“Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Hey beautiful soul, it’s me – Hope and I’m sending you all my love and blessings on this gorgeous morning as you hopefully read along…
So guess what…I certainly was not looking and as a result, I never expected I would fall in love again.
I truly didn’t see it coming.
I had my sunrises, long walks, my Transcendental Meditation, reading my daily word and so many of my own studies & practices that brought me joy, balance and fulfillment.
What more could I possibly need in my self development?
I was happy and hopeful…only my health was an on again, off again love affair.
Now I had always been active growing up and a gym rat in my 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s. I would get on track for four or five years, then something in life would derail me.
A divorce, a baby (or three), death, grief, family responsibilities…you name it…life happens. Right?
I would back slide, then after a period of time, start over. With health and fitness center stage, once again another passionate hobby to consume me.
See…that’s what I do and I’m very aware that is what I do, because whatever I do…I tend to go all in.
Motherhood, Marriage, Friendships, Career, People, Sports Mom, Meditation, Coastal Living, Writing, Photography, Travel, Gardening…the list is endless!
You name it. If I’m in, I’m in…and when I’m out, I’m out. Period.
There isn’t much in between.
Switch ON, Switch OFF.
Every. Single. Thing!
Every. Single. Time!
I used to get frustrated by it…yet over time, I have come to learn it is just one of my many super powers. It’s my human potential unfolding and truly nothing to get frustrated by once I taught myself how to harness it!
My passion and enthusiasm for life is a hot commodity. As a result, I have learned how to accept it, be fiercely protective of my time, judiciously taking on only the projects, pursuits and people I most assuredly want to dedicate my time to and have in my sphere while balancing it out with all the rest of life.
Only…whoaaaa…I was closing in on 50…and I was super jazzed to be turning 50!
Unlike so many others I knew, I was ready to embrace this exciting new chapter in my life. This place where I finally felt like all of life would fall in to place…
It was a feeling I had! A conscious awareness where I envisioned decades of self awakenings, experience and understanding my innermost nature, all my wonderful consistent habits and practices that made me mentally, emotionally and spiritually sound coming together and yet, the bodily aspect was always so up and down, not in synch with the rest of “ME”…for many varying reasons…and I was always so unnecessarily hard on myself in this one area!
Soooo…what did I do?
I did what nearly everyone does at almost 50, when they determine to reclaim part of their life.
I decided to join a gym.
To train, hang with one of my ride or die besties and pursue my own personal development agenda.
Over time it occurred to me, my ten mile walk on the beach (while I loved it) was taking me forever each day and maybe it would be more time efficient for me to do my cardio at the gym in addition to my weight train!
Duhhhh Hope…it is a gym…
Only I wasn’t thrilled with my cardio choices. I don’t find joy in the stair master, the treadmill is super boring, the elliptic is okayyyy, yet there sat the spin bikes.
Sad little soldiers, pushed into tight little rows…backed against the wall, not being used and nearly forgotten because of COVID.
I thought, “what the hell, let me jump on one – I used to love to spin back in the day!”
Remember the ON switch…and there isn’t much in between, if I’m in, I’m in…and when I’m out, I’m out…mentality
Well, let me tell you, that was all it took!
After the first day, I was hooked again. Ten miles blew by, then 15. After a few days I thought, “let’s see what I can really do?”
So…standing in the saddle…I started pushing myself to 30, then 40, then 50 miles…and I freaking loved it!
Suddenly the switch was ONNNNN & I was INNNNN!
I seriously couldn’t get enough!
I used to love the spin classes, only now because of COVID, there were no classes, so I was on my own and I found I loved that even more!
I was my own instructor and I pushed myself plenty, with high energy dance music and a mind set as I danced and cycled my way through the miles!
No goals – just seeing to see…how far could I go and how far could I trust my body to take me. There is something about truly trusting your body to do more then you think is possible and it usually won’t fail you.
I also made an agreement with myself that no matter what I did, I would be grateful for what I accomplished. I would not be hard on myself or get frustrated. I would truly enjoy what I was doing simply for the sake of being able to do it and as a result happily accept whatever health benefits came along…no matter what.
This was a truly liberating feeling…working out with no goal in mind…not that I am not about goals, because I am and yet sometimes it’s good to do something for yourself simply because it is good to do! You don’t always have to have a goal to make gains. It might not be strategic gains but gains are gains…
As a result – the days, weeks and months passed I noticed my heart felt stronger then ever, little aches and pains in my joints disappeared, my skin glowed, my core, back, legs and butt started getting stronger, and the endorphin rush was amazing! It would put me in the greatest mood for the entire day.
Believe it or not, cycling improves the overall brain’s cognitive functioning and physical structure! It can slow your brain’s aging and helps it become more efficient by building neurons and growing the hippocampus.
Really it became about so much more then just physical fitness…it became an enlightened study of self…and a journey. Let me tell you, that bike is better then therapy!
I have rekindled old friendships, started new friendships, let shit go, been introspective, accepted things I had trouble accepting, prayed, pushed my mind and body, cried from time to time, occasionally cussed, laughed plenty at myself, renewed my love of fitness, written blogs, developed plans, truly found myself, meditated, transcended, lost my way, and circled back again.
All while going no where!
Sometimes I look like hell, sometimes I’m coming in with a full face of make-up on – right from work or something special, sometimes I look up and find I’m biting my lip like I tend to do as I pedal and sweat like a maniac, sometimes I wear a resistance band around my thighs and an 8LB vest just to push myself a little further, sometimes I go fast, sometimes I go slow, sometimes I sit, sometimes I stand…usually I do all of the above!
It can be my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday twice a day, Friday night date, Saturday morning ride or church on Sunday!
Guess what, that bike never cares!
It’s judgement free and very freeing!
It truly became the healthy, to match my already hopeful & happy!
It completed me!
I completed me.
I felt aligned on a higher level of consciousness then I had experienced before!
So yeah, I fell in love again. With a bike and in it, I fell in love with a deeper sense of me too!
I hope each one of you find something that takes you on a journey of self awareness where you can continue to fall in love with yourself…over and over!!!
…and as always –Go in love,