Friday, October 8, 2010

Move Your Body, Girl

I have never been one to approach exercise as anything but that - exercise.  Something I do because it's "good for me" (whatever the heck that means) and because it will help me lose weight / get fit / feel better about my body.  I have never, EVER understood those people who exercise for mental reasons.  Sure, I've read countless magazine articles about how exercising acts as a natural anti-depressant and relieves stress, but I didn't quite believe it until today. 

Yesterday I finally made it to a yoga class in an attempt to clear my completely overactive and super negative mind.  Yoga is one "exercise" that I do primarily for my mind, less for my body (although HELLO, yoga totally rocks the bod, too!).  The class was lovely, the studio beautiful and calming, the teacher one of the best I've ever had.  But as I rolled myself back for a much-deserved savasana, I could not, for the life of me, quiet my thoughts, and like most days, I left feeling good in my body, but not in my mind.

Quel nightmare!  Are you saying yoga can't even give me some mental breathing space?  Argh.  I was frustrated beyond belief, and last night, I totally and completely broke down (yes... again).  I called Momma Park, and she was a rockstar.  Y'all, remember this post?  Yeah, she lied.  She has SO been there for me 110% and then some, and lemme tell ya, I'm not exactly the easiest person to talk to when I'm bawling my eyes out.  But she's been wonderful, and last night, she gave me exactly what I needed: comfort, a pep talk, a reality check, and lots and LOTS of love.  So I went to bed with tres puffy eyes, but feeling a bit better.

I woke up feeling meh again and had absolutely no desire to go to Zumba.  I wanted solitude, but I also needed exercise.  The forecast for today was 70 degrees and sunny, and so I laced up my running shoes and headed to the West Side Highway to do something I never do - run outside.

Most people prefer running outdoors, but I never have.  It feels harder to me, and I don't like not knowing how far I've gone, what speed I'm running, etc.  But today, I just hit play on my adorable hot pink iPod shuffle and went for it, and guess what?  IT WAS AWESOME!!!  And my mind just let go of all the stress/uncertainty/pain/sadness/frustration, and my body let me run longer and farther (which is not saying much btw) than it has in a long time.  Oh, bliss.

And then I came home, smiling and calm for the first time in over a week, and got 2 really good pieces of news.  Coincidence?  

{image credit:}


Steph said...

Good for you!
Your words are completely motivating me right now. I want to get back to that spot too – I've been slacking on the activity part of my life now that summer is over. And to me, the whole running outdoors thing is about a hundred times harder than running on the treadmill to me too. Running indoors is a piece of cake to me, but as soon as I'm on the pavement, something happens and I get tired faster.

Globetrotting Cacti said...

Yeah to good news.... hope you can share...

I totally relate what you are saying about running. We have a treadmill in the garage which is great for winter nights (when the babies are in bed and I can't get out until after dark) but Monday night I snuck in a tea-time run (whilst hubbie baby-sat), put on my iPod, a running play-list and I ran and ran (& ran some more!!). The music really helped and I came home feeling invigorated and restored. Yeah to running...

TheAnalyst said...

Congrats! I know the feeling...usually I exercise because I think it is good for me or because I think I have to. Once in a great while, I will put on my running shoes in order to release all of the negative emotions swirling around in my head. Often it works, but unfortunately I don't remember or remind myself of this much. Maybe I need to remind myself more.

Angela said...

Good job Carolyn!
It's all about getting out the door.
Read this ;)

MoneyMaus said...

Exercising does WONDERS for the mind and body! I've never been a runner, but I'm totally in love with gym classes and always have been! Kickboxing (aka TKB), bootcamp and hip hop are a blast, and I recently added BodyPump (weightlifting) which is AMAZING!

Glad you loved your run in NYC! Keep it up, girl :)

Dc shoes said...

What I can say is you are really really professional. Love your blog with all my heart.