Saturday, April 04, 2015

What makes you walk on a rainy day?

View from Wytham Woods on rainy day April 3rd 2015
Yesterday was a day full of potential and no plans, and honestly, a day I really wanted to be sunny so that we would be inspired to go for a rambly, up close with the fresh air and nature walk. By lunchtime it was clear that it was not going to be a clear sky day, the grey was set. Low, mizzly when it wasn't actively throwing down the rain. There were other ways to enjoy our time but the woods were calling me and more unusually my body was asking to go.

I'm starting to feel the love for stretching and moving my body, sparks of energy that are building in to flames in glorious danger of setting fires. Desires to move that come from deep within rather than thinking that I should do some exercise. It is a huge sign of increasing health and all but alien to me.

I used to hear friends talk about going for a run/to an exercise class/playing a match because they wanted to and could only translate that in to them having more willpower, more drive to exercise than me. I could often enjoy whatever activity I cajoled myself in to but I never got there without a mental stick and carrot approach.

There is a learning within me to loathe organised exercise which came from having ME/CFS as an adolescent; there is probably nothing more likely to incur the wrath of a PE teacher than the chubby, seemingly well child that has a note from her mummy to get her out of the cross country run. Then of course when you haven't got a note you still don't have any stamina or understand the rules of hockey.... anyway I can definitely remember the joy of realising that when I did A-levels PE was no longer on my timetable! In the last year or so I've found two local classes (T'ai Chi and Pilates) which are rewriting that story and building up my body and it's wonderful to see that contributing to other activities.

A walk of any length at all was something that used to require more than a call of the woods, as my body so often had nothing to contribute to the conversation. It would have to be a sunny day or a group activity or some sort of extra impetus to get my tired, sore body up and going yet again. I see now that if you want to do something physical purely because you feel you should it is always going to be a battle of wills. I'm really enjoying finding that working with my body sometimes brings me the things I thought I should be doing, not because I tell myself I have to but because I find them delightful. Even on a rainy day.

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