats on the steppes of Iceland this year, I will hope for next year, ever stronger and more grateful.

Who is that? It’s me! I’m up a wall!!

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