Well, this year has definitely not been the year I expected in terms of health and fitness, not by a long shot. Despite a strong start, the year quickly degraded into a series of injuries that carried me through to December. As a result, I learned a lot about my body and my spirit:
- Healing can take longer than you think: That expression, past performance isn’t a predictor of future performance has never held much weight in my mind. Until now. Just because my body has always healed quickly doesn’t mean that it always will. This year proved that to me. Eight months after my injury, I’m still nowhere near 100%.
2. Healing is just as much about building emotional resilience as physical resilience: My head and heart took a beating this year as I struggled to remain at my old fitness level. I had many breakdowns. I still have moments where I get insanely frustrated. The comparisons to my former self, the want to push harder than I am currently capable of, the fear that I will never be able to do the things I love again, these things require immense emotional resilience. The injury is just an injury. It’s how I think and feel about it that are the real challenges.
3. My glutes hadn’t worked a day in their lives…and they still try to cop out all the time: All those years of squats and lunges were a waste! I hadn’t been engaging the right muscles. After eight months, I can finally tell the difference between engaging my glutes versus relying on surrounding muscles to carry the weight. I still have moments where my attention lapses and I fall into old patterns, but I’m getting more consistent in using the right muscle groups every day.
4. Running really isn’t the be all and end all…and neither is hiking: Do I have days where I wish I could run farther and faster? Yes. Do I miss insanely long hiking adventures? Yes. But in the absence of those things this year, so many other good things have taken their places. I’ve had more time with friends and loved ones. Upon reflection, I learned that much of my motivation to hike the longest trails possible, to workout for hours on end, was really out of fear of boredom. What would I do with that time if I weren’t using it to be active? Turns out, I had no need to fear boredom at all.
5. I still loathe pushups: Enough said.
That right there, is 2016 in a nutshell.