Monday, February 9, 2015

Hypothesis: Sarah can ride her bike to Walmart and Grocery Shop

OR: In this episode Sarah becomes a victim of too much confidence #hubris
Jason and I have decided (once again) to commit ourselves to healthy living. I will not write a health blog (because my journey is not of much help to anyone else) but maybe you will get a kick out of our exploits. I know I enjoy laughing at us. We decided to get a gym membership down the street that is 24 hours, so we can make it fit into our schedule and do it together. We couldn't get the membership started for today so we will start working out together tomorrow. In the meantime I got it into my head that in addition to healthy clean eating today I would get in my exercise by riding my bike.  I love riding my bike, and the California weather makes it a no-brainer. I also live close to a bike trail that goes right to the Walmart I normally frequent. When I go grocery shopping I usually think to myself how embarrassing it is that I live so close to the store and still drive. Turns out what truly is embarrassing is looking like a homeless woman in front of your neighbors.

I prepared for my trip by making a concise grocery list, strapping on a backpack and bungeeing on a basket on the back of my bike. The day was cool and perfect rainbow weather. I made it to the store in 8 minutes, and felt pretty smug as I locked up at the bike rack. I noticed two other bikes with boxes on the back, and for a second felt part of an elite group. I was pretty proud of my shopping because it was half the amount that I usually buy. But somehow when you have to carry it all home it is the most food ever. I loaded the bike and backpack, preparing for my ride but it was too much for my Panama Cruiser. When I stopped to put in my backpack the bike fell over and my food all rolled around. I kept my eyes down lest I saw anyone looking at me and repacked the bike. I finally got going by putting two bags on the handle bars, a bag in the basket, and the backpack on my back. I slowly started the 2 miles home with the shame building over my stupid idea. Thank goodness for my sunglasses and the quiet time of day, because no one seemed to recognize me. People must have thought I didn't own a car or that I was an "urban camper". I should have stuck to the anonymity of my car. It was slow going, and at one point I had to walk my bike instead of ride it, but after 20 minutes I made it home.

Why did I have to combine exercise and errands?? Why did I think my body could make that happen? Well, I just wanted to see if I could. I have since taken an Alieve, rubbed on some IcyHot and have resolved to wear a disguise next time I go to Walmart.

Conclusion to Hypothesis: Sarah can do her grocery shopping on her bike, but should not. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Day Which I Remebered I have a Blog

Recently I was swept under by a rip tide of nostalgia. A bunch of friends that were in band with me started a group conversation on Facebook that continued off and on for three days (with no end in sight). In a quest to remember the stories I was hearing I looked in my hope chest for old photos and memorabilia. I don't have a lot of pictures from my pre-digital days, but I did crack open my journals and special letters box.

The Sarah of the 90's wrote constantly in her journals. She did not have a hand the cramped up after writing a single page, and she had no shortage of things to write about. Her journal was her closest friend and she took it everywhere. She also indexed all the people she ever wrote about and was confident that her posterity would care some day about her High School dramas.

That girl has been so romanticized by me over the past few years. She had a great body that she took for granted. She could eat whatever she wanted and she spent a lot of time just thinking about life and enjoying her surroundings. She always had a crush and something to dream about. I often feel jealous of her.

Reading through that girls life I have to admit put me in a funk. That girl was so sure that she was special and was destined for greatness. What am I doing right now? What am I hoping to achieve in the future? What am I even racing towards?? Those are the kind of questions that lead me (I don't know about you) into a spiral of loathing.

As I laid under my covers while everyone was at work and school I let myself wallow and count the many reasons I had to be sad and lethargic. I made a list of all the things I need/ or are waiting on, to fix myself and be happy. An inspiring gym class, better health, better relationships, more money, a job, more exciting things to look forward to, etc, etc. I laid there asking myself: what is keeping me from being happy? And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was me. I was keeping me from being happy. Why would me do that?

I remembered a book my dad gave Jason and I in 2009 called the War of Art. It's about living the life you want to live and what is holding you back. The author (Steven Pressfield) calls it Resistance.

"Resistance is fear. But Resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame in this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear.

Resistance doesn't want us to do this. So it brings in Rationalization. Rationalization is Resistance's spin doctor. It's Resistance's way of hiding the Big Stick behind it's back. Instead of showing us out fear (which might shame us and impel us to do our work), Resistance presents us with a series of plausible, rational justification for why we shouldn't do our work."

What were some of the things in my life that were stopping me from feeling good? I saw them in my house. I felt above doing them because I felt like I had more important things to do. But the fact that I wasn't doing them, and they needed doing, was subconsciously making me feel bad about myself. Every time I saw the disgusting state of our bathroom, the overgrown lawn in the backyard, and the trash heap on the side of the house I felt gross. I just felt sad. Even though I had a thousand reasons not to clean them. Every time I got in my car and saw the mess I felt defeated. I could rationalize all I want about why I didn't need to do it, but I knew, that just doing those small things would make me feel victorious in my own life.

So. I caffeinated, I gathered my tools and I was victorious. I cleaned the crap out of our bathroom. (All five of us use the small non- ventilated shower room and it was mildewy and nasty) I borrowed the neighbors lawnmower (instead of making the excuse that we are waiting to buy one). I loaded the minivan and went to the dump (It wasn't that far or hard to figure out). I took the van to the carwash and had it vacuumed out and cleaned. And lastly, I sat down and wrote this, because I loved to write, and I used to do it all the time, and I was good at it. It used to define me in fact. Today, I felt the comfort of a long lost friend: Pride.

I can't wait to surprise Jason and take the load off of his shoulders, and maybe if we are lucky, he will also taste the sweet victory that is beating Resistance.