Water hiking

Standard

IMG_1385

Unlike many other sports, surfing requires the right conditions. There are days when you might be geared up for riding some waves, but first Mother Nature has to bring the waves. This makes surfing both frustrating and magical.

 

We’ve been on a lull here in Rhode Island. The forecast predicted waves, but nature forgot to bring them. So when the waves don’t come thank goodness for paddleboards.

 

The weather has been amazing and we are finally to the point where we don’t have to wear a wetsuit in the water. Those days don’t last long in RI, so we have to take full advantage. On the calm days when the water is clear, we go exploring the waters looking for fish, starfish, jellyfish, crabs, and other sea creatures. It’s the water version of hiking and listening to birds and trying to find a squirrel.

Strike a pose

Standard

DSCN3458

Recent events caused me to reevaluate and rekindle my relationship with yoga, a relationship that began a few years ago. I started practicing yoga after my daughter Kia was born.  For about a decade I was pretty consistent with my yoga, but after I got serious about running my yoga took a back seat. Instead of making yoga a part of my regular routine it turned into something I did occasionally and for maintenance.

 

After I re-started yoga I realized I plateaued. I was doing the same poses over and over again. It was time to try some new stuff, time to introduce some new poses in my practice.

 

My initial goal was to work on balance poses but something got in my head and I decided I wanted to try a headstand. When it turned out to not be quite as hard as I thought I was motivated to try something new, bakasana. This is a scary pose to get into because of the fear of smashing your face. My first few attempts my knees would slide off my arms. But the other day- success.

 

It was a brief moment of both physical and spiritual growth.  After I held bakasana I was so excited I lost focus on everything else I was doing. As much as I should have stayed focus it felt right to celebrate and enjoy my accomplishment. Maybe it felt right because we don’t always stop to celebrate the good things in our life.

 

The fear of healing

Standard

DSC00908

The other day I was driving to work and saw some people running. As I watched the runners I imagined them all falling down with injuries. I had visions of each of them rolling their ankle.

 

This last week of physical therapy we’ve made major progress. I’ve been able to do several exercises that a few weeks ago brought pain, the bad pain. This is good news. This means the tear is healing and my ankle is getting stronger.

 

I realize while my leg is getting stronger my mind has a ways to go.  Part of me feels satisfied not running again (ever) because I have this fear of injuring myself. What if….what if I do it again?

 

Once I’m fully healed the demons in my mind will be the biggest hurdle.

 

Fear is such a powerful thing. It is even more powerful when you imagine the injury and can still feel the pain. The pain in my leg but also the pain of not being able to do the things I love.

DSCN3514

How’s your spiritual health?

Standard

Let’s go to the gym and get our sweat on.

 

The cool thing about working out is tangible results. If you have a goal to trim your waist, you will notice a difference when you slide into that pair of skinny jeans. If you have a goal to run faster, the time on the clock will show faster mile splits.  If you have a goal to lift more weight, when you place five more pounds on the bar and lift, you’ve done it.

 

Physical fitness is just one of the part of being a healthy person. It is also the easiest to measure.

 

When we start talking about the more fuzzy things like spiritual fitness most of us have no idea where to start. There isn’t a gym membership for spiritual health. It is also something that you can’t easily quantify. How do you measure if you spiritual health? How do you define if you have more meaning and purpose in your life?

 

Some people think of church and religion when they hear the word spirituality. For me spirituality is something that falls outside of the scope of church and religion. I’ve never been much of a churchgoer and I’ve never followed any religion, however I’ve studied several of the world’s religions. Now I try to incorporate aspects of different religions into my life.

 

In many ways I still don’t know how to “work out” to get stronger with my spiritual fitness. But I do understand what things make me feel more spiritual and connected to the world and the people around me.

 

Running, surfing, and yoga.

 

These do much more than just help me strengthen my cardio and get toned. When I run, surf, or do yoga I feel more connected to the world around me. In a pose, riding a wave, and finding my stride I have moments where I focus so intently on what I am doing, the rest of the world dissolves.

 

Those meditative moments of being rooted in the present are few and far between. But in those moments where I am in the flow, the world is perfect. In those moments I reach a state of peace and perfection. I also strengthen more than my body, I strengthen my heart, my mind, and my soul.

IMG_1235