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Several years ago, I jumped into power walking. I needed to get back into exercising but multiple knee injuries and six different surgeries prohibited me from ever returning to my beloved volleyball and softball – too many pickles and spikes. There were hills surrounding my home and my work schedule plus family duties permitted only one time slot for my new physical endeavor. Six AM. Ouch. But I was committed and after a three-month warm-up, I had built my endurance and distance to perfection. Five miles daily.
Within nine months, a muscle line appeared down the center of my belly. No exercise in my past had ever created a belly of which I could be proud. Plus, I felt good, I felt accomplished and at only 1 hour 10 minutes, there was minimum daily time output. Just loss of a bit of sleep but some gained alone time that had diminished significantly with my entrance to motherhood. I liked it and I was proud of my efforts and the visible results. And yes, it did take about nine months… sadly.
I also realized that after three babies (a surprising fourth was in my future) that my body would never quite be the same as it had been when I was eighteen and that I needed to find some balance and change my view, embrace a new sense of equilibrium that relied on self-thought, instead of self-image. This worked for me on a numbers of fronts.
My 4 C’s
I love them all. I love chocolate. I love cake. I love cookies. I love candy – of almost any kind. And denying me the things I loved only drove me a little insane. By adding my workout, I was able to still enjoy my sweets and maintain some semblance of discernable health. I knew my dimpled thighs would never go away without invasive surgery of which I wanted no part. So a measure of balance was gained and in the process a certain freedom.
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“There were never such devoted sisters…”
During the summer when I was at my physical peak, we had invited family and friends to join us at the river with our “jet skis” whenever possible, whenever we were out. My sister and her young family joined us on one such outing. In prepping to launch the boats and get everyone to the place we would spend the day, there was a bit of walk to the dock where transport and ferrying would take place. I walked ahead, in my cut-off jean shorts and bikini, leading the way. After a few minutes, my sister called to me – “You know, you still have cellulite…” I think my heart and brain stopped at the same time.
It hurt. Badly. And that is when it hit me, in my effort to gain balance, I had lost it. I really had cared too deeply about what others thought – or it would not have hurt. I yelled over my shoulder, “I know…” But I hadn’t known and I hadn’t anticipated a call out. Reality slapped me in the face and, in an instant, I felt what I thought was balance draining from my psyche. My fake balance was replaced by truth – which is the best balance of all.
Gaining balance and balancing the gain. A life-long endeavor that continues.
by Rayanne Thorn