Today marks the ends of my first week of replacing my morning WOD with a walk around my neighborhood. (If you’re wondering why I’m walking instead of WODing, read this post on “The Healing Experiment.”) It’s too soon to notice a significant difference in how I feel, but I have stopped pouting, so that’s a big step in the right direction. Here are a few observations and stories from the first week of The Healing Experiment.
It’s about the
Vitamin D Natural Light.
The first day Dave and I went for a morning walk, I was on fire. Arms were pumping, legs were turning over quickly. If I was going to be forced to walk, damn it!, I was going to walk fast. Around day 3, I realized the point of the walk is not “exercise.” Let’s be honest here: a 30-minute walk isn’t going to do much in the way of building either cardiovascular endurance or muscle mass. I was completely missing the point. The goal of the walk – first thing in the morning – is to get me outside and soaking up sunlight so my hormone feedback loops can correct themselves. Now I’m strolling. My arms are still swinging, but instead of thinking move-move-move, I’m thinking breathe-breathe-breathe. Update 11/14/11: I was a little confused about cortisol and Vitamin D. Suffice it to say that everything I’m doing everything I can to get my cortisol and leptin in line. That means Vitamin D in the morning and bright light in the a.m. to tell my body, I’m up and awake and cortisol should be up, too.
I really do like yoga.
Dave and I try to do new things together on a frequent basis. We’ve been a couple for 20 years so it’s important that we both have our own, separate pursuits – and essential that we try new stuff together to have that shared experience. This Saturday, we went to yoga together for the first time… and we loved it. The class is called Hatha Star (the “star” indicates that it’s appropriate for beginners) and included basic moves like lunges, downward dog, warrior pose… lots of lengthy holds and wonderful stretching. And the best part: chanting! At the beginning we did three long, held ohms that sounded like a chorus and some call-and-response stuff. You guys, when the instructor was doing the intro to the class – the general groovy, “getting in touch with the divine… being part of the community,” etc., etc., I started crying. CRYING! And that’s when I knew: I’m exhausted in a way I can’t even consciously recognize, and I totally need these classes. I didn’t feel sad. In fact, I think the tears were celebrating because they were free in that environment to pop out. I felt relief as they made hot streaks down my cheeks because I was finally able to admit that I’m tired on a monumental, deep level.
But that was the only serious part. We did partner stretches that made us all laugh, and toward the end, there was plenty of grunting and groaning as we held a few challenging poses for what felt like forever. After class, we were served spicy herbal tea. Mine was labeled “NSS” for no sweetener, no soy. It was a totally awesome experience, and I’m going at least three times a week… with zero resentment.
My soundtrack is different.
My playlist for running and CrossFit WODs is a study in badassery: punk rock, metal, and a few outliers from the hip-hop world that make me feel like strutting. Now that I’m toning down the attitude and exertion a bit, I’m enjoying the other music on my iPod, stuff with lyrics worth taking to heart. Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, Frank Turner, Mike Ness’s solo albums, and Des’ree. My favorite right now? Duran Duran’s latest All You Need Is Now. Lush arrangements and lots of layering of synth, drums, and bass (Play the f*cking bass, John!), back up dreamy, wistful lyrics and Simon Le Bon singing harmony with himself. It’s perfectly modern and retro at the same time, and it’s hard to argue with a message like this:
It’s all up to you now, find yourself in the moment…
When you move into the light, you’re the greatest thing alive…
And you sway in the moon
The way you did when you were younger
When we told everybody
All you need is now
I’m bad at playing – but I’m looking for light-heartedness.
Yesterday after I did a few sets of sloooooooow stepups and modified pushups on a rock, I sat my fanny in the swing at the playground. I’m not sure how long I swung on it, but it wasn’t long before I was thinking, “I wonder how long I need to do this before it feels fun.” Frankly, it kinda gave me a tummy ache. But I like the idea of it… doing something to pass the time that has no goal or expected positive outcome attached to it. During my walk, I found a large pebble and kicked it down the street as I strolled, like a mini soccer ball, until it disappeared into a pile of leaves. That was pretty fun – and also pointless – so I think that qualifies as play. Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll have reclaimed even more of my silliness somewhere along the streets of my neighborhood.
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