Growth: On Slowing Down

Hey Guys!  I hope you are all having a great Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to a nice, short and easy 3 mile run tonight.  I anticipate my legs being tired, heavy and sore and that’s ok because they carried me through a pretty awesome 20 mile run on Saturday.  I’ve also go lots of studying on deck tonight.  It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks I’ll be done with the marathon and done studying too.  Some down time is definitely in order, more on that in a later post.

Michael and I have talked a lot over the last few months about all of the ways I’ve grown.  I’m 25 and will turn 26 in August and I think the mid-20’s is a really challenging but exciting time.  For me personally, I’ve definitely found my voice.  I’ve found my voice here on my blog, in my professional career, when it comes to friendships and family and in ways I’m sure I haven’t realized yet.  I’m learning what is important to me, and more importantly what isn’t.  I’m learning that making mistakes is absolutely acceptable and part of the learning process.  During a particularly challenging time a few months ago Michael sent me this quote:

“You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself.”

– Anne Lamott

I want to share my growth with you, share my lessons and share my thoughts on the process.   Growing as a blogger, as a runner, as a yogi and as a person are all relevant to what I write here each and every day.  I’ve always wanted my blog to be an open and honest space.  And I think this series of post will let you know more about me as a person and how what is happening with me affects what you read every day.  I created a new category called Growth and will file all the posts and only the posts that are part of the series there.

I want to start by talking about something I’ve noticed myself doing more and more.  I honestly believe that yoga is to thank for this.  I’ve been slowing down more.  You’ve probably noticed that I enjoy being busy, that I like to always have things going on.  What I don’t enjoy though is feeling like I’m in rush, all the time.  As a college athlete and Dean’s List student I really never had enough time in the day. EVER.  I was constantly rushing from a workout to class to a lab or catching 20 minutes of study time between classes because I couldn’t waste that time.  It became normal for me.  After college I started working and have always been training for something or rushing  to meet a friend.  I walk fast, like I’m on a mission, all the time.  And when I finally do stop and relax, I want to sleep for days.

Back in January when the holidays were winding down and I was struggling to train for a marathon, fund raise for Team in Training, plan a fundraiser, study for my personal training exam, blog, work full-time and have a relationship and friends I realized I had taken on too much.  Part of me went into survival mode.  I looked at the calendar, I figured out how to fit it all in and marked dates on the calendar of when things would be over and just barreled through it all.  On more than one occasion during that time I was mad at myself because all of my hobbies and things that were supposed to be fun felt like a burden and a “to- do list” not a “want to-do list”.   In the end, I got through it all.  We had an amazing fundraiser, I’ve raised over $6000 for Team in Training, I am on track to run a great marathon and have a good handle on all my studying and my friends and family were so supportive and helpful.  I don’t want to feel like that again.  It was too much STRESS and WORRY for things that were supposed to be fun.

Since then I’ve learned that it is important to me to have down time, to focus on a few things and do them well.  I’m realizing that it is OK to say no to that spring relay because I want down time.   I’m learning that marathons will all be there when I’m ready and I don’t need to run every race on my bucket list RIGHT NOW.  I’m learning that I can grow this blog little by little over time and it doesn’t need to happen overnight.  I’m learning that I want to slow down and enjoy each experience and opportunity that comes my way.  I’ve learned that realistically I can handle blogging, and one other thing (like a marathon or yoga teacher training) in addition to my commute and full-time job.  That way I can give those things my full attention and still have time to do fun things, see my friends and family and stay rested and healthy.

I’ve learned that it’s worth not hitting the snooze button in order to make a cup of coffee and eat breakfast while watching the news instead of at my desk while working.  I’ve learned that it’s actually nicer to walk at a normal speed not that of a professional speed walker.  I’ve learned that leaving 5 minutes earlier to get somewhere is better than waiting until  the very last minute.  I’ve learned that my yoga mat is where I feel at peace, where I can slow my mind my breathing and feel calm.   I’ve learned that when I slow down and keep myself under control I don’t drop things as much or make as big of a mess.  I’ve learned that when I slow down and THINK before I react or speak the outcome is much better.  I’ve learned to slow down and take a deep breath.  I’ve learned that life is not a race where being the fastest wins.

I’m still a work a progress but I’m learning new ways every day to slow down and improve my well-being.  Turns out stopping to smell the roses isn’t so bad!

Have you learned this lesson?  Have you slowed down in your life?  Have you found balance in your life with regards to time and hobbies?  Can you relate?

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11 thoughts on “Growth: On Slowing Down

  1. Pingback: Friday Round-Up
  2. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says:

    This is such a great post Whitney. It takes a lot of perspective to get to this understanding of who you are and what you need. I don’t think that I had that perspective in my mid-20s!! But I’ve learned that it’s so important to slow down and not try to do everything under the sun because, like you said, I found that I couldn’t do everything well. Being a perfectionist, that drove me crazy. I’m excited that you’re going to be sharing your thoughts along this journey. BTW – great job on your 20-miler! Sounds like you rocked it. Enjoy taper!

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      Thank you so much Christine! I’m so glad that others have felt similar to me. Hearing that other active people have felt this way and made this same realization makes feel so good. I think it will be fun to share my thoughts! Yes- the 20 was awesome!

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  3. Mattie (@comfyconfident) says:

    Amen Sistaa! I feel ya 100%. But, props to you for taking a step back and slowing done. I find that sometimes when I do that, I am actually more productive and do a better job. I am happy for you and taking the step to realize this. I am moving to Boston soon, and I would love to go to a yoga class with you or get some coffee, when you are free!!

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      Thank ya lady! I do feel more productive and think things are just better this way. You got it! I would love to do a meet up with you, let’s plan something for late April or Early May when you are all settled!

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  4. Jess Sutera says:

    Beautiful post! I’m so glad that you feel like you’re coming into your own right now – growing and evolving into an even better version of yourself. It feels great, right? For me, that transition didn’t really start until I hit 30 and ever since then, I feel like I’m the best version of myself right now,mostly because I am comfortable in my own skin at LAST. I am confident in my decisions in life and feel that I’m on the right path, where I’m meant to be. SO cool to see you feeling the same way. Feels awesome!

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  5. ttrodriguez says:

    Good luck on your taper! I’m planning to dedicate way more time to yoga after April 16th. I think it will definitely help to bring balance to running and life. Luckily we are taking a trip to Argentina next week so I’ll be removed from my normal running environment and forced to slow down on the miles. Enjoy the next 2 1/2 weeks and until Beantown…. =)
    Tracie

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