A few weeks ago I decided to join a "couch to 5K" challenge with my Zumba studio and participate in a local run that takes place December 8th. In June of this year I started going to Zumba to get back in shape and get my body moving. I feel incredibly blessed that the trainers make working out so much fun, safe and highly effective. You can check them out on Whidbey Island at Island Sweat Shop.
I have to start by saying that am not, nor have I ever considered myself a "runner". Even in my years of dancing growing up I was one with the red cheeks and out of breath. I always felt I had to work extra hard to keep up and dreaded those mandatory track and field races. Right after high school I jumped into a yoga practice to heal from car accident injuries and then continued with cardio, dance and weight training while living in Europe.
In 2006 I took a seven year break from self-care and working out in any way… I dove into the Corporate world and spent my time traveling timezones and living out of a suitcase. I was creating beautiful healing facilities and training spa teams all around the world about self-care practices, but wasn't in a place where I could take care of or nurture myself in a balanced way. I did my best to integrate what self-care I could but found my energy more and more depleted as time went on. I loved my work, it was rewarding on many levels but I knew I had to make a drastic change to create a life that would support me as well.
This Spring I finally found myself back in the United States and in a place where I could dedicate my time and energy to one of the most important things in life…Radical Self-Care! A big part of practicing radical self-care is moving the body to keep energy flowing. A sedentary lifestyle slowly depletes our energy reserves, blood flow and lymph become stagnant and inflammation and imbalance thrive.
In this journey to fully integrate the incredible tools and teachings I have been blessed with I decided to jump at the chance to become something I thought I was not, a runner.
As soon as I started running the gremlins in my subconscious mind jumped at the chance to tell me who they think I "am". The voices in my head would say, "you are NOT a runner! What do you think you are doing? You can't even breathe right! Go back to meditation and yoga, at least you know how to breathe like a yogi! Come on, this is ridiculous! You are not a runner, you never have been and never will be. Your body is simply not designed for it!"
Needless to say, I have a stronger part of my personality that likes to dive into things I think I can't do; challenge and stretch my personal limits. So that part within me is now engaging in regular conversation with my inner gremlins who think "I can't." It's a few weeks into it and I now have knee and ankle pain, which is "normal" when you begin your journey as a runner. However, my inner gremlins are still rearing their heads and speaking their minds. Now they are telling me I am crazy for continuing to run even though my knees and ankles hurt! But it is a process and one I am happy and proud to engage in…
When was the last time you challenged yourself to stretch beyond what you "think you can do" and try something completely new? Have you witnessed those inner gremlins when you are trying to integrate a healthy lifestyle habit?
I would love to hear your feedback and find out what challenges you when you are stepping into unknown territory and committing to practicing Radical Self-Care. Please share in the comments below!
Celebrate saying yes to you and defeating your inner gremlins!
With Love & Support,
MindBodyBeing's Founder Heather Blankinship is the main author for the blogs and also hosts contributing writers from around the globe.