Finding Strength in Stillness

This past week is yet another reminder to me that stillness, quiet, and rest are just as important to being strong as running, push-ups, weight lifting, and all the other activities I love to do.

Last week was rough. Getting back from 6 days in LA (5 of which were 18-hour non-stop action-packed days), less than 3 days back home, and then 3 days in Indianapolis (bookended by two 12-hour travel days). Each individual part wasn’t enough to take it out of a girl, but add it all together: short but quick and sweaty runs, group workouts, eating out, all the coffee followed by all the wine, slumber party hotel rooms )with no fights over the shower), only one time change (we were so surprised to land in Indy in ECT), lots of learning in sessions and panels, lots of time with friends old and new… Yeah it all sounds and is amazing, but put it all together into two weeks and you got yourself some pretty exhausted ladies.

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Last week was a difficult balance of hitting the ground running while also trying to give myself time to recover. Trying to see friends for the first time in weeks, jumping back into teaching and floor shifts at the store, catching up on all the emails and social media-ing, getting back into my workout routine. Normally I’m a pretty active person and enjoy running around from class to coffee to the store to class to running… But after two weeks of non-stop action, the decompression is happening. Whether I want it to or not.

When we got back from BlogFest I didn’t have much of a chance to relax. I tried to sleep quite a bit, got in a good run and bootcamp, saw the guy I was seeing. Then it was time to repack my freshly laundered spandex and head out again. We normally take about a week to come down after such a high energy event. Not this time! Off to Indy we went…

It started to hit on Sunday as we made our way back West. We woke up after less than 5 hours of sleep to catch a 7:30am flight. The afternoon in Portland after a 12-hour travel day was spent catching up with my bestie Caitlin over lunch and laying out in the grass at the park. Yup, it was as perfect as it sounds.

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Reunions are the sweetest!

Unfortunately, one day of down time just wasn’t enough. Except for being a little foggy-brained and just extremely tired, Monday and Tuesday were largely normal days. Yoga, running, bootcamp, blogposts, work…

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On Wednesday, it just sort of happened to me. I slept in a bit and then headed to one of my favorite coffee shops for our weekly conference call and a highly-caffeinated work session. I headed home for lunch, which I took out on my patio with my book. I gave myself the afternoon to read in the sun. I spent the evening with a movie and work. I had every intention of going hiking or to try to set up a date with a friend or… something. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice of being really productive with work but really lazy physically and socially.

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Thursday a wall of a different sort hit. I hadn’t slept well in a few nights, partly restless partly being somewhat on east coast time. After teaching two back-to-back classes in the morning, my energy just tanked. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t bring myself to really do anything. Reading in the sun didn’t really do the trick it normally does. When I tried to work, I felt like I was just staring at my screen blankly. I wanted to sleep but couldn’t bring myself to nap. I felt emotional in a way that could only be described as overwhelmed.

I had an evening of working with people ahead of me. I needed to shake it somehow and find some energy. When my restful attempts weren’t successful, I headed out to the trails for a run before class. I wasn’t aiming for a speedy pace or a long distance. Only to move and sweat and be in nature. It helped kickstart the change I needed. After that, a fun class at Yoga Pearl, bootcamp at Flex & Flow, and ending with patio drinks at StormBreaker Brewing for our Sip ‘n’ Sweat event, my emotional mood was starting to become a distant memory.

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I needed that quiet time. First in the form of a book in the sunshine, and then by trailrunning solo out in the woods. Time to turn my brain off, to allow healing and restoration to kick on.

The weekend was much the same: vacillating between craving my normal schedule and high-energy mood while being tired and knowing I needed downtime. Saturday was the day! I led Flex & Flow run club at 7am (5 miles of run-chatting with Nicci and puppy snuggles was perfect!) and then Caitlin and I headed to the coast for an afternoon of relaxation! We spent 4 blissful hours at Arcadia Beach laying in the sunshine reading and dozing. At most we walked 50 yards to take some pictures and I did some handstands. We chatted some, but mostly enjoyed each other’s company while the sound of the waves, the salt in the air, the sand between our toes, and the sun on our skin worked healing magic.

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It wasn’t a day full of adventure. It wasn’t exciting. It was relaxing, restorative, and necessary! My energy level still isn’t quite 100%, but thanks to taking those moments to myself, I’m starting the week off on a happier foot! And I set an important precedent for making it a priority to take some downtime for myself. To find some quiet moments, whether they are while reading in the sun, trailrunning, napping, yoga-ing. To try to figure out what it really is that will help me greet the day a stronger, happier, healthier person!

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community. 

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