Well, Hello There!
After one incredible year, school is finally winding down for summer. Yet, for some strange reason, as I walked into school this morning to write a final, I felt a little bit sad to think of the school aspect of Education beginning to come to an end. Since I plan to take some spring classes and finish my degree by Christmas, I realized our cohort has officially parted. Prior to the final, I found myself walking by classroom doors, and reflecting on all the fantastic experiences I had within them; as I remembered, I stopped to appreciate the sense of newness and discovery my life has taken on in the past year. As I thought about how my life has been enriched academically, through some incredible professors' lessons and an amazing peer group of learning and support, I also considered how my still very recent physical changes have promoted my academic growth and success. I have so much more confidence in myself now than ever before, and I don't think it has a whole lot to do with appearance anymore; I think this new confidence has everything to do with the challenges I have encountered, and the overwhelming sense of affirmation emerging from conquering them.
As things have been winding down with school, I have finally been able to get back to (close to) my regular routine at the gym. Now that the open is over and all sense of competition has left me (which is probably a good thing, for now), I am rediscovering the joy of movement. You know, just exercising for the sheer joy of being active, regardless of any competitive outcome. I have missed this. Sometimes I challenge myself so much and push myself so hard I get borderline burnt out. I am starting over and finding that sense of newness and excitement that drives me and pushes me forward. Since all things will be new for me academically once again next year with my internship, so too will they be with how I approach my time at the gym. Along with competitions here and there, I am making a conscious effort to rediscover the simplicity and freedom/fun of simply being an active person because it's good for me.
In Education, we learn so much about teaching the "whole" child, or "holistic" teaching. It wasn't until recently when I was reflecting on this for a Phys-Ed paper that it all really began to click in for me. Not only is it important to teach my future students with emphasis on the cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and physical, it is just as important to discover and foster these elements within myself. For so many years, I let the physical slide; when I started taking care of my health and fitness alongside of the other three elements, I found myself. Losing the weight is really only a small element of it. Yes, it's awesome, I lost 80-90lbs and gained some pretty great muscle; it's all still very new and exciting, but unlike how I used to think, losing weight is certainly not everything. Now what matters most are the positive changes I am seeing in a more holistic perspective; I am thinking more clearly, loving more openly, laughing more regularly, and taking care of my health and wellness more intentionally. This is what matters most.
So as I am rediscovering the joy of movement at the gym, and discovering new opportunities in the fall, I challenge you; reflect a little bit and discover. As Dolly Parton once said, "Find out who you are and do it on purpose."