None of my end-of year challenges were planned. But they all happened, and in the moment I did not quite understand what it was all about.
I intended to run the NY marathon in November and the Honolulu marathon in December last year, 2019. These were big events to mark the end of the year and the end of the decade. But I also had overbooked myself with travel, trainings, and a lot of work. My training became sporadic and less effective than in the last few years. I also had so much work in October--days, nights, and weekends, plus travel--that by the time the third week of October arrived I was exhausted, and my knees were bothering me. What a disappointment that I had to cancel my participation in the marathons!
I’ve been called “the queen of self-care,” but somehow I had bitten off more than I could handle. It was clear I had to regroup and revise my self-care and training regimens.
First, I took three days off (including a spa day) so I could rebuild enough vitality to continue delivering to my clients in November with good energy.
Second, I sought a sports acupuncturist for my knees, stopped running, started a short yoga routine every morning, and began swimming more often.
Third, I had an upcoming trip to Honolulu and the North Shore and decided, during my holiday, to take surfing lessons, practice yoga, and do a bit of hiking and swimming. The surfing was so exciting. My preparation --the weight training, the practice of getting up as if on a surf board, and the Portugal surfing trip last June--had helped. I was standing up almost every wave and was exhilarated.
This whole experience was a reminder about how important it is to be in tune with our body. Our mind can want us to take on more than we think. I believe in stretching, but I also believe in knowing your body and understanding when to stretch and when to renew and refuel.
Compassion and Self-Acceptance
This self-awareness we gain from our bodies also deepens our confidence, helping us to develop more compassion and self-acceptance, to set more realistic expectations, and to lead ourselves better.
My last webinar on the “Body and Coaching: Power, Focus, Control, and Rehabilitation” for the Institute of Coaching https://instituteofcoaching.org/resources/webinar-body-coaching-power-focus-control-and-rehabilitation discusses how to support leaders and how to use the body to support leadership growth. The body can play a key part in coaching leaders who are working on addressing leadership challenges such as presence, empowerment, and self-management as well for clients recovering from health challenges or injuries.
I’ve ran 8 marathons in total, 7 of them in the last 4 years. I’m proud of that. But I want to keep my knees working in good order as long as I can, so I’ve decided to keep running small runs for now. My new and continued focus for 2020 will be on ocean and bay swims (5K Miami, etc.), yoga, and continuing to learn surfing around the world.
What will your focus be in 2020?
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