The weather really has been kind of crazy the last few weeks. We can have sunshine one minute, crazy winds the next and torrential rain where even the toughest of waterproofs won’t be able to keep you dry. We even had our first flood warning last weekend, here’s to hoping that’ll be our last one too!
I just want summer to happen already, can you tell?
I know I shouldn’t complain too much. I live in such a beautiful place, with so much going on. But, deep down I know that I am a total summer baby, I crave warmth, long days and pretty pink sunsets.
But hey, we’re already in March so things are looking up!
Today we actually had a brief respite in the weather, as it had been raining heavily all morning, before the clouds finally parted a little and we got a glimpse of the sun. So, me an Andy headed over to the nearby town of Staveley for a nice little scenic run amongst the fells and mountains.
We didn’t go very far, or for very long, as the clouds started to grow darker and we didn’t feel like getting caught in another rainstorm.
But, the whole run got me thinking a lot.
In the past exercise acted as such a source of self validation for me. I always thought about how many miles I could run, or how fast I could do it, using these numbers as a means to make me feel like I mattered. I don’t think this is such a huge surprise, as my introduction to exercise was instantly competitive after I joined a running group at the age of 12. Whilst I did genuinely love it, the emphasis was always on competition, beating others, proving your worth on the team, rather than just going out and enjoying the whole experience.
As I grew older, it became all about changing my body, a way to keep my weight down, and again validate myself. I never really cared about the run or the activity I was doing, it was all simply about trying to change my appearance or impress my peers with my new PB.
The thing is, it just wasn’t sustainable that way.
I did things I hated just because I thought I was good at them, or because it burned X amount of calories, rather than venturing out of my comfort zone to attempt something new and potentially exciting.
It took a lot for me to change this mindset, to realise that whilst exercise is necessary as part of a healthy and happy lifestyle, it can look different to each of us. To put it simply, there is no single way to workout. And instead of focusing on what I thought I should be doing, I really should have focused on what I enjoyed doing.
These days I do a mix of things you could call exercise, trail/fell running, climbing and yoga. Am I any good at these things? Hell no. I fall on my bum more times than not, I struggle with my flexibility for yoga and I have accepted that I will never be anything more than a below average climber.
But honestly, I couldn’t care less. I do these things for how I feel, for the way they connect me to nature and nourish my soul. I do it because it makes me happy.
And really, isn’t that what matters most?