A new friend, who has been staying with me for a few months, is a professional runner. Yes, I realize I’m setting myself up for a very odd pattern of having professional athletes live with me. But, then again, it is nice to have company and someone else to take Nelson for walks.
Fine. Sarah takes him for distance runs. I take him for easy walks.
Having someone in my home who monitors every single bite that goes in her mouth as part of her job has been, well…. let’s say interesting. It’s made me take a much closer look at my fridge, plate, and scale.
I once dreamed of swimming collegiately after spending the majority of my childhood in a Speedo, but it didn’t pan out. Come to find out I am not fast. I’m not a quick swimmer, runner, cyclist, tooth brusher, etc. I can, however, go the distance. The mile was always my event swimming. The half marathon became my event as an adult runner. I loved the one half Ironman I completed. These events take as much mental discipline as they do strength; I love the dual challenge.
Thankfully, I’ve got exercise-loving genes. My parents were both incredibly active when I was growing up and continue to exercise today. My brother was on the path to being a world class swimmer once upon a time, and today can climb mountains like a monkey. Our family vacations were planned around beach time, where we’d swim and run and goof off with the paddle ball set until we’d barely be able to lift fish tacos to our tired mouths.
Living with a professional female runner has stirred up emotion I didn’t anticipate, nor considered once when hosting Matty for three years. Come to find out, I deeply wish I’d made strides athletically then, and could run more than 3 miles today without my body failing today. This buried emotion emerged recently at the end of yoga classes, bubbling up unexpectedly. It’s strange to recognize a disappointment that lay dormant for 15 years, waiting for just the inopportune time to be mined into daylight.
What can you do? I wish I’d been fast. I’m not. Boo-freaking-hoo. That doesn’t mean I can’t be a great athlete (yogi, hiker, cyclist, bowler, driving range golf ball destroyer) today.
Cooking with Sarah has been an education in dietary diversity and odd supplements. I now regularly eat brewer’s yeast. There is fish oil in my fridge. There are hemp hearts in a canister on the counter. I’m eating a ridiculous, Costco-amount of spinach each week and have started carrying a water bottle wherever I go. Sometimes an old dog can learn new tricks.
Frankly, it is more fun to be challenged to those things I can change — headstands in yoga, a healthy diet, cycling up Lookout Mountain — than spending any more time pouting about the history I cannot. I thank a regular yoga practice for both digging up what I didn’t want to address, and for learning to let it go.