Taking time to notice

It’s almost the first day of spring. We haven’t had much of a winter given the lack of snow. Since we’ve been dealing with the pandemic for so long, one could be forgiven for not really noticing the transition from one season to another.

But the other day, it was lovely: a blue sky, sunshine, not too much wind. I could hear birds chirping in the trees. I could hear the water running from the melting ice and snow.

I never know how to describe the scent of spring. It is a combination of thawing earth, the heat of rotting leaves, the sweetness of cedar mulch.

Then there is the feel of your feet on the ground, still hard but also slightly yielding and a weird springiness that feels odd after the crunch of snow and ice. The shiver of surprise when you can feel, see and hear that spring is really coming.

But what made the day extra special was that it was my first day in the gym in three months. As I walked in, I started paying attention to what I was feeling and seeing.

The slide of the straps on my feet in the erg. The way my fingers curled on the bar as I rowed. The rhythm of the push and pull matching my breath in and out.

I had been afraid that the interval away would mean I had forgotten what to do. Yet as soon as I felt the solidness and hot/cold texture of the weight in my hands, it came back.

It was hard doing movements I had not done for a while. I realized in some respects it was the shape of things. A 25 pound hand weight doesn’t move the same way a 25 pound bag of potatoes does.

I realized I missed the repetition of training and how sets evolve from awkwardness to fluidity, from the “i am not sure how to do this” to ”i see how this works.” I also missed the satisfaction that comes from the deliberate demand on and stress of muscles.

It was a good day outside and a good day inside.

Small white spring flowers, Unsplash

marthafitat55 lives and trains in st. John’s.

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