Tuesday, May 24, 2011

things I held sacred/that I dropped

(I think I used this lyric as a blog title back in, say, 2006 or whenever the song was kickin'.)

In my "What is this blog?" quest, I've come to think of this -- this intangible bit of cyberspace -- as a place for meditation and reflection, a starting point for larger pieces.

Which leads me to reflect on the sacred. There are people who were once vitally important that I now hear from rarely, if at all. I miss some of them, but we keep moving. There were boys that made my heart weep who no longer matter. I used to fear not being in school, but now a year out from grad school, I feel perfectly fine not in the classroom.

But if there is one thing that was once sacred and has now become secondary, it is exercise.

In college, a day didn't pass without going to the gym, or thinking about going to the gym. Elliptical, bike, feet on the sidewalk. Injuries didn't stop me. Snow didn't stop me. Saturday nights didn't stop me. I ate salads and fat-free yogurt. I was slender, but I never wanted to cross that line into not-quite-so-slender. I ran all of it off.

Now I have five jobs, which is no excuse to the people who also have five jobs, and a family, and a dog, and get up at 4 a.m. to train for their marathons. I admire those people. I do not like waking up at 4 a.m. unless I absolutely have to. My days fluctuate and I find it hard to find a rhythm. Excuses, excuses.

Regardless, I find that I don't mind as much when a day passes without a run. I'll get to it eventually in the week, and I usually do, but sometimes I don't. I eat chocolate and don't immediately exercise after. I am back to full-flavored salad dressings, when the mood is right.

And here's the bizarre part: I've lost weight.

My weight danced up and down in college, mainly due to injuries (Diana gains muscles/Diana gets injured and loses all muscle). Now, for the past few months, I've weighed less than I did when I graduated high school. Sure, I must have lost muscle. But I still have definition and I can still bang out pull-ups and chin-ups with the best of them.

Can there be a benefit in not holding on so tightly, so long?

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