This past week has really been a case of getting my head upright on my shoulders. I feel as though I have finally gotten adjusted to my internship here, so responsibilities and projects are increasing, which is a great thing and provides so many cool, new opportunities. On top of that, classes have begun giving me about 100 pages of reading per week, which I knocked out this past Sunday, all thanks to Starbucks nitro cold brew. My second and third jobs at a local church doing childcare along with web designing for various entities are beginning this week as well, giving me an enjoyably busy schedule.
My schedule has never been short of busy, but I’m not the only one that can say that. This day in age, the desire to be busy is at an all time high. People brag about skipping dinner and not sleeping, which happens sometimes but isn’t always the most enjoyable in my opinion. Throughout college, I was always wearing multiple hats and that personality trait seems to have followed me to the grad school life. While at Baylor, though, I was a division one athlete on top of school and work, which I clearly no longer am anymore.
One of the hardest adjustments to make after graduating is the adjustment from NCAA D1 athletics to the real world. No one prepares you for the emotions that come with no longer having a team of 20 girls around you all the time, or the feeling of no longer being in the physical shape I once was in. I think having the boot four times over the course of the past year helped transition me a bit in terms of physical fitness, but it still doesn’t make it any easier when the only way I can muster my body to run a sub-8 minute mile is when I see a rat dart across the sidewalk at 5:30 in the morning.
Through the journey of no longer running 60 miles a week and knocking out crazy workouts and lifts, I’ve found myself trying to enjoy the journey of treating my body right and doing it for myself, no one else. I signed up for the army ten mile race in October in Arlington, and am obviously training for that, because I needed something to train for, and some type of end goal. Of course, my type A, meticulous, former D1 self immediately started planning out weekly mileage and when to incorporate long runs and tempos again. Three months after officially signing up and beginning “training,” I’m a bit ashamed to say I haven’t followed through with any of it.
At this point in my life, I had to face myself in the mirror and admit that my physical fitness does not determine my worth or my place on this campus anymore. When the decision comes down to doing extra work for my internship or getting a second run in, I have to choose the internship, because that’s the race I’m running right now. It’s a weird transition, and I would be lying if I said it was easy. But through it all, I’ve found ways to make it fun, and I think I’ve grown from it all as well.
I’ve found joy in cross-training, specifically SoulCycle, which I always loved before graduating Baylor, but now I can enjoy it with a bit more flexibility. It is no longer strategically implemented into my training schedule, but something I sign up for if I wake up and have pain in my shin, or see it’s going to be a rainy day and I want a good workout inside. I feel alive on the bike, and I think that’s what the whole working out thing is supposed to do for us. We’re supposed to take some time every day, or every other day, or however often we see suitable, to put our hand on our heart and feel it beating, realizing we’re alive and present, and we’re doing this for ourselves, for our own good and pleasure.
One of the instructors this past weekend at the class I was in said, “You need to show up for yourself when no one’s watching.” I think that’s something to remember in so many aspects of life, even here. When I’m given extra reading for my grad classes, even though the professor won’t quiz us on them, I need to show up and fill my brain with what’s in there to better my knowledge. When an opportunity presents itself at work that’s just an option, not a requirement, I need to seize it immediately, even if my boss has no idea or doesn’t require it. And when I workout, I need to give it everything I have in that moment, for myself, not for a coach or a team, but because it’s for my own goodness and worth. If I can’t show up for myself, then how can I expect myself to show up for other people? So sure, it absolutely sucks that I can’t pound out back to back sub-six minute miles, but I can go hit the streets every morning and fight for the feeling of my heart beating and my legs moving, however that may be. And then I can indulge myself to a delicious açai bowl after, because that’s treating myself right too.