After failing to make the final cut during the last round of New Girl training for TXRD, my head got into a weird place. The day after evaluations, I said “I don’t want to touch my skates for a good solid three days”. I was giving myself permission to take a teensy little break. I assumed I’d be right back in them. But then the phone call. And it was painful to look at them, let alone put them on, so I didn’t lace up for quite a while. I can’t even tell you how long–maybe a few weeks, not until the next round of Polly & Lacy’s classes started back up.
I’m not trying to dwell on that whole heartbreak thing again though. I bring it up to illustrate this point: this summer I decided to break all the rules I’d set for myself back in October and then January (skating & eating Primally). I gave myself permission to do whatever I wanted. I could eat what I wanted, I could get chickens, I didn’t have to work out. It was basically a free pass. I was calling it a “Mental Health Summer”. It was like those vacation days you take from work when you’re starting to burn out, except my was kind of never-ending.
It was awesome. I got SO MUCH done–some ceilings de-popcorned, some walls painted, garden planted, rain barrels in place, clothesline up, and a gorgeous chicken coop built. I caught up on a lot of reading, caught up with my friends, and caught up on my hammock time. Being derby-less gave me lots of free time to actually do the things I’d dreamed about doing in my own house.
It was AND it wasn’t the healthiest thing for me. To go from eating a no-grain/no-legume/no sugar diet and exercising a good 6-7 hours a week to sandwiches and a cancelled gym membership definitely took a toll on my body: the extreme, sudden shift really threw my muscles and created a few problems. I could have found a better way to do that part instead of just cold turkey.
The mental relief was fantastic. I had been struggling, all throughout New Girl, to find the balance between enjoying and being present in my home-buying experience versus my training-for-derby experience. I could never give 100% to either–I managed about 80%, 80% of the time. But then–not having to make the choice myself, it was quite a relief to suddenly have plenty of free time and energy to devote to my exciting new toy. I reveled in the freedom to just drive home after work. No stopping by the gym. No fighting traffic to the Thunderdome for a league practice. Just….going home, to paint something or sew something or read a book.
There’s a problem, however. Aside from atrophying muscles, I didn’t set an end date. I didn’t give myself a “back-to-school” deadline. The “break” never ended. Sure, at the end of July I said “ok, August is my birthday month so I’ll just start eating primally again now”. And then I didn’t, because it was still hot and I was still taking popcorn off the ceiling and who has time to cook when you’re covered in paint? P. Terry’s it is! (I seriously have had SO MANY CHEESEBURGERS this summer it’s ridiculous).
I started to skate on Saturday mornings, (a bit begrudgingly, I admit ashamedly), but it wasn’t with the same balls-to-the-wall devotion as before. I’ve done just enough to keep my feet familiar with the incline, but then one day it hit me–I could lose all the advantages of being in NG before. So I started trying again. Skating outside of the warehouse, with my derby wife, or doing squat pyramids randomly throughout the day. And then, a day or two ago, I received the “official” tryout email with all the details. A few minutes later, another email came my way with information about the new Wreck League (a recreational league).
Seeing the two emails juxtaposed like that really put a fire underneath me again for New Girl. I want THE league. I want TXRD, and I want it in a bad way. I am willing to work so hard, ready for those exhausting nights driving home smelling like a skunk. I’m so eager for the intense workouts again, ready to push myself and to quit letting my fear hold me back. I’m ready to prove myself again, ready to be as fit and tough as I was before. And this time, I’ve got experience and knowledge behind me, pushing me forward. And if that means denying those intense sugar/chocolate cravings, and forgoing the convenience of a sandwich, and tripling my gas budget, so be it. I want it, and I’m finally remembering that.