Just over a week ago I wrote a list of things that I could do that were solely for the purpose of showering myself with self-respect and care. Things as big as going on a road trip (booked!) to as small as reading for 20 minutes before lights out. Things like making a salt scrub or going on an evening coffee date. Going tanning, attending the gym, getting a haircut, waxing my underarms, making my own kombucha & bone broth, filing my nails, waxing my legs, making my own shampoo, spending one evening a week laying on the couch, doing the Coquitlam Crunch. I wrote the list on a scrap of paper and then stuffed it into my date book. I haven’t looked at the list since then but it seems that simply writing it down was enough to bear fruit.
I have felt an attitude shift in the last week….nearly imperceptible but definitely there. That spirit of keeping my commitments to myself and of doing things because I FEEL good after, it seems to be making a difference. An excellent example of this has been my inner voice. I’d decided earlier in the week that I would go to the gym on Sunday morning and when Sunday morning arrived it was nearly impossible to leave my cozy bed at 8:30 in the morning and get in my car to go and work hard. But….my inner voice said to me, plain as day “You made the commitment, anything less than going is disrespectful.” When there I did some interval training on the bike (thought I’d best get my bike legs going…more on this later) and then went rowing. My goal was 3,000 meters. Normally I stop at each 1,000 meters for a rest but I didn’t feel that I needed to. When I got to 2,000 I decided to push on to the end without stopping. With around 750 meters to go my determination started to falter. And then my inner voice kicked in. It told me to picture rowing on water, picture the sun on my face and the gorgeous view, the oars in my hands (which is a bit strange since I’ve never rowed anywhere but a Concept2 in the gym). Think of how proud I would feel when I made it to 3,000. To remember how good my body feels when it’s fit and healthy. I had me think of earning my breakfast and how good it would taste. And that inner chat was on repeat. Not once did it say a negative word. It didn’t tell me I was fat so I deserved to suffer through the workout. It didn’t tell me to think of losing weight. It didn’t tell me that I was being punished for the bacon I ate the day before. It just kept refreshing a beautiful summer water scene in my mind and the air from the flywheel was a summer breeze on my face as I glided across the water. It kept reminding me that I was capable and to just get it done and I did.
It hasn’t been all “gym” successes though. There’s been an early morning walk through the park with a coffee, there was an evening coffee date on a night when I was feeling bummed out, there’s been gorgeous fresh fruit and eggs for snacks, there’s been a nice glass of wine in the fading warmth of a nice day.
Obviously it’s not all sunshine and kitten kisses, some days it’s just downright hard to maintain an attitude of “on purpose” and to do the things that are right, but overall I’m starting to feel a bit brighter.
On a fun but also terrifying note, I test rode my bicycle to work this past weekend. My honest assessment will follow some pertinent points:
A) I had attended the gym and did bike intervals and rowing that morning
B) I had a large breakfast at 11am and a hard-boiled egg and some fruit around 2pm
C) I gave myself a very false sense of confidence due to having the incorrect route in my head
So my assessment? It was SO HARD….and it’s going to get SO MUCH HARDER! The route to work is mostly downhill, it was 8.25km and it took me around 27 minutes. There were a couple of hills in the route there that I had forgotten about and which sapped my confidence right off the start. However, I made it to work safely and feel that I should be able to do that on a workday morning. Ray met me down at my office in his truck in order to make sure I had backup if anything went wrong. After a quick water stop and a banana, I hopped back on my bike and headed for home. Bearing in mind that it was nearly 6pm, I knew that I wasn’t going to bike all the way home, I just wanted to get the “traffic-y” part out of the way so I knew my route. I was SO glad that Ray and his truck were there because I was completely spent about a quarter of the way back home. After arriving home I downloaded my ride and took a look at it and am by turns, really stoked and really nervous!
This is a map of the elevation of my ride to work…..and I’ve marked with two little arrows the “hills” I was referring to. They are mere blips. Now picture this graph in the reverse because that is the way home! The only thing keeping me from selling my bicycle and never even considering this wacky “bicycle commuter” thing again, is the fact that I have actually done it before. I successfully rode up this hill on that same bicycle about 3 years ago. And I KNOW that it didn’t take me more than an hour. So….I’m not in as excellent shape as I was back then……but I sure will be by the time summer rolls around! My plan is to ride one day this week (Wednesday), two days next week and then three days each week thereafter….weather permitting, of course. And, as a pre-success reward for myself, I bought new huge saddlebags (for my lunch and change of clothes), a new rear taillight and new riding gloves. I’m really excited to get this started!
I think that’s about all for me…..I’ve been putting My Passion Experiment into practice in tangible, measurable ways…and while I’m not actually measuring it, I can feel it starting to build and I’m so glad for that.