Can I balance for 10 seconds on each leg with my eyes closed?
Sure, but after 25 years being in this fitness industry I can finally say that I have some balance in my life.
‘What?’ you might say, after all, that is what I have been trying to sell, if not preach to all my participants and everyone that has ears.
I now understand the look of disbelief in their eyes due to my lack of credibility as my whole world revolved around work. I was a joke because what I was trying to provide a physical, psychological and emotional balance for my participants, yet I didn’t have it myself.
Yes, I was stressed out running around trying to be miss perfect fitness.
So what has been the shift for me? Well it started with an innocent bike ride in Finland in May 2012.
I remember it clearly as it was Mother’s Day. I remember feeling the crisp air on my face and breathing in the freshness and asking myself why I didn’t ride my bike any more. It had been years and I really enjoyed it. In fact the main reason why I gave up riding everywhere was that I needed to fit more into my day and driving was more practical.
As some of you will remember, it become my New Year’s resolution last year, and the result, a slowing down of my schedule. I smelled outdoor air for the first time in years and enjoyed being outdoors. It gave me time to think and more importantly, it was for my own enjoyment.
This year a thought popped into my head. Actually 4 days after new year. All this functional training that I was doing was great, but I wanted to prove that it was effective. And that is when I decided to create a veggie garden with my friend Carla. Yep, I picked up a hoe, not having ever used one before and with Carla, dug up my backyard. It ended up being bigger than originally planned by several metres, but that was ok, as the work was fun. And the functional training that I had been doing proved to be effective as I was not sore and had the energy to just keep hoeing. We have planted a range of things, some that I have forgotten what they are (accidently threw out the names to the plants), and they are all growing brilliantly. In fact, I have spent more time in my backyard in the past 2 months than I have for the past 15 years. The repetitive actions and the opportunity to slow down (can’t yell at plants to grow faster, harder, or move with more energy) has been meditative and relaxing.
Balance – just a strange concept really. It really is only something that has come about in the past 40 years really. I can’t remember my parents discussing having a work life balance. There just seemed to be an unspoken rule that downtime (another newish word) was part of life.
Quite clearly, I like ‘doing’ something physical – bike riding and gardening, but these activities actually slow me down. I never thought that I would be excited about standing in my backyard watering my plants, literally watching them grow. That’s slow stuff and with the slow stuff, comes a peace, relaxation and appreciation for the moment.
I can actually say that I have a hobby – wow, haven’t had one of those in 25 years. I am beginning to ‘get it’ and understand why people look forward to weekends.
What’s the balance in your life? Do you have the yin to balance out your yang? What is slow for you? Send in your yin moments as I would love to share them in the next newsletter.