Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ten – Flexibility? Now that’s new to me ...


When I was pregnant, my body was the most flexible it had ever been. I was able to achieve some Yoga positions too easily, compared to my pre-pregnant body, when they’d been a bit of a stretch. Obviously, this is a hormonal thing – getting the body ready for the big show and all that! But, I think it is also a bit of a metaphor ...

Pre-Willow, the word ‘flexibility’ was something I had penned on a training plan.

There’s an irony: I made ‘flexibility’ into something regimental! And to further the irony, I sometimes didn't fit it in - it wasn't that important - I didn't have time!

It was something I had to do to keep my muscles loose and my body supple and less prone to injury. I alternated Yoga with stretching and balance sessions. ‘Flexibility’ sessions, I did complete, gave my life a bit of calmness ...

Calmness ... I remember that, kind of ...

My life was structured and organised and flowed. I lived by timetables: I had a teaching and marking timetable – I stuck to it; I had a training timetable – I knew how many hours I would be training every week; I had a cleaning timetable. I planned holidays and weekends away; I paid bills on time; I watched new releases on Sky Box Office – all the way through. I could fit in a lot, if I was well-organised, and I did. Even with regard to racing: I couldn’t ever predict a race’s events but I had strategies for all types of hurdles.

Pre-Willow, there was no room for flexibility unless it was on my training plan. Everything was placed, pre-Willow.

Oh, how that had to change. And, I was not prepared for such a change!

On 12th January 2011, I had no choice but to learn about a new flexibility! A newborn baby does not know about structure. In March, 2012, I've learnt, neither does a poorly toddler ...

Therefore, I may have a plan to be fit and healthy, but it has to be a flexible plan.

My poor little baby has had two months of illness after virus after infection after illness ... I said to a work colleague at the end of January, ‘I think we’re over the worst,’ with regard to Willow’s immunity building. That weekend, she caught chicken pox. The following week, a chest infection. Then, a sickness bug. She is currently getting over another infection. Apparently, this is normal!

My poor baby.

An ill baby is reminiscent of the first newborn days – sleepless nights, inconsolable crying, absolute frustration. And, we have had this for the past few weeks. Therefore, riding my bike? I’ve been lucky to do a bit. But, my plan has had to have a few adaptations. I’ve had to be flexible.

A few years ago, if I had not stuck to my plan, it would have been disastrous! I would have begun the season thinking I hadn't trained. In hindsight, I was nuts! How can I have been disappointed if the freezing rain and wind meant my five-hour ride became three? 

I was turning something I had loved into a chore.

Life isn’t about being the regimental person I was. Although it was easier, it was nowhere near as full and as fun as it is now. I may not get all my training done. I definitely won’t get those nine precious hours of sleep every night. I may look like I’m ten years older (that hurts.) But, I have so much else in my life that I do enjoy and riding my bike is just part of that. And, I really enjoy riding my bike, because it's not regimented any more.

The metaphor?

Well, my body changed to anticipate my mind changing. Willow has freed me. Flexibility has a place in my life and not just my regime. Though, all that baby-carrying, I do need to regime it too ... I ache!

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