If this isn’t proof of the value of sitting down and checking in with your Self, I don’t know what is.  I shared with you, dear Readers, the basic breakdown of my work week.  From it, what do you know about me?  Well, with fresh eyes, I see that I give priority to my family, my speech therapy clients, my writing Self, my readers, my non-profit work and all the important people in my life.

After I had typed out those bullets, an audible voice inside me said, “Yeah, but you don’t exercise.”  Isn’t it fabulous that my body is so verbal with me?  I mean, really, isn’t that exactly the kind of relationship one would want with his/her body?  I think so, too!  So…what did I do??

I IGNORED IT!!  I typed out the rest of that post, published it and went on my merry way.

I have been ignoring my body for a long time.  I hear whispers of “I miss yoga!” and “Step classes were so fun!” and I don’t so much as whisper back.  I recently had a burning desire to watch Bend it Like Beckham again – love that movie!  My favourite part of that movie is watching the girls train and play soccer.  The first time I ever watched it, years ago, that’s what caught my attention.  When I watch my husband play on his soccer teams I am drawn to the women – I immediately check out their quads.  Have you ever seen a soccer player’s legs?  Like really seen them??

The other signal sent by my body that I ignored was the fact that I had started becoming somewhat of a “shadow soccer player” as my coach, Dr. Susan Biali, pointed out in our last session!  For example, I really think my cousin should play soccer again like she did in high school because she’s always had athletic ability that I have admired.  I am also really excited that my daughter is showing interest in soccer (“I like soccer better than ballet, Mom.  Ballet is boring!”) and have her soccer career mapped out in my brain.

I had about 3 years of fitness in my life in my late high school/early college years.  I used to take these step classes that revolutionized my idea of “working out.”  I felt the burn, I had to push myself for sure, but it was so fun to move as a group with choreographed dance-like steps over, across and around a simple board.  After months of going to the gym about 3-4 days a week, I got to a point where around 20 minutes into a 75 minute class I’d start feeling the endorphins rushing through my body, and I totally understood that “runner’s high”.  I couldn’t stop the smile through the sweat for the life of me.  I developed my own ab and thigh workout routine that I did at home to my favourite mixed tape (yes, I said tape).  And I actually enjoyed it!

What else did I enjoy?  Oh yeah…looking in the mirror as I worked out and watching my quads pop as I did my squats – or my triceps, or really any other muscle that I had worked hard on.  And I did work hard.  Not to be skinny.  This wasn’t about trying to look like a teeny, tiny supermodel.  This was about being strong, healthy, confident and determined.

This was about me being the things I value. 

So, how did I exit this beautiful space?  It was rather abrupt, I think.  I transferred from the local college to a university where my long days were extended by 2 hours of driving.  A few years later, I moved to Ontario to pursue a post-graduate diploma and there I got back into regular swimming, weight training and step classes.  Triceps came back after a short while – it was nice to see them again!  Then I moved back home, got “busy” again, got married, went to grad school (where I repeatedly told my good friend, “I can’t wait till we graduate and get a job so I can work out in the evenings instead of study!”).  So then I graduated, got a job and did not work out in the evenings much.  Sporadic step and yoga classes and early-morning swims that I can count on one hand were scattered over my next two years.

Then I became a MOM and well, you know that story.  I had to focus on one thing at a time and I chose to remember my creative Self since it was screaming the loudest.  But recently, my body has started getting louder and I don’t like the way it feels.  I realized that if my body is not feeling loved and on board with my game plan, well everything else can just get tossed out the window!  It’s hard to create things when your body is hurting. 

And so, dear Readers, thank you for being my sounding board – a very helpful tool that was part of my recent revelation.  This means making changes to that work week of mine.

Pull out your journal or your task binder and ask yourself the following questions (I’ll log these with the other prompts too):

  • Did you find any gaping holes in your work week?
  • Any imbalances that need addressing?
  • What changes, if any, do you need to make?
  • How do you feel about the imbalances and the subsequent changes?
  • Do you have the support you need to make these changes?