It being my second time having radiation to my chest, it was advised I have "Proton" radiation treatments. There were only a dozen or so places in the country where this could be done and lucky for me, Boston provided this kind of treatment. I ended up staying there for six weeks, which meant many hours of alone time. Radiation took maybe 2 hours of my day between travel time, wait time and treatment time. I had A LOT of time to myself to walk the streets of Boston, to read, to talk to other cancer patients and to reflect. I was also surrounded by others who traveled for treatments and were equally grateful to be alive. For me this was such a great experience. It gave me time to process all that I had been through. I keep working at having the daily contentment in my heart that I felt living at Hope Lodge in Boston. Enter in normal life, responsibilities, parenting, work, dinner planning (not to mention chemo brain but I'll fill you in on that at another time). It has thrown me a giant curve ball!! I've been home for 9 months. One might think that is adequate time for transition, but I assure you it is not. At least it isn't for me, because I am FIGHTING getting lost in the routine.
On most days I honestly feel swallowed up. This week when I sat down to write I felt lost. No idea what was in my head. No idea what to share with you. Then today it clicked!!! The biggest difference between then and now is that I walked!! I not only walked but I really enjoyed it!! In Boston I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful pond and would make a three mile loop a few times a week. I continued walking when I got home. I listened to podcasts that stimulated my brain and I absorbed the sunshine and fresh air. It centered me. It gave me time to reflect. It did all the other things that exercise is good for too like keeping my bones healthy and burning calories and lifting my mood etc. It all just clicked!! Then it turned cold. I started putting more hours in at work and took on more responsibilities at home and I stopped walking. I've put exercise on the back burner until I got a hold of other things. I put it on the back burner because I thought that one more thing in my schedule would really tip the scale and my balance would be off. Turns out it is so essential to me. I need exercise for health reasons. It's something I SHOULD do. We all SHOULD do. Today I realized how much I need to just walk, to think about nothing or listen to my music or podcasts and reflect. You may think I'm crazy, but I am SO excited by this. I'm excited because I realize it is not just something I should do but I've learned it is something I really enjoy doing. I am fully aware of how good it makes me feel and it's going to be so much easier to do now that I've hit the switch in my mind turning this from a Should to a Desire. YEAH ME!!
Go. Go find enjoyment in something physical!
When we exercise for clarity of mind and feel good reasons it becomes less of a chore and more of a treat. So, why don't we do it more often? Because we make it so hard! Keep it simple. Know WHY you want to exercise - really why. Your why...not the reasons you've been given by your doctor or trainer. Then just FIT IT IN. If you like the gym, great, if you prefer a dance party in your PJs, awesome! Just get more movement. Our bodies need it and it is a huge component in slowing our world down and getting a handle on our lives.
So, you want no part of it?? Little things can still make a difference. Be purposeful. Park further, walk to the mailbox, take the stairs. Whatever you can do to add some purposeful movement every day. Go easy, be kind to yourself. Find the good and be proud!!