I’ve been on this self-improvement kick lately. It’s spring, so my seasonal depression is melting away, leaving, unfortunately, a somewhat plumper self, replete with winter weight. Step one, then, is to add more activity to my current repertoire of almost no physical activity. Easy.
I was a semi-active runner three years back, back before I sprained my ankle and pretty much gave up running altogether. I didn’t run because I enjoyed it — initially, I would run out of self-loathing and to gain a foothold of control of my life, and then after awhile, I ran simply because it was the easiest thing to do. I would run daily, a mile at first, and then two or three miles a day, and finally, a breezy 10K (breezy in memory, undoubtably painful during). And then I sprained my ankle, I found a desk job, and I stopped. And I started gaining weight, and it became harder and harder to run. The thing about running is that you need to build momentum. Casual running, I’ve learned, is the laziest physical activity because once you start, it’s easier to keep on running than to stop. Getting started, though? That’s rough. It took me a good three, four months of complete focus before I could run with any confidence. I aim to get it back and run a 5K this fall.
Running is crazy boring when you’re alone, though, and it would be nice to build in some social activities into my solitary lifestyle. I’ve been exploring (read: internet browsing) options to learn boxing under the tutelage of a personal trainer, of yoga, of biking, of volleyball, and of rollerskating. Realistically, boxing is not something that I would immediately begin because it’s indoors and the weather outside is just so nice. Plus, I’m a pansy, so I’d like to at least be somewhat physically fit before I step inside a gym and get beat up.
I’ve taken a step forward in all of my other ambitions. I’ve signed up for a pickup volleyball mailing list — which is amazing, right? The internet constantly astonishes me with its capabilities whenever I venture off my beaten path. Volleyball is probably the activity that comes most naturally to me after years of varsity training, but of my list its easily the scariest because I’m out of practice, out of shape, and it involves showing up and interacting with complete strangers. I wonder for people with social phobias what it is that they are actually afraid of, because I’m not afraid of meeting strangers in a common, comfortable environment in which I have a degree of control. What I am afraid of is getting to know someone and slowly realizing that the more I know them, the less they like me. This may be the opposite of a social phobia, or maybe it’s its own category of phobia. Just now, I’ve realized: I’m just like a balloon, fun and happy and shiny and carefree on the outside, full of hot air.
How did this turn so sad, so fast? My personal musings often take a bit of a dark turn but I’ll do my best to keep a lid on that. Back to self-improvement. I’ve purchased a yoga kit and have looked into lessons at the yoga studio down the street. It’s convenient, I’ve done light yoga/pilates before, and really, I just want to be the type of person that does yoga. It fits my healthy hippy lifestyle. As does biking, and so after an agonizing experience at the bike store I’ve purchased a bicycle and it’s on its way. I chose it after reading this review, and while I know that you should never, ever buy without testing, I couldn’t stand bicycle shopping anymore. The stores are overwhelming, and the people, customers and salespeople alike, are extremely judgmental. I’m not looking to bike professionally or anything, so for the time being, as long as its a serviceable bike that I won’t fall off of, that will do.
Finally, the thing that inspired this ginormonstrosity of a post — roller skating! I own my own skates and pads from two years back when I had big plans to join the local roller derby team, and after I ordered them, upon their arrival, I quickly realized that I couldn’t skate. In fact, I can barely stand with them on. I tried skating with them once at a park during off hours and the stares from that experience alone was enough to make me stop. But no more! First off, it’s just a damn waste to have my beautiful skates sitting there, gathering dust, and I’ve also found this marvelous website (which did not exist two years ago) which will hopefully guide me in my skating endeavors. I’m prepared to fall — that’s what this blog is all about. But I’m also prepared to get back up again.