Saturday, March 30, 2013

Company

As you might have figured out by now, I love running. A lot. And I love running alone. I love being left with my thoughts and emotions, left to my own pace, left to my own battle. So, when my friend Laura suggested that we go running together, I was hesitant at first (sorry, Laura!). I thought I would be a boring running buddy and that I would be left running by myself anyhow, because Laura runs much faster than me. But, I decided I would look on the positive side instead. I could spend time with my friend, make sure I got a good run in, and maybe push myself.
I am seriously so grateful that I agreed. Friday, Laura and I set out for a ride in my neighbourhood. It was seriously so great. We kept a faster pace than I'm used to, but I kept pushing myself, because I had somebody beside me. We had a lot to talk about, and enjoyed the sunshine. I think I may have gotten a slight sunburn too. I'll remember to douse myself in the SPF next time! Also, I loved Laura's reaction to the low flying planes (because we're closer to the airport).
I highly recommend finding a friend to run with, or whatever it is you do to move your body. Company is always nice.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Honor it

One thing that I have come to love about yoga is the insistance that you listen to your own body and honor it. Yesterday, my instructor said that a few times. Honor what you are feeling. Sometimes, you can't hold a specific position or do the more advanced part, but that's okay. For example, while we were in pigeon pose, Andrea asked us to reach our arm back and bend and hold our left or right leg (depending on the side we were stretching). I tried it on my left side and it didn't even come close to working. On the right side, it worked, but I lost my balance and nearly fell over, so I just stayed in the original position. Sometimes I get upset with myself for not being able to do what I want to. My body is so inflexible, and it never goes as far as I want it to. But, I've realized that this is okay.
At other times, Andrea encourages us to take a break if we aren't able to breathe easily through a pose. Sometimes you just need to take that time in child's pose in order to bring yourself back so you can continue your practice.
I have learned recently that this is true in life sometimes too. I usually think that we have to struggle through things and keep going, regardless of how we are feeling. Sometimes things are just so stressful or other factors in our lives make the things that used to be enjoyable (even if they were still a challenge) nearly impossible to complete. Sometimes it's best to just take a breather, and refocus yourself so that you can finish. It doesn't mean that you are less of a person, or a failure. It only means that you are listening to your body and honouring it.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Bueller?

When I was fifteen, I fell in love. His name was Ferris, and I thought he was amazing.
For my fifteenth birthday, my parents got me "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". On VHS. (That makes it cooler, right?) I watched it that night, and basically at least once a week that summer. I wanted to be born twenty years earlier so that I could meet become an actress, be cast as Sloane Peterson and kiss Matthew Broderick in his prime. But, alas, I was left with only a movie to watch and rewatch. I was seriously hooked. I remember being crushed when I found out there was already a band named "Save Ferris" -- that was going to be my band's name! (Because when I was fifteen, I legitimately thought I would start a band one day). 
Anyhow, the reason the rememberance of my fan girl days, stemmed from a discovery of some amazing Ferris Bueller posters. I want every single one. 
What was your favourite movie as a teenager? Did you have a thing for 80's flicks and John Hughes like me?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Savasana

Usually, I learn my life lessons from running, but yesterday, yoga was my teacher. After a series of gruelling crescent lunges and some shake inducing boat poses, I was so ready for savasana (the final resting pose). As we prepared to settle into savasana, my instructor talked about giving ourselves permission to just let go, and do nothing. She said that we had earned it. It was true. I worked really hard, doing my very best and persevering when I thought my muscles would break. I had earned a rest.
My next thought was about life in general. We go through hard times every day. Some trials last a minute, some last decades. And there are times that we may want to just give up and let our muscles quit, because it's too overwhelming, and we can't take it. But you can't do that. The problems will still be there, and you still have to deal with them. Savasana doesn't come until the end. And when it does come, and you know you've earned it, it's a wonderful feeling.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Comparison

All my life, or at least as long as I can remember, I have had the tendency to compare myself to others. I look at the lives of my friends and family, and wonder why I'm not doing the same things, or getting the same results, or what I can do to be more like them. Sometimes, it's not a bad thing. For instance, I see my sister and how happy she is being a mom, and I think, I can have that. But more often then not, it is not a good thing. It's probably one of the more destructive of my bad habits. I see people who started university the same year as me who will graduate with their second degree when I'm finally getting my first. I see people who are my age owning homes while we are renting a tiny place, and will be renting for a while longer. I see people close to my age not just having their first child, but their second or third.  I see people who try running and within a few weeks are finishing ten minutes faster than my best 5K. The list goes on and on.
For years, my mom counselled me to stop focusing on what other people were doing, and worry about what I'm doing. All of our circumstances are different. I know what my best is, and I know that I can also improve. I'm not competing with anyone else, I'm competing against myself. Every day, I want to be improving -- but not against what someone else is doing. I want to improve against my own standard.
The last few weeks, I have made a greater effort to get outside and run while the sun has been shining and the temperatures have been moderate. One afternoon, I decided to make a playlist of songs that would keep me running fast so I could finally beat my fastest time. For the first while, I was doing great. I had my fastest kilometer yet, and I was sure that I had mastered it. But then around my third kilometer, my legs would not work. It was a struggle to keep going. After a few rests, and very slow pace on my last two kilometers due to a horrible cramp, I finished the 5K I had set out to do but much slower than I wanted. I came home feeling defeated and worthless. What was wrong with me? I know how to run. I can do it, but why wouldn't my body do what I wanted it to do? As I thought more about it that night, I realized that the fun of running had been overshadowed by my compulsion to compare my results against someone else's. The next morning, I decided that I would go for an easy thirty minute jog and not care about how fast or how far I went. It was great. I ran really slow, but I felt great.
Heavenly Father does not judge us by how we stack up next to someone else. He knows what we are personally capable of, and wants us to focus on improving ourselves day by day by doing better than we did the day before.
It's still a real struggle for me not to compare myself to others, but I am thankful for the insights that I have been able to have this last week as I work towards correcting my behaviours.
I'm still a slow runner, and I am probably the least flexible person in my yoga class. I live in a really small home, and I still wonder if I will actually graduate. But, I'm happy. Running and yoga make me feel good even when I can't run a ten minute mile yet and I can't reach my toes today. But, I am comforted by the knowledge that every day, in every way I'm getting better and better.