It’s the Shoes

On Saturday, I walked confidently into the cycling class.

On Tuesday, I had hesitated as I entered the room.

On Saturday, I walked directly to a cycling bike.

On Tuesday, I had pondered which bike I would claim.

On Saturday, the instructor welcomed me to the class.

On Tuesday, the instructor had asked “Is this your first class?”

On Saturday, I knew my rehabilitated hip would stay in place during and after class.

On Tuesday, I had wondered if my hip could handle such strain after taking off six months.

On Saturday, the instructor looked me in the eye when she asked my name.

On Tuesday, the instructor glanced at the “extra” around my belly when she asked who I was.

On Saturday, I confidently earned my sweat.

On Tuesday, I had repetitively checked the clock.

On Saturday, I wore my cycling shoes with the clips.

On Tuesday, I had worn my clunky tennis shoes.

Yes. It’s the shoes.

The shoes always make the difference.

I’m attempting to take part in the “The Fifth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge” through the month of March. The challenge is run by Two Writing Teachers.

playing in the rain

My youngest son and I went to the gym first thing this morning.

When we left the gym, it was raining.

“Look at that puddle. Go jump in it.”

Splash. Splash. Giggles.

My youngest son and I ran to the store to pick up a few things.

When we left, it was still raining.

“Look at that puddle. Go jump in it.”

Splash. Splash. Giggles.

When my youngest son and I got home, I asked him to get the newspaper and recycling bin from the curb.

It has stopped raining.

“See that huge puddle. Go jump in it.”

Splash. Splash. Giggles.

“But no. The newspaper doesn’t get thrown in the puddle.”

Splash. Splash. Giggles.

How about you?  Do you see that puddle over there?

Go jump in it. Then wait. You will hear it too.

Splash. Splash. Giggles.

I’m attempting to take part in the “The Fifth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge” through the month of March. The challenge is run by Two Writing Teachers.

An (Athletic) Fraud

I feel like a fraud. An athletic fraud.

I am wearing a shirt that says“I tri like a girl so tri to keep up” on the front. On the back, it says “fast.”

I’ve competed in two triathlons. The first as a part of a relay team where I swam. The second all by myself: a swim, a cycle, and a 5K.  You can read about it on a previous blog post.

I still don’t think of myself as an athlete.

I’m not fast in swimming, cycling or even running.

I’m recovering from a hip and shoulder issue that has required almost weekly trips to the chiropractor for the past few months.  And a realization that I have one leg shorter than the other.

I’m not sure if I will be able to run again. So far, this shoe insert has helped keep my hip in place with walking and daily life. Now, I’ve slowly started back with sprints.

I’m hoping my shoulder will be strong enough to swim again. My chiropractor is now working on breaking up some icky scar tissue that has developed because my shoulder was compensating for my hip issue all these years.

I want to feel confident cycling again. I haven’t been on a bike for quite awhile because of a cancelled class and my injuried hip.

I have continued to lift weights over the past few months, which I know has made me stronger. Who wants to compete with some bench presses and Romanian Deadlifts?

I’m hoping I can feel strong enough in my mind, my hip and my shoulder to compete again this summer.

Maybe then I will consider myself an athlete.  But right now I think I’m a fraud. An athletic fraud.

I’m attempting to take part in the “The Fifth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge” through the month of March. The challenge is run by Two Writing Teachers.

Keeping my focus in yoga and in life…

The other night I started back into yoga.  During the school year, it is my weekly hour escape from my responsibilities.

I’m not the most flexible. And I’m sure many of my poses look awkward, but the feeling when I leave is worth it all.

My first night back, I ended up running a bit late. Well actually I got to the class on time but that meant all the “good” spots were taken. My favorite spot is against the wall so my view is the huge windows looking outside.  While I am working through the poses, I can focus outside on the birds, trees, or whatever else catches my eye.

But this night, I ended up in the back of the class room.  My view was … the wall, the exercise balls at the top of the shelves and the door leading to the hallway. Yep. What a view for yoga.

Since I hadn’t been in yoga for about three months, it was a bit harder to get into different poses.  My muscles just didn’t want to go where they needed to be at times.

We were in one pose where we had to look straight ahead on the floor “with your eyes open” the instructor said.  I focused right on the carpet in front of me. As long as I focused on that one spot, I was fine.  Then the instructor said “oh, so and so, you are holding the pose wonderfully.”  What did I do?  I looked up.  I stopped focusing.  I stopped looking at the one spot that was helping me hold my muscles the right way and my pose in the correct form.

My body lost its balance for a quick second, but I was able to quickly recover and focus back on the carpet. Focus on the spot that held me in place.

And that’s when it hit me. How often do we look up to see what someone else has accomplished?  Do we look up to see what is going on around us?  That’s when we lose it. Our balance. our confidence. Our peace. Our contentment.  When all we really need to do is focus. Focus on that one spot that keeps us centered.

For me, it’s my faith.  If I keep myself in the right pose and focused on the right aspect of God, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter what someone else has accomplished. It doesn’t matter what is happening all around me. Who has what. What I don’t have.   I am grounded into that spot on the carpet of my faith. And allowing myself to be content, be at peace, be in confidence, and in the right balance.

All because I focus on that “carpet” of my life.

I had written this draft a few months ago and had “forgotten” about it until I started using my blog more regularly to post student writing from a homeschool co-op class I taught this fall. This blog post was exactly what I needed as I look to go back to yoga tonight after a month off because of traveling and holidays. 🙂