So much of my life has been running a race towards health and happiness. Always running, but never winning the gold. The ultimate marathon.
I’ve always been an all or nothing type of girl, but recently have been trying to become the turtle in the race. Slow, but steady. Focused on the end, but not in a hurry to get there. One excruciating baby step at a time. Accepting falls as the learning curve. Not an excuse to give up.
Why is it that as parents of young children, we tend to put everyone else first, and then wonder why we don’t have energy left to take care of ourselves? Why is it so hard to put ourselves first? If we don’t put gas in our cars, we know they won’t run. We need to properly fuel ourselves in order to function fully for our family.
I noticed this past week that my energy was waning again. My desire to do anything was next to nonexistent. A few years ago I would have just fallen into this downward spiral and sunk lower and lower. My mood would plummet; I would be angry at everything and everyone—myself most of all.
Now, as soon as I feel my mood sinking, I do a self-evaluation. How have I been eating? Have I been engaging in physical activity on a regular basis? Have I had “me” time? My answers at the end of this week are that I have been sliding to “fast food” (boxed meals or breads/pastas) and not including those nutritious, energizing fruits and veggies. I also haven’t been engaging my body in regular physical activity, which amazingly, is the best way I now know to boost my energy.
So, today I focused on the healthy eating and getting the whole family active and moving. It’s the perfect weather here in Southern Ontario for hiking, so that’s what we did today.
Two hours of braving a narrow path that had tree roots, rocks, hills and valleys along a precarious edge of the escarpment had my heart pumping out of my chest—not because of physical exertion, but more for concern that one of my three children would slip and fall over the edge. All this, so that we could reach a look-out point over the town and capture the magnificent view below. Yes, the view was amazing, enthralling even, but oh so short-lived with three kids.
I did let nature soothe my soul. Deep breaths of (hopefully) fresh air. Managing to block out any whining, complaining, or bickering, I thoroughly absorbed the serene feeling of being in the forest, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Everything was blocked out but the feel of my feet pounding the packed dirt path and the sound of the wind whispering through the leaves in the canopy of trees overhead. Further on, the gentle swooshing of water cascading over a cliff in the distance further soothed my senses. Rays of sunlight flickered on the path in front of me, as the breeze cooled my warm skin.
It was a great outing. I feel great today. I have taken care of myself, both body and soul. Who would have thought that a simple hike could be so “nourishing”?