Sub-Optimal or Just Fine?

Since I quit the Tour du Canada bicycle trip last June, I’ve mostly chosen to put fitness and nutrition on their neighbourly back burners. “Just not important,” I said so very inaccurately. I decided what was important was beer and nachos and such like. Add to that the joy of being online with friends and meditating and watching sports on TV, and I became a synonym for “sedentary”. I was doing lots of cool things, such as going to Belgium and Senegal, and being active in the Evolutionary Collective, but I clearly had a blind spot.

Yesterday, my trainer “Derek” and I really got going on the strength training. First the locker room and the view of t-shirted me in the mirror. Wow … look at that spare tire. I sure didn’t like that profile and I felt myself falling into “bad”, but strangely it was just a momentary dip. My gaze rose from my stomach to my eyes and I liked what I saw there.

Derek started me off with the bench press, using 12.5 lb. dumbbells. I quivered on the upthrust and the weight in my left hand went wonky. Again the contraction in my mind, and again it released within seconds. Hmm.

Next was squats, using a sufficiently high “sit down” platform to vanquish the “I can’t squat” mumbo jumbo. Fifteen reps three times with rests between. Some pain coming up, especially as 12 moved towards 15. My looking in the mirror revealed a struggling old guy, as apparently unstruggling younger guys lifted weights nearby. Contract … expand (both the body and mind).

There was a gentle battle afoot, and I realize that those two words don’t usually go together. I watched my mind and smiled. There was the pointy part: right now you’re not good enough. Then there was the “flowing to the horizon” part: I’m on a journey here. There’s a future of wellness waiting for me. If I do the regular work, I’ll be there in the fullness of time.

What’s so doable is to be sufficient in this moment. I can argue with the way it is right now, but why bother? It’s far more fun to gaze upon my daily blessings, and there are so many.

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