I went running tonight for the first time in almost three weeks. It's crazy that I've let it go that long. The first quarter mile was ridiculous and I thought I'd have to stop, but I ended up making it my full three miles.
I hate that I've let myself go this winter, but I have. I've been taking care of other people and not taking care of myself. I eat food that is shit, and mentally there is no connection between what I put in my mouth and the consequences of putting it there. I don't drink much water and I'm not taking my vitamins. I work long hours and I focus on achieving externally. It kills me to admit that because I've spent the past two years undoing a lifetime of external achievement and the ways it has poisoned my brain. But all of this is true.
I've gained about 13ish pounds since I was at a good weight in the fall, and I can't believe how 13 extra pounds feels on my body this time around. It's harder to move. The weight gets in the way. 13 pounds in an entire clothes size. I hate leafing through clothes in my closet every morning wondering what I can wear. The extra weight is making me feel self-conscious lately. Moving through life and not being overly conscious of your body and how it might look to other people or how it might interfere with something you want to do is a gift. And I miss it.
Lack of exercise these last few weeks and even months has done more damage than adding weight to my frame. My mind is fuzzy, bogged down, dark. I haven't had a regular infusion of fresh air since I don't know when. The only fresh air I breathe is running from my car to the office and back to my car twelve hours later. My body aches - it truly aches - to move. It hurts. My body hurts in ten places right now from lack of moving. Other people mention getting exercise and I feel resentful. "It must be nice to not have responsibilities" I think. What am I doing?
I miss listening to music, which I almost only make time to do when I'm running. Listening to my special mix of tunes does something inside of me that only music can do. I miss being physically exhausted. I've thought that I've been physically exhausted these past few months, but that's been mental and emotional exhaustion, and I haven't been present enough to tell the difference. What am I doing?
What I'm not doing is surfing. I haven't surfed since December 5th. I haven't surfed much at all since the summer. I just counted -- I surfed twice in September, twice in October, and once in December. That kills me. But it makes sense that I've been disconnected from exercise because I started running and doing yoga - my god, I miss yoga - so I could lose weight so I could surf better. Any exercise I've done these last two years has been a meditation of surfing.
The last time Jules and I went out I told her that I felt like I was losing what surfing had given me. I touched my chest, my heart, when I said it. I felt like I was losing what surfing had given me inside. I think I felt that way at the time because it had been so long and because life was beating me up a bit. I still feel that way.
How do I get back to myself? My body is my home. I love my body; it's been so good to me. I despise external achievement at the cost of internal peace. I'm acting in a way that I don't even believe. Maybe some of it is winter. The season, the metaphor. Whatever it is, whatever is going on, I've been here before. And I guess I know what to do.
I'm going to find my compass, my north star, and follow it home.