On Saturday and Sunday mornings I spin. I spin hard. And I love it. I am a beast on the bike.
With the lights turned down low, the music is pumping, my legs are pumping, my heart is pumping. Sweat is literally falling from me. The instructor tells us to increase our RPM, add a gear, get up in the saddle, hands at position 2. Hands at position 4. Push up the hill. Take away two gears and get back in the saddle. RPMs increase. Hands off the handlebars. Take a swig of water, wipe my face. And pile the gears back on. We're ready for hill No. 2.
I am a BEAST.
I love the loud music, the cheering from my fellow classmates, the instructor's encouraging words, the high-fives at the end. For one hour on spin days, I unleash my inner beast. And when I'm done, drenched in sweat and stomach rumbling, I want more and more and more. I do best with group work. I do best with motivating instructors. I do best in a class environment, where we are all cheering each other on.
And I think, wow, spinning is really my thing.
Until I'm on the yoga mat. At the end of practice as I turn gently to one side after Shavasana, my hand is rooted into the floor and I pause for a few seconds before I push myself up into sitting. And in that moment I want to cry because I am truly thankful for my body and my practice. In that moment, after one hour of whatever I just did, whether it was hot, restorative or power yoga, I am really, truly at peace with my body. And I think, wow, yoga is really my thing.
Until I'm pounding the pavement with my feet, running my own race, every time I run. Every time I finish a run, whether it's a training run or a competitive race, I cross my own finish line. When I reach new PRs. When I shave 20 seconds off my mile. Each little victory is a huge victory because I brought myself there.
I brought myself to and through the finish lines of Tour de Pink and my first half marathon. And I bring myself to and through every yoga practice and every spin class and every run, whether it's 2 miles or 13.1.
So what's really "my thing"? It's all of the above. I am just now realizing I can have a lot of things. And I can do and love all of them simultaneously. I kept trying to put a label on it. I always thought you're either a runner or a yogi or a cyclist. I may do one better than the other two, or love one more than the others, but I am all three.
Yes, running is my first true love. And I do consider myself a runner. But I also love cycling and I also love yoga, and I get something different out of each one of them. I'm less experienced in yoga and cycling, but that doesn't mean they can't be my passions. I can want to succeed at them and want to work at them.
And in taking classes at PYP I've rediscovered my love for yoga and cycling. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop running. I'll ALWAYS run. And I want to do another half marathon when the time is right. But right now I'm finding my yoga practice and my cycling legs again. I'm finding myself again on the mat and on the bike.
And I'm allowed to have all of it. I'm allowed to have more than one "thing." And I think that's good for me. Interchanging running, yoga and cycling brings out the best in my athleticism.
Each one brings a different kind of stress relief. Each one is fun in a unique way. And each one keeps me (relatively) sane. And each one brings out my best self. And each one shows me self-love and appreciation. And each one brings out my inner beast. Whether I'm crushing a 10 mile run or pushing up a steep hill on the bike or breathing through a screaming pigeon on the mat (there's a reason they call it "screaming"), I am pushing myself to the extreme. I know my limits and I would never make myself sick or hurt myself. I know when to tone down. I know when to put a block under my arms or decrease my gear or slow down. I know when to take a water break.
I know where I can go before it's too much. I know how far to push. I know that place - the place where I've exhausted all my reserves and accomplished something new and exciting. I know that place, and I go there with running, cycling and yoga.
Remember how much I LOVED having those personal training sessions? Where I was introduced to bench pressing and TRX? I loved that too. I owned that kettle ball. I owned those planks. I was a beast then, too.
The appeal isn't just the exercise and stress relief, though of course those are huge bonuses. The appeal is seeking my own personal challenge and conquering it.
On other topics, this last week or so has been pretty interesting, to say the least. In no chronological or order of importance, Sean hit a deer with his car - he's OK and the car isn't totaled but the repairs are pricey and the deer didn't make it; Lloyd had an accident on his birthday and is recovering and we are thinking of him and praying for him; and I had a "growth" on my nose removed and sent to pathology.
Yes, some weird looking thing appeared on my nose like a week ago that wasn't quite a pimple and wasn't quite a mole. (It was red and raised and circular). It didn't sit right with me and it didn't go away, so I called the derm and got in right away. I saw him on Monday. He said it definitely is a "growth" (yes, he used that term and it grosses me out), he doesn't THINK it's malignant but he also doesn't think it's going away any time soon so he recommended he cut it off and send it to pathology. So, naturally, I agreed. Better to have this thing off and make sure it isn't skin cancer than to leave it there and wonder and worry.
A small thing compared to getting my boobs chopped off, but still I like to complain that I have to wear a bandaid on my nose for a week until this mini crater heals. Should have the results on Monday.
Happy things: the changes are coming SO QUICKLY with Adele! Not only does she now crawl forward, but she crawls forward FAST, pulls herself up onto things, knows high-five, has tried couscous and pancakes at school (and we are giving her teething wafers at home that she likes to swing near Campbell's mouth), and "talks" more and more! They always say the changes come quickly, but just like literally EVERYTHING ELSE in motherhood, I don't really quite know what people are talking about until it happens.
Just like when people told me, as we were bringing Adele home from the hospital, that we would never really sleep again. And I remember thinking, "that's OK, we don't need sleep, Look! We have a baby OMG" and then I don't remember the first three months because I don't know if I was ever fully awake or ever fully asleep.
Luckily, Adele is a wonderful sleeper and started sleeping through the night at 3 months.
And then people told me as soon as she started crawling, watch out - it's a whole other ball game! And I remember thinking, "That's OK, I can keep up, no big deal" and now that she's crawling I am stunned and shocked by how fast she gets across the room and puts Campbell's nylabones in her mouth.
Please send prayers and healing to Lloyd as he recovers. We are looking forward to Pink Zone March 1, followed by the YSC Summit in Houston, TX. And until then, we are celebrating Valentine's Day weekend with a brunch with the Dobersteins Saturday at the Nittany Lion Inn and dinner and a basketball game Saturday night, followed by a wine and chocolate party with my girlfriends Sunday, and then seeing 50 Shades (Reading it now and hoping to finish before Sunday!) in the theater.
More to come later. Happy Valentine's Day!