Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Yes, I am a spaz in many ways, as we all are. I love to laugh until my tummy hurts, to share lame jokes, to watch silly movies with lovey dovey plots that are predictable and to make the biggest splashes in the pool with my kids.  But what I don't like....when my back is a SPAZ!

This week my body decided to let me know I needed to step back.  I am sure it has happened to all of you at some point.  This year has been full, the past 6 weeks are no exception.  A road trip with the girls to Portland solo parenting, Hood to Coast, jumping back to school year and nightly meetings, Makenzie's first full year at Otis school (we hope), added on more boot camp classes, more Personal Training Clients, Pacific Grove Tri, sprained wrist from bike fall, Jack working late, Georgia trip and on and on.  It sounds like many of your September's I want to do it all and be proficient with everything you do.  And then I put a goal on myself to do a big challenge in September...what was I thinking at the time was it was a perfect challenge.  At the end of the month I accomplished many of the tasks, but still had more to do and felt I didn't keep up to my own goals. Do you ever feel like that? 

Then last week some wild stress hit. I thought I could heal it all with my norm of spinning, running, swimming, training, and laughing.  I tried to muscle through, but my back wouldn't have it.  Sunday in a 3000 yard swim workout, my back started to seize up.  No No NO I thought. It can't happen now, swimming is my safe sport and my oasis of peace.  Maybe I was being played on by the higher power, another lesson to be learned since for some reason it seems I am one to keep "learning".  I thought, Embrace the challenge Erin, embrace your back and do mermaid swimming for a bit. I did, felt better, and then had to curl into a ball.

It's ok, I can get stretch and work through this, right?  I set up Monday - Wednesday by the minute; Jack and the girls flew early to Georgia and I wasn't leaving until today, Wednesday, to get a lot of work done.  Then Monday hit...I had an awesome spin class, worked out after and planned on lifting that night.  Stress starting getting to my gut and my stomach started to hurt a bit. "Come on Erin, muscle through", said my inner voice. Watched a lame movie in the quiet house, tackled some of my to do and that night, my back started to spasm and the pain continued. NO, this was not in my plan for my time to work kidless. I had things to do and taking care of my back was not one of them. Tuesday, my back was not great at all and the day that was to be full of tons of training, clients and work ended up with Orthopedic MD for knee update(planned), 1. 5 hours at the Chiropractor for my back (not planned), hour massage for back(not planned), haircut (yeah planned!) and light spin which for me felt great on my back. While I had wanted to push it and get 100 things done, even with a lot of my to-do's that I was able to accomplish, my body said to hold on and breath. Just breath and breath again. 

Today I woke up a new person.  After a night of ice and breathing it all in.  
Why ... because I took time to meditate last night and just step back... physically and literally.  

Relish the time to be alone and know that the "to-do" list will always be there.

It is easy to keep going and taking care of everyone, everything and think that you are taking care of your own needs while nursing all around you.  But are you really?  Are you taking moments to just "be" and not worry about feeling productive?  

I know for me that is a hot topic. I have a tough time not mutlitasking, especially as I still feel I have tons of catching up to do. I cram every minute on MWF when I work/teach train clients all day and have our wonderful nanny, Hannah, watch the girls after school.  I am slammed with to-do items. Mind you I love that I ride my bike from appointment to appointment, but even if I do that and feel rushed, am I really enjoying the ride along the way?  But on Tuesday and Thursday, after I teach first thing in the morning, I am off playing with Emerson and being "Mom". I thought that was enough to keep my own life stress in check, but I realized I have not been so honest with myself.  While we step back on those days, I am still riding to soccer class, to gymnastics class, Brownies, learning the Art Docent program and taking care of our home.  I love all of this, but I think sitting back and reading a good book or a trashy magazine needs to fall in to my to-do's ... and not be done while I am on the elliptical trainer at the gym, but in my favorite red chair in the family room.

The spasms set me back, but also set me forward.  It was an eye-opener for me to really set back and breath.  I realized I need to nourish my own soul as I am helping everyone else, and doing nothing sometimes is the best thing to do. Period. 

In December I will have time to focus on doing nothing. It looks like I'll be having double knee surgery then, but it will progress me forward as an athlete and as a trainer.  That challenge, interestingly enough, seems just like that.  It will be a gift to move forward as I got the initial answer on Tuesday regarding what would happen.  More to come on that later, but last night I thought about how maybe the spasms were helping me prep for sitting back and letting my own body heal post surgery. I can't control everything, so to just go with it and breath along the way is a lesson in itself.

What do you do to breath? What do you do to wind down and listen to your body?  Have you have moments of spasms too? If so, what made you breath better?

So I sign off with breathing. Taking one moment at a time and stepping back to just breath, read some silly books, and own up to doing to much for a bit and needing to take care of myself.  It may be selfish, but it may also be the best gift I give back to everyone around whom I adore.

Much love to you and make sure to breath.....