I’ve long been fascinated by numbers. As a kid, I studied baseball players and their batting averages, home runs, and runs batted in. Then hockey took over my mind – goals and assists. Most recently, I’ve been enamoured with women’s tennis. Bet you didn’t know that Canada’s Bianca Andreescu is ranked 7th in the world while Leylah Fernandez sits at 88th.
And it’s not just sports. For many years I’ve tracked my own physical stats. How much do I weigh? What’s my body fat percentage? How many calories did I burn on the cross-country ski machine?
Even Covid hasn’t escaped my analytical mind. I’ve tracked numbers of infections and deaths in Canada, the US and the world. Seeing human lives almost as sports scores is a harrowing thought, one that has led me to remorse.
With all that as a background, I worked out on my strength training machine this morning. An hour later, after some food, I was tired so I lay down on my bed. Sleep was nudging but I never quite got there. The in-between space allowed my mind to wander, spread out, vaporize. And then, from some unknown place, came:
I don’t care what I weigh
My eyes widened a bit and then softened. I waited and listened. Yes, the voice spoke the truth. I’m sure that was the first time in my adult life that I spoke those words. The need to weigh myself had disappeared. Hours later, it’s still nowhere to be found. I ask myself “How is this possible?” but I don’t have any oomph to answer the question. It’s just so.
Other thoughts came to the surface:
I don’t care what my body fat percentage is
I don’t care how many calories I burned on the Bowflex this morning
I don’t want to look at the Polar app to see how many calories I’ll have burned by the end of the day
I don’t care how many people viewed or liked the post I wrote yesterday on WordPress and Facebook
I don’t care if in 2020 I exceed the number of views I had in 2019
I don’t want to know how many people were infected with Covid today
I don’t want to know how many people died from Covid today
I didn’t grunt and groan to remove my thoughts about stats. I didn’t create short-term and long-term goals to eliminate my tendency towards analysis. The thoughts, the focus, the evaluation … they’re simply gone. And my sense right now is that they’ll stay gone, as magical as that seems.
I’m still focused on exercise and nutrition as ways to stay healthy. I’m still concerned about the pandemic and committed to social distancing and wearing a mask. But there’s a long, sweet exhale … and the feeling of space.