My SUP Fitness course at Duke University is wrapping up in one week. Twelve awesome students have worked with me all semester-long on all aspects of SUP from paddling, turning, and water safety, to SUP yoga and SUP workouts. We meet twice a week in the pool at Brodie Rec center which is a fantastic way to learn and build skills, strength, balance and confidence. There is nothing like being outside on open water on a SUP though and this past weekend we got to take all of our skills, knowledge and practice to the great outdoors and Jordan Lake. Despite the warm 80 degree air temps, the water was still a bit cool and very choppy. My group of SUPerstars was not deterred by the rough chop or the cold water. They came to SUP and so we did. It was a fabulous afternoon and I am so grateful for the chance to share this sport with such enthusiastic, interested and energetic students. Thank you all.
I've been thinking about body-image and self-image recently...sparked by some conversations with friends and students. Found this quote and picture which sums up the attitude I try to have about myself and others. And what I teach my students/clients in the gym and on the yoga mat. Letting go of judgement. Letting go of competition. Letting go of negative self-talk. Celebrating and focusing on all that we can do...all that we are...instead of focusing on what we cannot do...and what or who we are not.
There is a lesson in yoga, Aparigraha, about which I've written and spoken several times. I come back to it A LOT. It means "non-greed", "non-attachment." On the mat it can help us to recognize the individuality and uniqueness of our personal yoga practice. It can teach us that it's possible to admire other students' postures without feeling jealous or envious. It teaches us to meet our body and mind where they are today. Just for today focusing on what we can do and how we feel. Off the mat, the same ideas can hold true. With a gentle awareness, it is possible to let go of jealousy or greed and "admire" strengths, abilities and beauty we each uniquely possess.
It has taken a longggggg while (years) and a lot of personal work to get to a point of unconditional self-love and comfort in my own skin. There are definitely days when that positive self-image might waver. But I'm thankful that there are more days and moments than not when I can be happy for others and their beauty, accomplishments, successes, their whatevers...AND be happy, proud, feel beautiful about myself too.
This quote I'm sharing here reminds me of the laundry room post from a week or so ago. We all have strengths. We all have flaws. We have weaknesses. We have "stuff." We can look at others and wish to be skinnier, prettier, stronger, richer, smarter....like they are. But to what end? If you were suddenly "prettier", then what would happen? You would have no worries? Everything would go your way? I think we know that is not true. If we walk around all day comparing ourselves to others, we lose sight of the amazing and incredible person inside of us. Right now. YOU.
No matter what you might be working on friends, please remember that we are each a work in progress. None of us has it all figured out. We can pick out a goal, set an intention, make a plan....BUT....let's also not lose sight of what we already have done, can do, have accomplished, have achieved.
If you have attended any of my in-person classes, you know that at the end of class, I often ask a question for each person to answer. One of my favorite questions is: "What is one thing that you are proud of that you CAN do...or that you have accomplished...or that you are good at?" We go around the room and it's a lovely way to learn a little more about one another and to highlight something we are proud of. It gives us a chance to "admire" what others can do or who they are without questioning our own abilities. Today friends...I would love for you to pause for a few moments and answer this question for yourself. Think about. Write it down at home or maybe share it here.
Thanks for reading and listening and being a part of this group friends. I admire all of you. :-)
Welcome and thank you for visiting this site. I'm happy and grateful to have a place where I can write about fitness and wellness. In addition to blogging about exercise and sharing workouts, I also use this space to tell 200-word stories about the inspiring and amazing people I encounter in this career. I look forward to sharing as many of these journeys as possible, and would love to hear from you if you would like me to tell your story. You can contact me anytime. Thank you so much for your interest and your effort. Think fit...be fit...stay fit! You are stronger than you think. #STYT