Where do you go when you want to feel good?
My place has always been movement.
I used to call running “my church”. Running cleared my head. I don’t wear headphones or run on a treadmill. Just me, moving & breathing in nature. I’m not sure there’s a better feeling.
In middle school, I wanted to be a better runner & was introduced to strength training. It became something I loved. Something I could do, put in the time/effort, follow the plan, and have success. It felt good.
In college, when running became a high-pressure job & lifting was a part of that job, those ways of moving my body became stressful & results-oriented. There were other factors at play, but I believe this contributed to my severe depression, to failing a couple of classes, and concern I’d lose my scholarship. The freedom, the joy of those movements was lost. I saw a therapist, got on antidepressants, both necessary & instrumental in my recovery, but I was just skating by. Getting through life. Not living.
Then I took a class everyone said would be an “easy A”, the ONLY reason I signed up for tai chi.
That teacher and that class changed my life. The moving meditation, getting out of my head and into my body, the slow purposeful movements, the belief in the flow of energy… I fell in love with this non-results-based movement & I learned to quiet my mind and flow.
Today, I do a combination of running, walking, strength training, and Ashtanga yoga (moving meditation similar to tai chi). Sometimes I compete, but only for short periods & competition is no longer my “why”. These activities bring me back to me. To my core. To who I am.
Here’s where the consistency piece comes in. My training may allow me to be strong, run far, or drop into a backbend, but I do not train for those results.
I train because I know my life is better when I’m doing these things and worse when I’m not.
It’s why I can be consistent.