There have been a few defining moments when I felt like the statement, “I am in my best shape” applied. One of those was not in High School. Fourteen years ago (WHAT has it really been that long!?!? My freshmen in class are 14 years old!!!), I graduated HS feeling anything but confident in my skin. Plagued by self doubt, navigating the halls of Holy Trinity felt clunky, awkward, and stereotypically “high school-y.” These were not the conditions for being in the “best” shape because even though I felt thin, my socio-emotional state was turbulent and therefore not conducive to being in a healthy shape. Being too busy consumed and concerned by what others thought left little room to really get to know myself and care about myself.
College was definitely a different vibe. I found my people in friendships that continue to nourish, challenge, and grow. This is where I learned a lot of that socio-emotional care so needed in order to take life in stride, take time for self, and take time to appreciate the complexity and roughness that can be long-lasting, loving friendships. Comparison melted away among these women and was replaced with reflection, laughs, and giving real time to one another. Obviously we are all works in progress until the day we die, and this will continue to be a place I hope to grow and stretch but my college friends helped me gain some good traction here.
The physically fit aspects of the phrase “best” shape, came with my relationship with David. Wanting to be playful, adventurous, and ready to go in a moment’s notice, had me embrace exercise more or less. We challenged each other not to look a certain way but to live and feel a certain way. We may have spent days languishing in pajamas and chatting but then took on days days being active and hiking and this felt like a good, balanced approach to dating and getting know each other. Still today, I need time to connect with David emotionally and actively out-of-doors in order to feel like I got to “know” him that day, week, or month. Having the kids got us out of our pattern, but as they are getting older and easier to pack up and go, we are finding it again. It feels good to play a round of tennis and then take the pups and kids for a walk, and spend the evening watching a fire and talking about future goals and plans. This Rhythm that we have fallen into helps me feel less lethargic from the demands of being a working mom and reminds me that one of my hats is just to be his friend, partner, and love. And that is a serious role! So we embark from time to time on this path of activity because it is good for us and good for our souls. Sometimes we are all in and as a result we see physical transformations like losing 10lbs and toning and sometimes we just half go in and enjoy it for what it is. Now that we have thoroughly crossed the threshold of 30, it feels ever more important to engage fully in on our commitment to being active and playful together and we always are good at it when we decide to do it together. So for the past week we have jumped in and as a result, I am feeling more energetic, playful, and connected to Mr. David because of our 30 minutes of daily adventuring as a family, together, or solo. And with some small results, it makes being committed to being active, being healthy, and being together all the more easier! So cheers to being in the “best” shape at 32 or whatever….
One week then and now