I keep a monthly tracker in my bullet journal. It’s a visual representation of daily goals I am consistent with through, mainly concerning health, exercise, and productivity. I’m a fan of the pen and paper method, as the tactile expression of placing that little dot in the corresponding box brings an even greater sense of accomplishment. Coming off a week of work and play in New York City, I can’t help but notice that my tracker has an expanse of white across the page. Proof that many well-intentioned daily goals were fallen by the wayside. This realization comes with a small amount of panic. Stepping away from my regular schedule is rare, and as a business owner, I’m never truly unplugged. I enjoy breaks from the daily grind, but as a creature of habit and routine, when out of my normal setting, I can find myself mildly stressed about all that I’m not accomplishing.
As I look closer at this conditioned part of my personality, I observe that sense of guilt I have for not “doing”, while an inner battle wages. This continues to be something I work with, because, really, I am my own worst enemy here, creating angst for myself. What does help, is to look at all facets of the situation, and what I inevitably realize is that life is unpredictable, impermanent and fleeting, and time is a precious commodity.
I was able to bring my 13 year old son on this recent adventure. We enjoyed some rare quality time together, just the two of us, exploring the city, eating street food, and laughing at things only teenaged boys (and their weird moms) can appreciate. I practiced, in real time, letting go of the pull to strive, fulfill, and achieve. In doing so, I was rewarded with so many moments, now lasting imprints of beautiful memories made with my son at this stage in his life. This is something that can’t be tracked with pen and paper.
So, running . . . well, I had every intention of running in the mornings, but with 10-13 miles of walking each day, my body had no desire to leap out of bed in the early hours and pound the city streets. I did manage to get to a yoga class, and spent the evenings with myofascial release balls, and sharing inappropriate jokes with my son while holding yin poses.
While my journal looks like I hid under a rock for a week, I am coming into a new week feeling strong, refreshed, and ready to focus. It’s yet another reminder that the external quantifiers only tell part of the story. Numbers and stats, miles and amount of reps are great, and certainly have value, but it’s also important to be flexible around them and embrace the moment you’re in. This training cycle has had so many moments of pausing; consideration for what’s working, and what’s not, and what is going to bring me overall health, happiness and balance.