I saw an image/commentary that I on Instagram yesterday (@movetobewell) that stopped and made me think. Firstly, about how much we censor ourselves. Secondly, how much of the insta/Facebook/blog space is censored (self-censored), which is why I have a love-hate relationship with it. Images capture moments, like words, but they are seldom stories, which means that we see only moments, true only in that moment. Thirdly, what on earth was I doing vacuously tracking some posts, threads and images that did not amuse (mostly dogs, mostly black labradors), inspire or motivate? As my therapist recently said:
Don’t let it rule you; you decide
So I deleted some stuff, hid some others. And felt a whole lot better.
What @movetobewell also had me thinking about, was my body. 18 months after lung surgery, and my ribs, I realised, actually don’t hurt. They are not sore, whether it’s lying on them (awkward for a long while) or asking them to work hard. A week or so I decided it’s time to claim back my cardiovascular fitness, because I am not as fit as I want to be. @movetobewell may have had a wobble at her pins (mighty strong and fine as I see them to be), but my ‘sigh’ is my general fitness, and a body heading towards menopause (but that’s a whole other topic). So, I’ve started running again. I ran a lot once upon a time, and entered a few races, enough to earn a jangle of medallions. There is a a network of lanes from the house, that means I can do a ‘tricorn’. Each one of those is about one km. Last week I did two, and today I did three without stopping. I cannot begin to explain how fantastic this makes me feel. I am no hare, but a few up from tortoise, but I will get quicker, as my lung capacity improves.
Keep on running
I know that trends in health and fitness come and go, and that the popular movement today celebrates HIIT. I get that, but if I am to become a better gig rower (my aim), then being able to smash something for a short while isn’t going to test my stamina. So, I’m back outside, on the roads, making my lungs work harder, so that I can be a fitter version of myself. It never made me thin, but it made me strong.
Running also is a great shifter of process. Last week I reconnected with how invaluable it used to be for me when I was a practising therapist. It is also true of walking, but these days, I am watching the puppy too much to let my thoughts wander. Running has always been like meditation (once I’m over the hump of ‘oh this hurts’), and I am looking forward to the day, maybe in a couple of months, when I can settle in to a long run, and really enjoy it. Running always used to be about more than fitness, it was a saviour of my mental health. I am hoping that as me and my running shoes eat up the miles, it will also bring me a better sense of myself. I am still a bit adrift, a bit lost, after the traumatic experience of my left lung breaking.
But onwards and upwards. September is coming, and somehow that’s like a second chance at January. The MA will be starting, and I will be running further and rowing better. And of course, it means that Strictly is on the horizon. Bring on the glitter!