There come moments in life when you feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel – and you want to step off, break out and finally live your own life as well! Programmed from an early stage to get through school, maybe university, and then work 8-12 hour days, you feel like it’s just not enough.
So you start to work towards your own dreams, and take more time off for yourself and your family. In my case, just for myself and my friends, because family life has eluded me.
Why am I discussing this?
Because I want to imagine how would my intuitive fitness journey go when I’m surrounded by friends in a playful environment, with the example of today: I went to a lake that is 1 hour and a half from home and had a wonderful time.
Preparing for a special day with friends
In the morning, Bruno was impressively the first one to be fully awake. He was preparing his backpack when I came out of my room. He was already back home from the hospital, but needed to rest his body. He had a recent tailbone fracture, and this type of lesions are very slow-healing according to the doctor. So, when I saw he was stressed out and walking all around the place, I started nagging him and asked him to stay quiet in the couch as I did the rest. But unfortunately, it was too late, and there was little for me to help. This guy can’t stay in place for one minute, but he likes to talk, so I was participating in the conversation more than I usually do, just to make sure he stayed quiet on the couch for as much as possible.
As I was in the middle of my meal prepping for the lake and listening to the endless chatter, I was smiling to myself thinking about Isabella when I told her about our plans. For a moment, I could see her inner child in her facial expressions and how she hugged me when I wasn’t even finished explaining. I was maybe calling her with my mind because minutes later she arrived to my place, with that cute smile I love so much. Her younger sister Amelia was there, too. Reserved, quiet, and nerdy as she always was. When Bruno’s girlfriend came, we had breakfast together and were ready to go.
The lake house and the walk
After leaving our things in the lake house, the first thing we did was taking a walk in the lake town. It was a beautiful place; we marveled at the landscape, took pictures and then decided to eat in one of the local restaurants. They had a variety of fish and seafood and I decided to leave my prepared meal for later because this was really healthy food. After that, the group split for a while and I was left alone with Izzy and her sister in a park with an impressive view to the lake.
That afternoon in the park, we walked a lot. I was counting my steps in my newly bought smart watch, and I reached 10,000 steps before 4pm. I really like the Garmin for all the indoor sports apps, but there are probably others on the market with similar functionality. Since the park was really beautiful and very big, we kept walking and talking, occasionally stopping to look at the usual array of trinkets and souvenirs. I was starting to feel tired, but when I looked at my smartwatch once again, I saw 20,000 steps and near 1,000 calories burned, so I took this as a part of my exercise routine and kept enjoying the experience. Still, I felt exhausted at the end of the day.
The sunset on the beach house was one of the most amazing experiences. I arranged healthy snacks and drinks for everybody. But not everyone likes kale chips, mixed nuts, dark chocolate, and flavored sparking water with fresh peppermint leaves. So, Bruno came back with a huge pack of chips and dips. I was tempted, yeah, but what I did was try this one and the other, tasting a bit of each and going back to my own healthy picks.
Do you want to learn Tai-Chi?
Amelia had recently received a rejection letter from the university she wanted to enter. She masked her disappointment well and her own style of fitness and meditation helped: Tai-Chi.
Amelia had learned Tai-Chi as a part of her mindfulness and meditation journey. I myself had became interested after my childhood obession with martial arts movies – remember I was a chubby kid looking for an escape – and wondered if I could join mindfulness and martial arts.
After sunset, Amelia taught is the basics.
I learned that Tai-Chi actually is a great way to work with energy. It is more than just concentration and exercises, and if you combine Tai-Chi and Qigong, you can actually strengthen different body systems through exercises, improve your health, and prevent disease.
It was actually a fun class, and I think we all enjoyed the time together. We laughed a lot while trying to get the poses and movements right, but I think she shared something important for all of us and at the end of the day, Amelia too felt a lot better.
You always need some time for yourself
Getting asleep can be difficult when you’re not in your own bed. So, I was still awake one hour after Izzy was deeply asleep, and I decided to stand up and go to the front door, staring at the lake in the middle of the night. I stayed there for a while, sipping on sparkling water with peppermint leaves, until it felt too cold to be outside, and I still didn’t feel sleepy. So, I went to the empty room for a while, remembering I had not completed one meditation session throughout the day. Maybe that’s why I didn’t fall asleep. I had not given enough time to myself.
In this meditation session, I wanted something different. I wanted to go through these last days, checking in with myself in every moment. This is what I found out:
- My meditation habit was strenghthened. Initially I felt it was worthless because I couldn’t concentrate. But I had understood that the goal was staying present in the moment.
- I was trying to connect more with people around me and everything that happened. This helped me a lot in my weight loss goals because I was eating mindfully, realizing when I was satisfied, and not overeating.
- I could make the body scans almost immediately now. They helped me a lot to understand which parts of my body should I train this day or that. It was a valuable tool as well to detect when it is the right moment for a rest day
- I was mostly glad because I was living a healthy life without forcing myself into something I didn’t like, and finding the perfect balance between what I want and what is healthier.
- Even in the worst situation, I was able to understand my feelings and what was really happening. And even though it is hard to control everything, you always have a moment of clarity of mind, and can use that moment to make the best decision for fitness, and for your own life.
I had a smile on my face when I got back to my room with Izzy. She woke up as I laid on her side, hugged me, kissed me lightly, and said “Thank you”. I don’t think she will ever remember doing that. She was deeply asleep and continued sleeping right after. But I will always remember that night, with her hands on me, her head on my chest, and a subtle sensation of a heartbeat against my skin that finally helped me get asleep while contemplating her life, so precious to me.