One of my colleagues asked me why I am always so cheerful when I come in each morning. Granted I am only officially in the office 4 days out of 5, so that could be part of it, and I have a very flexible schedule and usually do not get there before 9. But honestly, I wake up feeling good most mornings and it tends to linger. There is apparently something to the getting enough sleep, regular amounts of exercise, and striving to eat a more balanced diet. Plus in my job I kind of need to be pleasant to my coworkers; it sets a poor tone to be considered bitchy.
Working on an upper body List this morning, I found myself pondering the weights associated with the practice. While he does not always do it, J sometimes will jot the weights we used last on the List with the date we went through it. For this morning’s List, at the end of November it feels like I was using more weight. Have I gotten weaker in the couple of months in between then and now? Or were muscles pre-fatigued from doing the cardio List first? The more I considered the variables, the less it truly mattered to me. I was actually just happy to have the FreeMotion all to myself for the time I wanted to use it. Anymore, my thoughts are typically consumed with form, Form, FORM! Where’s that shoulder? Are my collarbones up? Are my feet in the right spots? Am I dive bombing foot soon enough? What is that rear delt cable thing again?
The streams of my thoughts while toiling at practice are not at all unpleasant, because I like thinking through my practice and exercises as well as the rest of my day. Whereas once it stressed me out and made me feel like a loser, now it is just part of the pleasant buzz I feel when faced with challenges I will eventually overcome. I have totally crossed over to the sunny side of the street and do the work, feel the feels, and get to enjoy the satisfaction of getting my exercise done as the first item on my daily to-do.
Hard to be feeling cranky when I have gotten something important to my life completed. That it makes me feel good in body and mind is a huge plus.
I was reading a blog this morning about a positive thought for the week. Maybe my life is less complex, but there is a lot to be thankful for, happy about waking up at 4 a.m. It’s still dark outside, it’s quiet in the house, and there is usually no traffic on the drive from my home to the gym. Summer time, it’s actually quite nice on our back deck at that early hour as well.
Thing is, my life works better, barrels along a lot more smoothly if I can frame my life in a more positive mindset. I am not a religious person; I do not find uncertain belief in a higher power enlightens and empowers me. Mostly, I have found letting go of narratives that make minimize me or discount my ability to grow have been liberating and freeing. Today I may have been using a lighter weight than when the List was written, but it is neither a step backward or something to feel embarrassed about or ashamed of. Where I am in my better health quest, the weights I am using are far less important than simply showing up and doing the work.
The exercise and pursuit of List completion is not easy, but it is also not unpleasant. I walk out feeling great, happy to be done, looking forward to the rest of the challenges in the rest of my day.
It didn’t happen overnight. The process and the mindset makeover happened so slowly, so subtly its impossible to pinpoint when or how. What I also understand is that like the muscles I am now sporting, keeping my head in the happier spaces requires time and attention throughout the balance of my days. Having to be mindful of something does not make it burdensome.
There are thorny issues in my future. Primarily work related, a couple of clients facing some very hard and harsh choices, and in some ways they impact me. No one likes to be part of faltering businesses or to have to watch good people lose their livelihoods. I am far healthier now than I was 2 years ago, body and mind. My view from this perch is far clearer and brighter than where I once dwelled.
Seeking balance and better health has brought unexpected clarity to so many aspects of life. Being cheerful, positive, maybe even giddy – that’s how my associate described it this morning. And I beamed and thanked him for the compliment. He sourly suggested I stop making it such a daily gig.
Maybe the nicest thing he has said to me yet.