I have always enjoyed the meditative aspect of exercise. For over a decade, swimming and playing music was my meditation. I loved how my flipturns changed my perspective and allowed me to see the world upside down for a moment in time. I think when I was a young swimmer, I spent a lot of time swimming with my eyes closed.
Playing the violin, piano, and singing helped me to focus on technique and to remember pieces. This was very relaxing (sometimes stressful around performance time), but they were all creative outlets.
This morning I turned on an old Blink -182 album that used to be my jam at swim meets. I was also listening to Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” in fact that was probably the song I imagined the most to get me pscyched for challenging sets and races.
And other times it was this:
As you can see, I had eclectic taste at the age of 13!
Hardly any pictures exist from that time in my life anymore (except in family photo albums and I wonder if those even exist anymore.)
Luckily, I managed to find a few gems. I never would have imagined that weightlifting could be somewhat meditative. In fact, I used to hate it mostly because I was self-conscious of myself and my body and was worried about being judged for bad form.
I finally decided to start facing that fear last July and it has changed my life. I feel like I am growing stronger everyday. This morning I played a little Blink-182 to get myself excited about the workout and it brought me back in time to my 13 year old self… That was the year that I started swimming the 200 Butterfly and the 400 I.M. It was an exciting time.
Somehow weightlifting has become a creative outlet for me. I love the thought that I am sculpting my own body into a stronger and better version of myself. Sometimes, I find myself in a little bit of a trance and then I remind myself to stay in the moment so that I can stay safe with the heavy weights.
Today I realized that my life has dramatically changed. For awhile, it was consistently the same. I lived in the same house for over 3 years and during that time I know I was not studying all the time. I also was not going to the gym and I have done a handful of independent learning contracts through the years so I spent a lot of time alone studying. I have been wondering why this time feels so different. How did I keep from feeling sad or isolated back then.
I realized that back then I was watching hours of Netflix probably every single day. I also had our dog Ruby and our 3 cats Oscar, Alleyjandra, and Carl. And I was never really alone with my bf and our tenants there was always something going on.
Things have changed (for the better.) My friend Diana adopted Ruby last spring and that set off a whole chain reaction. We sold our 1st house and have been pretty non-stop since then. 3 weeks after the house sold, my quarter at school ended and we drove across the country.
Upon arrival we drove north and once we arrived in Maine I was busy exploring because I had my car. I also worked a lot. My life got even busier in the fall when I took a full program on campus. I stayed busy hanging out with Diana, Ruby, my sister, and making new friends in my dance classes.
It was a rapid change to go from all of those activities to moving to a new place and being car-less for the past nearly 3 months. I cancelled my Netflix about a year ago and have not looked back since.
I feel a lot better now after taking some time to realize that my life is rapidly changing. Sometimes you need to do that and go through the entire timeline to celebrate progress and know that you are not going crazy.