I've started going to a pilates class - well, it's piyo - a hybrid of pilates and yoga. I didn't realize my body was a weak and basically out of shape as it is. I can walk pretty much all day if I want to. I don't feel weak or tired (that I had noticed). I stopped running before I started having babies ... became busy with other things. I have told my kids who run or swim that neglecting "running" is definitely the one regret of my life. I haven't actually thought I could "get back in to it". I have even heard myself think that I should have resumed running for fun when I first began to fly (instead of) ... I could have run on all sorts of exotic beaches with the money spent on aviation. I used to like to run. I don't spend a lot of time looking at other people, but I must admit, I do notice the calves on runners and bikers - I feel happy for them and a tad envious!
My son casually invited me to join him in a 5K. I immediately thought, no way I could do that. But, that's not true. I like that he asked me. I've enjoyed thinking about it. Not sure it fits with what I'm working on right now, but I do smile when I consider the challenge. 5K really isn't much.
A cold snap in the area encouraged me to do my walking time on the tread mill inside our home. I thought about what the PiLo instructor is teaching/reminding about posture, core engagement and balance. I wondered if I could walk on the treadmill with my eyes closed. I can walk on the tread mill concentrating on pushing my foot heel through the toes down on to the surface as I do the yoga mat. I can vary my stride from long to shorter and even walk sideways or backwards on the treadmill. I can run on the treadmill. I can't walk with my eyes closed. Yeah - a few steps, not really walking. I found that if I have just a finger extended to touch the upper part of the machine that I am able to walk with my eyes closed. It's a yoga balance exercise. Here - stand on one foot (with excellent posture) lift a foot (maybe just a few inches off the floor or higher if you can, all the way up to hip to knee horizontal position) dangle the foot in a pendulum motion and find your balance --- now move your eyes from where you were looking to somewhere else --- still balanced? Close your eyes. It gets more difficult.
Balance. I remember watching my babies figure out how to use their bodies and part of it was about figuring out how to balance themselves. We work to get it and we work to keep it. Balance is something we can easily lose as our bodies age.
I thought it was interesting that as long as "just my finger" was touching something stable that I could move/walk with my eyes shut.
Doing that little physical experiment reminded me of a specific moment back in the 90s.
My husband was back in school beginning his PhD, we had two children and I had gone back to work (outside the home). It wasn't what I expected. I didn't expect to put my babies in childcare and go back to work while my husband picked up another degree. I had waited on having children until I thought things were pretty well settled and on "track". I didn't expect major life changes would be happening in my thirties. It was an incredibly stressful time for me, for him too. New town, no friends/church, new job, new routine. My husband was teaching and had a stipend - he was still making money, but ... I felt responsible for every thing we had to say no - not now - to ... and there were a lot of "nos". There were times when bath soap seemed like a luxury. Money was tight. My husband was 100% focused on getting finished asap and worked at it seemed like around the clock. Our baby girl took her first steps at the Montessori school ... we missed that and all the things young children do during their busy days. I remember standing in the kitchen looking at a huge cockroach which we couldn't afford to have someone come out and spray (yes, I have heard of RAID - we couldn't eat it so it wasn't on the grocery shopping list). The children were in their little beds for the evening and I was telling my husband something about my boss insisting that I make another sales call on a client who was making inappropriate - passes - at me. I can't remember the conversation after all these years - I just remember my absolute shock at how my husband responded to that. He said the guy wouldn't be making a pass at me if I weren't somehow encouraging it. It felt exactly like walking on the tread mill today felt when I tried to walk with my eyes shut and took my finger away from that last little touch point. Everything shifted. I felt like I was going to fall and just keep on falling. I had to re-find my balance. On the treadmill it was as simple as opening my eyes, re-balancing and trying again. I remember telling my husband - around that time - that it was as though I had suddenly parachuted in to someone else's life. I fell and fell and landed in someone else's life. That's how PhD school was for me. It wasn't a good time for us. It took me a while to figure out how to balance myself. Life is full of surprises.
I did learned the truth of what Socrates said - change is about building "the new". I don't dislike change.