Find the place where strength meets compassion

balance, choices, fitness, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, life, motivation, roller derby, roller skating, skating, strength, weight loss

Today is Wednesday, which is usually the day in the week that my body is feeling the intensity of my training sessions the most. I do either cardio or weights on Mondays, followed by a power yoga practice with my guru, and on Tuesday I practice Yoga in the morning, prepare to teach class, teach class, and then I take Buti yoga. So, by Wednesday, I’m feeling strong, but tired. Today we had BodyPump, and later on I taught yoga and skated after.

Reaching my goal initially was one thing, sustaining it was an important process in learning how to continue those habits, and not fall into bad habits. I started finding a rhythm again, and then I had an injury. Any time we experience an injury, particularly athletes, what’s going on in your head is a story of doomsday, fear, and taking everything the doctor says to heart. So, I was feeling pretty down, and to be quite frank, there were moments of despair. Anytime one hears permanence, fears do all kinds of things with our brains. I was afraid of losing the ability to stay fit, which ironically impacted my body. By being afraid of decreasing my fitness level, I wasn’t working out as much. By being afraid of how an injury would impact my body, I allowed it to and I gained fat.

What we resist persists.

I resisted weight gain, and it persisted on me.

The deep existential lesson I’ve gotten from my experiences this year is that I can still be kick ass, but also find and allow compassion for myself.

Setbacks are part of the growing process. We learn that in our coaching. And just as we learn the habits to overcome obstacles, we learn again what it takes to get by if the lesson didn’t really stick the first time. Sometimes, the lesson has to be learned multiple times.

I’ve lost a hundred pounds twice. The first time I lost a hundred pounds, I had an injury and went through a horrifying ordeal, and during all that chaos, I gained about 70 pounds. Several years later when I was ready again, I lost the 70 that I gained, plus another 30. After hitting my goal, I settled for a moment, put on a little bit of fat from victory meals and especially enjoying Las Vegas for a full week, and then struggled to find consistency.

During the 30 days of skating challenge, I hope to inspire people to be their best, and do the best they can with what they have. There’s a lesson in that for me as well. As leader, not only do I have to show strength, but I also have to emphasize the importance of balance and rest.

When it was my turn to lead a yoga practice this training this weekend, I addressed the group and told them to continue to work to their edge, but also realize that we’ve been working very hard. Though it is important to continually grow, it’s equally important to know when the ego is pushing the body past growth and toward danger. I then said something to them that I tell the students in my high intensity interval class.

Find the place where strength meets compassion.

The athletes in my high intensity class are exactly that. They are high intensity. Is a highly aggressive workout, and as an instructor, I have to pay particularly close attention to ensure proper form, to make sure that they are getting a good workout, but also that they are not overdoing it. I remind them that doing exercises properly and at their own particular level ensures that they can do it over and over again. It only takes one bad movement for the ego to take over, and impacts our body and our ability to do the things we love.

Strength is not only physical, it’s also the mental fortitude to realize that we are human, we are flawed, and our best today will vary from yesterday and tomorrow. We are always great, we are always exceptional, we always carry an amazing potential within us.

“You are as good as your greatest day even if you have not had it yet.” – Kenyan runner’s phrase

Last week I had dinner with a friend that was visiting from out of town, and while talking about the classes we teach, we discussed how fitness, just like food, can be used excessively. She then said something that stuck in my mind profoundly. She said fitness is not a punishment, it is a reward.

This is yet another reminder that what we do is important, and how we do it is equally as important. Is good and well to eat healthy, but still having excessive tendencies means excess calories will be consumed, which leads to fat gain. Also, what it takes to burn excessive calories takes way more time and effort then consuming those calories. So, with balance, comes smart eating, and smart exercise.

Conversely, excessive exercise without adequate nutrition leads to depletion and is detrimental to our bodies externally, internally, and messes with our minds.

The takeaway here is to find balance. Even bigger – and much deeper – is accepting what is without continually obsessing about changing it. Again, what we resist persists.

Let it go. Whatever it is we don’t want to be, we can choose to avoid by focusing on what we DO want to be.

By focusing on being OUR best – not THE best, not better than so-and-so, not comparing to others – we are able to unleash our greatest selves to express our true genius. OUR genius. No one else’s.

So, be brilliant. No option 😉

Onto the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

We’re 1200 people and 3 days in, and today was another day of ass-kicking skater goodness! It’s remarkable to see people rally together and share the joy of skating! Some of us are feeling the extra work, and with any sport, we’ve also experienced a few injuries. The group’s been amazingly supportive and every day is busy, fun, interesting, and another opportunity for us all to see that, despite our differences, we are truly in this together.

Tonight while reffing for Palm Coast Roller Derby, I was reminded yet again that I want to keep working on my plow stops and transitions. As an outside pack ref, I want to get super on my feet, because I have the endurance, and I can do even more once I get quicker with the fancier stuff. This month’s challenge is a great way for me to not only keep building on my endurance (to say I need more endurance is like saying I need more muscle…I love what I got, but I’m glad to have more :D), but to deal with nagging annoyances I’ve been pushing aside because I’ve been reffing and not playing derby.

Day 3 rocked, and it’s a joy and a blessing to be a part of this challenge, and a particularly humbling honor to lead and witness the worldwide participation.

Skate life…so much love ❤

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