Saturday, January 11, 2020

Bounded Holidays with the In-Laws

[Dec 23, 2019]

Just do something. Choose fitness. Choose movement

These statements show so easily the ‘all or nothing’ mentality rooted deeply within me, in the oddest places. Especially odd because I am usually all into the gray-areas of both/and, compassionate perception, in so many other areas. Strikes me this pre-holiday day that there is something ‘here’ for me to name, somehow…

The presenting twinge, internally and externally, is a back muscle Melissa named with a Q and a number. Don’t remember what she said, in that way, but I heard how to care for it this weekend—lacrosse ball on the outside, gently moving in toward the spine; heated seats on in the car. Gentle recovery. Support with core-muscles whenever moving in a way to activate it. Some ibuprofen for the irritation. It’s 70% better already, and I’m impatient. Classic all or nothing there—if I can’t do what I did last Thursday, then I’m not (fill in the blank).

It was an interesting week, body-listening-wise. I could feel a sinus/headcold coming about Tuesday, I think. It’s the normal time for it, post-semester, usually turning into bronchitis right before Christmas. This year, I leaned into the Zicam nasal spray that seemed helpful. And it was. By Friday morning, the symptoms had mostly passed over me. I had had two days of 12- hr Sudafed, to rid myself of the runny-nose symptoms, but I took another that Friday morning, just in case it showed up. I think my experience of movement and exertion is different with antihistamine in my system! A bit shakier, but also adrenalin-like. Note to self…might have pushed into ‘more’ because of it. And yet it was fun to be there for the 'anniversary/Christmas gift card' thing--didn't want to miss anything like that.

The communal web of CrossFit, for my own steadiness—within me, with my body, with others—is an incredibly strong draw. I can see how that can push me into new behaviors to insure that the daily-weekly rhythm remains in tact. I’ve often just let my system weather the headcold, but this time, I tried the strengthen-the-immune-system approach because I didn’t want to not be there. This could translate into being there when my body might benefit from more rest, I can see. And yet…it holds my own heart to the primacy of my own fitness amidst so many other responsibilities that pull at me. I figure it will all balance out, in the end. I work too much, historically, and this insures more balance.

So I could feel the anxiety rise with the twinge injury on Friday, driving around Cincy for my various meetings. I felt like I escaped the headcold, only to land in a back-twinge. My body was speaking more loudly, so I'm listening. I knew it wasn’t wise for me to be anywhere but home, resting, enjoying a holiday weekend with B. 

I felt once again the fragility of my inner-steadiness…rather sweet, actually. I want to be in this new healthy sense of myself for the long haul, learning to trust I won’t forget, or it won’t be taken away, disappear. Something unexpected arises and I fear the rhythm will need to be different, like it will all disappear. More echoes of the old and earliest story in my life: what I need won’t be possible or present for me. It’s such an old storyline, so faint and already restored to a better story, a present story: I know best what I need and can name it with those who will listen, even those who can help me.

So I enjoy the feelings of a post-workout morning, gentle movement and care for what's best for me. I munch my plan-granola with tasty almond butter and unsweetened almond milk, await a friend for coffee at my now-familiar writing hole, and smile into the holidays this week. I know best what I need—even with the in-laws—and can choose to honor it, even name it with those willing to hear. Those who refuse it need not matter in the choices I get to make. Just do something. Choose fitness. Choose movement.

Makes me think this holiday in Minnesota could be different than the food-overwhelm and energetic-grief exhaustion, tending others' energies. Making the egg muffins to take with me; my seed-bread; almond butter; weighted baggies of nuts. Stretching and movement if it feels feasible; rest if not. 

Bounded holiday time with the in-laws? How odd, and how delightful to prepare and insure it too. I wonder what it will feel like, living into the new story with them?

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