What is fitness? I mean really what is it? What does it mean when someone says “oh she is in shape” in shape for what? To be in shape is relative - we can each be in shape for whatever we train for and be utterly out of shape for something we don’t.
And fitness ... to me... far supersedes the state of body. We are mind body and soul. To be healthy in one area we have to be healthy in all areas ... so therefore to be fit in body, we just be fit in spirit and mind. Likewise to be fit in mind, we need to be fit in spirit and body. And same rings true for healthy spirit. Some of us have an extremely heavy emphasis on fitness of one area and compensate for lack in one or both others ... and yet we will hear from this very same person they want balance... but balance is often referred to work/life balance - but what is balance? If my fitness of mind body and soul are in balance I’m imaging a more abundant healthier enriched fulfilled life .... and I imagine all the categories of life will also be balanced by natural law as well.
Anyhow I went off on a side tangent - to get back on track .... fitness ... my goal for this trip was to stay fit while traveling and write about it... and there has been a lot of eb and flow in how I approach this goal. Some days and weeks it’s been purely about getting some kind of activity in my day for movement and /or conditioning of body health. Some days and weeks I get to spend more time really moving slowly and exploring my body demands. Sometimes my body has hurt in various ways making it hard to do many things and then I focus on what I can do....
And while I’ve written about the body part of my fitness journey, and a few blogs about my attempts at self love journey, I’ve not tied the two together ... and I’ve left a lot out. I want to bridge the gap.
Most days I meditate - although I’ve been noticing that last month or so the time committed to my meditation hasn’t been as productive because I’ve found my mind wandering quite a bit more then usual. This has left me feeling a little more spiritually disconnected then I had previously been getting used to.
And for my mind, I write.... and in writing I try to be observant.
The conclusion I have most recently come to as the pains and limitations in my body continues to expand... is that my body wants me to slow the F down... my body mind soul need some healing... and I have finally found my way to the type of place I need to be to allow this healing to flow. I knew when I set off for this trip that healing and self love were a big part of my journey, and this journey wouldn’t look the way everyone else’s does... and I was ok with that - but being human somewhere along the way I started resisting this. As it started to unfold just as it was supposed to, I found myself wanting it to be different.
However, the other day it was loud and clear that I am here - where I’m supposed to be - and my body is really telling me so slow the fuck down, stop needing to do everything, stop worrying about getting fat - and just love me - love every piece of me - love it all... in all the ways I’ve been better on this journey into self love - I still see where I am still so hard on myself, especially when it comes to food and exercise and the possibility of gaining any weight or getting any looser. There is choosing healthy options out of love and there is choosing them out of obsession and fear - sadly I must admit where I still make choices out of fear, and this isn’t loving.
So here I stand - or lay really - ready to be with me A LOT - and slow down - and honor the space my body needs - and the space my mind needs to listen to what my body has been trying to say for way too long.
Our body will always speak - often softly at first, but if we don’t listen it gets louder and louder until it starts to scream. I think my body has been screaming for some time. So I’m recommitting to my meditations with spirit, and giving myself the time to be curious and listen to what’s inside and what still needs expressed in emotion so it stops expressing itself in physical pain.
Questions I will be asking myself and journaling about ...
What thoughts are constantly running in my monkey mind?
What emotions am I addicted to?
What feelings still need to express themselves?
What type of reoccurring relationships do I settle for?
What are my patterns?
What happens if I just slow down and worry less about getting fat or whether or not I can do a pistol by the end of my trip, and more about what feels right for me each moment?
What if I just notice more sunsets and shining stars in the sky & feel more connected to source energy and the magic of the universe?
What if I slow the fuck down and stop swimming upstream and just let life happen for a once?
Can I truly truly learn to love all of me? In love not in fear ... can I truly love me even if I move a little less (or differently for a while) if I slow down, if I do less, if I see less, if I explore less ... can this all be ok - better then ok - can it be perfect? And can I love it for what it is? And who I am?
What other ways am I lacking self love and honor on this journey? What areas can I still work on my growth while loving all of me along the way?
So basically I suppose I realize I’ve been lacking balance lately in my fit journey and I need to rebalance and recenter myself - so I will practice worrying a little less about how much activity I do and practice a little more on my commitments to all areas of my health & fitness.
Would you like to join me? 🙏🏼😘
#becurious #innersize #mindbodysoul
#whatif #whatcouldhappenif #goslow #bestill #lookwithin #meditation #itsalwaysagoodtime #dolessbemore #lookup #begrateful #shiftfitness #mentalhealth #selflove #itsajourney #universalmagic #energyinenergyout #nothingtoprove #nomask #nogoals #surrender #beyou #playmore #movement #mindfulness
Aaaaahhhh the topic of dread... I noticed the other day how insanely hard it was for me to actually post my journal about my hard day and emotions ... and that was barely much ... so it makes me think how much I still struggle with being vulnerable... and I want to be able to be - I want to grow in this area... so .. my commitment to myself is to practice a little more often - to share some of my deeper more embarrassing struggles. What have I got to loose (except some dignity- haha jokes) on a serious note, it’s easy for me to post the easy stuff - but I notice how much more reserved I am from posting that harder more embarrassing topics - guess we shall see what happens - I don’t know why I worry so much - I dont advertise this blog and I’m fairly certain less then a handful of people will actually ever even read it! 😂 but the thing is - we all have struggles and we all have embarrassing struggles and we all have areas of our life we feel alone - so I’m thinking if maybe one other person feels less alone by my shares then that is a good thing!
Not to mention, I’ve definitely landed in the most perfect place and situation to really spend some time going inward and being with myself in utter stillness to listen and learn with open curiosity .... what my body might be saying. 🤔🙏🏼 xoxoxo ❤️.
#growth #ourbodytalks #dowelisten #vulnerability #beopen #connected #meditation #stillness #loveyoself
“And this too shall pass” .... “what we don’t resist shall not persist” ....
I woke back up today on the right side of bed ... yesterday was definitely not one of my easier days (refer to previous post) - but it was a necessary day... I woke up in a “funk” (if I must label it), feeling rather melancholic, if you will.... and today I already feel back on track emotionally ... I didn’t judge it - I didn’t resist it - and I didn’t try to change or understand it ... as nothing other then a human moment. Today I woke up reinvigorated, curious and excited about what lies ahead - ready to move forward into the next leg of my journey.
Today I had my last chiro appointment to help my foot and wrist, I’m getting my teeth cleaned to take advantage of taking care of something I need and have access to here, and I get to drop into the CrossFit for one more workout before I head out.
Tomorrow I go through two border crossings, final stop - Nicaragua..... which will be my fourth country on this trip and heading into my 3rd work trade experience so far- with curiosity, excitement, but also a new mindset... I am confident this work trade could be the exact type of experience I was looking for through workaway, that I have yet to have, but I’m also accepting that if it is not what I was hopeful for, then I have the courage to honor my truth and move on into a different direction, not worrying about letting anyone down.
I’ve talked extensively with the couple who owns the hotel, and I feel truly supported that they want me to be honest with myself and them, and stay only if it’s what makes me happy. They both have years of experience traveling through workaway so they have been on my side of the trade - which is really awesome.
I’m excited to explore a new country, although I notice I always get a little bit of unnecessary anxiety on travel days or leading up to them - and then every time proves to be ok ... and I release it.
Every goodbye is bittersweet - this time I’m not really saying goodbye to anybody in particular, just a place and more a feeling. El Salvador, as a whole has been so good to me, so kind, generous and beautiful. It has definitely touched my heart in more ways then one. I feel blessed to have been here and had the experience I’ve had, meeting the people I’ve met. I can only be excited about what is still to come.
I am right at what is about the half way point of my journey.... and I have noticed some increased in my anxiety and busy mind. It’s as if I have placed this expectation that suddenly I should have all the answers of what is next in my life post trip... that I should suddenly know what I want to do for work, and where I want to be - and I have found myself stressing silently to the unanswered questions, with the fear I won’t figure it out... but the truth is - I don’t believe in “shoulds” and I don’t need to have it ALL figured out - definitely not now
All I need to do now is be in each moment and appreciate it for what it is, and enjoy the journey. All the other stuff can figure itself out later - in due time ... but this is such an unnecessary added stress to my life; however, good awareness for me to see the ways worry and fear still show up in my mind... so I’ve been practicing compassionately reminding myself I don’t need these worries, although I understand them, but they are irrational right now. It’s all one giant work in progress called life.
We can run, but we can never hide, @ least not from ourself ... and thank goodness ... why would we really want to if we thought about it - I want to face myself - I want to see all of me - and continue to learn to love ALL of me too ❤️ I hope you are working on loving ALL of you!
I’m always writing about finding the positive, focus on what we can do and what we have, and learn the lessons .... and this is all so true and soooooo important - but I think it’s also equally important to be human - and allow our natural humanness to express itself and to acknowledge and honor our real feelings in any moment - even if the focus isn’t on what I listed above... and that is still ok ... and that is where I am at today.
Today I basically sat on a couch in my air bnb ALL day (on a Sunday) and read a book. I barely forced myself to find the motivation to get off the couch and see the remains of daylight to go grab some groceries. And I had this mood I couldn’t shake ... I was irritable, stressed out, flustered, angry, and sad all at the same time. And you know what? I let myself be.... I didn’t even try to understand it, explain it, justify it or get over it. I just allowed it ... because I’m human and I get to experience the whole spectrum of emotions ... and yes I’m a strong person in mind - but somedays it’s ok to just feel and not need to always shift every single moment to the growth potential - that shit gets exhausting ... it’s worth it but - but so is being kind and forgiving and allowing to myself.
And you know what - most of the emotions ended up releasing except just one lingered.... sadness ... and that’s ok. What was I sad about?!?... I asked myself... a lot of things - mostly it stemmed from longing ... missing ... aching.... I don’t know why today of all days, maybe because I was already in a melancholic mood, and maybe it was my dream state the last few nights, but I really miss Mowgli... like in a bad way. My eyes tear up just thinking about him. What I would give to wrap my arms around his little fuzzy goofy self and hear him snore.
But that’s not all, I miss my friends, I miss family - I miss all the special people I love and care about back home in the states, which I’m grateful we are all at least connected.
And then there is one specific person who I am no longer connected to, whom I really really miss. And I miss some of the awesome people I have met on this journey that I’ve had to say goodbye to.
And then there is all the silly shit ... I miss my plants!!! My beautiful green happy plants in all their colorful pots ... and I miss painting the pots and replanting the plants and watching them grow, because it’s spring and that’s what I do. I miss doing artwork and painting. I miss getting in my car and driving to no where particular - just the freedom of being able to do so.... and I miss hiking through all of our beautiful parks - being able to hike anytime of day or evening I want - by myself or with a friend, without a guide. I miss lifting weights and the feeling of being in a gym...Buff sesh’s with friends.
But the thing is that as much as I miss all of this. I am not ready to come home, because if I left I would miss all of this too. I can’t come home, and that also makes me sad, because I know I will keep longing for and missing, but I’m not done with this experience on the road... and the longer I’m here the more I can’t imagine it being any other way. It’s like this desire to live two totally different worlds... wondering how I will collide them into one. I just want to be everywhere all at once with everyone.
On the bright side, at least I know I have a lot of really wonderful and great people, places and things in my life at home and my blessings are abundant and plentiful.
A love letter to.....
Oh how I’ve missed you. I’ve missed picking you up, and sometimes putting you back down, holding you in my hands, and moving you around. I’ve missed the different challenges you propose at your various weights... and the variety of ways I can connect with you in space! I missed how I feel the next day after spending time with you... I just truly didn’t realize until today... how very... very much I missed you!
.... to dumbbells, kettlebells & barbells... oh my 🥰
yup ... that’s right!
Seriously, as much as I’ve loved taking on my personal challenge of finding various ways to incorporate movement into my life on the road .... and have learned a ton while discovering all kinds of ways to still have fun moving, and I have been living proof that our body is enough to stay fit, there is no denying a passion or a love of something... and at the end of the day- I fucking love moving some weight around- barbell, kettlebell, dumbell - no matter ... it feels so good to my body and soul.
I got to hit a workout @ a local El Salvador, Central American Crossfit box - RD Crossfit .... boom!!! So while I was in the city, I found out there was a Crossfit in walking distance, so I naturally had to scope it out ... and just walking into the gym felt so good!!! What an amazing group of people.... Pure kindness and open arms - just like the rest of this beautiful country!
I loved spending time there... chatting - working out, once in a group class (in Spanish), 1 workout on my own (1st time in 2.5 months to move any weight besides my body or a rock), foam rolling (a luxury- also my first time in 2.5 months to foam roll😳 it felt sooooo good!) - even loving on and playing with the official mascot dogs!!! It was especially awesome to watch everyone do the 19.5 open workout together!!!
After two days in a row and ultra light weights I am GOOD sore head to toe! 😂 Aaaaaaand as much as I craved going back in today, knowing I only had a few days to go, I am 100% committed to listening to my body, and my body said no. So today I opted out of a 3rd workout in a row, and I went on a long walk through a local nature reserve I wanted to explore to give myself some active recovery. I will get to drop into the box one more time before I venture on to my next destination. What a treat - what a treat!!!
Ok ok- technically the title isn’t 100% applicable for this particular blog - BUT it is ultimately about staying fit while traveling ... and hey if you get a chance to change it up once in a while you gotta take it !!! 🤷🏻♀️ because this is all about making due with what you got - and sometimes soaking up the more! 🙏🏼
#stayfitandtravel #shiftfitness #ourbodyisthegym #sometineswegetarealgym #exerciseisfun #movemoreoften #choosemovement
Focus on what you can - not what you can’t .... perspective is everything right??
I’ve been in a really challenging position to explore movement and squeeze workout in - between having a hurt foot, a painful flared up wrist, extreme heat and lack of adequate space. I’ve felt rather lazy this last week, topped off with eating rather crappy.... I literally can’t recall eating any veggies in a week 😩 my diet has consisted of fried food and sugar - I love this country - but damn I need access to a kitchen SOON! Or my body is going to scream back at me... oh wait it already is 😂!!! But true story... this is also a good practice for me in acceptance and allowing ... because it’s such a small season compared to the bigger picture and everything I’ve had is unique and homemade and part of the culture- eating meals together is a big part of connecting together here.
So anyhow, enough with my rant .... I finally decided to jump up and figure out what could I do with the space and conditions I had, which was concrete ground, an injured foot plus a tweaked wrist, and no mat 🤔 Was it as much as I wanted to do? Heck no - but was it better then nothing? Heck yes! Do what you can with you what you got right?
So that’s what I did - a little upper body strength work with the classic band and some squats and glute bridges one day, and some lunges & band rows the next - not too much pressure on foot.... I’m feeling like it’s rapidly improving and I will be back to normal in no time! Jumping, running, and skipping 😉 and dare I say even burpeeeeeee’ing 🤞🤞🤞
I do make sure to at least hit joint circles and articulations often + band disclocates and pull a parts to balance out the compensated forward upper back from carrying the heavy backpack around, and now that I’m hobbling around again I get a bit of walking in through the days.
I’m hoping in the next week to do some exploring in nature which will include a good amount of activity + get to the beach again with a healed foot to do some sand wods and running !!! Oh and while I’m in San Salvador I might even see if I can get into the Crossfit to have an El Salvador Crossfit experience😳😳
This post is about what you can do - which is what I’m doing but .....Omg I can’t wait to have my foot better and be somewhere with a long stretch of sand - I swear even though it’s gonna be soooo hard to build my running stamina again - I’m just excited to be able to do it!! The freedom of just walking outside and moving forward. I’m also excited to find another spot with rocks that I can deadlift and pick up and put back down again!
There is always something we can do. It’s entirely human and awesome to get excited about possibilities and desire other options, but in the meantime we have to focus on and appreciate what we can do and not make excuses. I’m understanding and experiencing this natural eb and flow of my movement and fitness commitment while on the road, while also learning to accept.
#stayfitandtravel #noexcuses #desirefindspossibility #loveyourself #movemore #bekind #shiftfitness
At the sheer chance there is anyone who actually follows this blog - you might get sick of my ramblings on the same content ... but as much as this isn’t the first time I write of this nature, it most definitely wont be the last.
Today was by far my hardest goodbye yet. As I said my goodbyes and gave this family big hugs my eyes filled with tears I couldn’t hold back. I had my first couch surfing experience and while I had no real idea what to expect I imagine this exceeded any possible expectation on every level. This family took me, a complete stranger, into their home, for nothing - no cost ... with wide open arms ... not only did they give me an insanely comfortable bed to sleep in - they fed me - and showed me raw, genuine love. They literally treated me as if I was family from the moment I stepped foot inside their home. Saul’s mom, Lupe, welcomes me with the biggest smile and open arms, instantly had me get comfortable, gave me coffee and introduced me to two El Salvadorian sweet treats. They wouldn’t even take no for an answer when it came to food, it was just assumed I would join them at all meal times- so very generous !! They even invited me to a family birthday party.
I had the experience of going to Saul’s English class, meeting his students, sitting with them, having conversation to know each other, enjoying their enthusiasm for learning a new language!
His dad shared his collection of coins from all over the world with me, excitedly.
His sister shared her room with me, walked me to Saul’s school, and was constantly all smiles.
Saul played guitar one night and sang, sharing with me his beautiful hidden talent!!! Also, another night we sat there and he introduced me to tons of amazing music for all over Latin America.
I truly enjoyed my time just sitting with his mom at the table sipping coffee and eating treats, communicating the best we could with what little we both knew of each other’s language - but thanks to google translator we made do- it’s amazing what body language, a smile and context can do!
I’m truly grateful to have had this experience. It was nothing like I was expecting and so much more. Juayua is a simple town - not too much going on there - but spending time with this family filled my heart and gave me more then any restaurant, cafe, or waterfall could have given. I feel truly blessed...
El Salvador has been filled with nothing but genuine kind, generous, real people who make effort to know me, to be a friend, to help me, to share with me, to teach me, to spend time with me and to welcome me into their home and life. I’m sad for anyone who skips this country because of crap they hear in the media... they are truly missing out.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I truly believe I found my HOME... and I don’t mean a specific place ... I mean an experience - a feeling within my own heart and soul. Backpacking is an interesting adventure. Somedays you are always on the go- sleeping in a new bed every night, sometimes you settle into one spot and get almost too comfortable in a routine. Somedays you have one single conversation with someone, say goodbye and know you will most likely never connect again. Other times you spend days with someone having deeper, more meaningful conversations and connections then you would imagine possible in such a short time, eventually saying see you later. For me, I’ve always understood home is where the heart is - for so long my heart was with Mowgli. When he died, he took a piece of my soul with him and I felt temporarily without a home. But home remains the same - a feeling in my heart and soul... and now through this experience, each day, I am more coming back to that “place” aka feeling .... while being on the road.... Home isn’t about what specific city I am in at any given time, where I’m storing my stuff, or even who I am with... it’s all of it - it’s all the different moments and collections of connections put together into one, combined equally with all the time I spend alone, in contentment. It’s the ebs and flows, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the laughter and tears... it’s literally the whole experience. It’s the feeling of completeness, acceptance, and contentment regardless of what each circumstance comes my way. I don’t know how else to describe it but I truly feel like I have found home... and it it feels good.
The more I travel the more beautiful places I see the more I appreciate the beauty everywhere... truly everywhere if we open our eyes to it to see .... from every river, lake, ocean, mountain, volcano, corn field, hills, city sky line, small villages across the land... loud, quiet, hustle and bustle, to crazy remote, jungles, and forests and so much more - home, near or far, friends, family and strangers alike ... it’s truly ALL beautiful. Do you see it? If not, blink, adjust your perspective and look again!
I found the quote above in a book I was reading... and I love this quote - so powerful, so true... so many of us go out searching for something outside of ourselves, “it” (whatever it is) never to be found... but what we are searching for isn’t to be found outside, it’s within. The outside is simply a projection of our inside to shine light for us. Look within and find your beauty - I promise it’s there, and once you find it - you will also see the beauty everywhere.
I have to say this last week has definitely been the most challenging week of my whole trip for staying disciplined in my movement practice... for a variety of reason. Honestly, I thought I would be taking surf lessons everyday and yoga class and this would be my fitness and movement... however, given I got hurt very early on in the week I have been restricted from both activities. Add that to the extreme sweltering heat, inability to do much standing on my foot, and lack of a yoga mat for kneeling has made it very challenging indeed... challenging, but not impossible - just had to approach it differently and practice a little acceptance of what is, rather then what could be.
I would say, I appreciate any movement, to no movement, but it definitely hasn’t looked or felt the way I prefer. I miss my inward experience of getting to really hone in on what my body needs and adapt my own yoga practice...
I realize how badly I would love my own yoga mat to have any time of day or night anywhere I go. Yes it is space consuming, but it create a world of more opportunities for me to move in various ways, honoring my body, restorative movement for my joints, as well as handstand, headstand, shoulder stand play.
So I will definitely be looking for somewhere to purchase one of these on the road in forward travel, and attach it to the straps on the outside of my bag - I can see the value in it and it’s worth the extra weight.
Most places, aside from where I have had a mat, are rather difficult to have variety of movement options, as I’m usually restricted to hot sand or hot concrete surfaces. So I do what I can do. This week I have focused on some upper body movements - mostly done seated to rest my foot. No cardio, as it’s challenging to do much conditioning w/o use of foot, but I figure I drop enough sweat it counts right? Lol 😂 seriously though - it’s hotter then hell here ... I thought once I escaped the high elevation and found my way back to sea level it would be easier to breath- but it turns out to be much harder in the thick humid air.
So needless to say- I’m mostly focused on upper body band movements to just keep joints moving - and some glute bridges or hamstring curls as much as my heal can handle. Before my foot got hurt I was doing some conditioning wods in the sand by the water to stay cool! That was refreshing and came with free exfoliation as a bonus. Oh and once again, definitely rolling solo because most people look @ me like I’m crazy to be doing any workout outside of the water & surf! 🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️
Now to venture on, keep letting foot heal, and find a yoga mat in the meantime! What’s next on the menu? We shall see 🤔
I wrote a poem about this ... but it’s so heavy on my heart... especially as I sit here overlooking the view at what has become “my spot” ... listening to the ocean waves... thinking about this last week, how fast it has gone by and how it’s already time to go.... I literally came to this little beach town to learn to surf ... however, I got hurt within the first two days limiting my physical ability to do much... so instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do - I settled into a groove with what I could .... people here are so damn kind... the locals from my guest house let me borrow their bike everyday and night ALL week long so I can stay off my foot and don’t have to walk, but can still get around. Another local from my guest house took me to the doctors to have my foot looked at, kept me safe, translating for me and everything. Another local spends his time sitting with me for hours teaching me jewelry. The kindness and generosity of people here doesn’t end. I cruise the sidewalk and meet and talk to various other locals - learning their craft - enjoy an afternoon in a cafe teaching someone a card game and playing cards - sitting over coffee having a wonderful chat about life. Joining the “crowd” and cozying up on a rock in the sand every evening to take in the magic of an El Tunco sunset - which doesn’t get old... watching people play, surf, and stand in awe, as they try to capture that perfect picture. Every day is filled with this balance of peacefulness and tranquility, laughter and smiles.
Today is my last day here and this makes me sad. Saying goodbye is literally the hardest part I have experienced of this traveling journey. I spent a month with a stomach bug, and still have belly issues every few days. I have now hurt my foot and couldn’t walk a week, had some terrible, exhausting shuttle rides, less then favorable work trades, and despite these circumstances saying goodbye to beautiful souls over and over remains the hardest part. And it doesn’t get easier - perhaps just gets harder. There are some people who’s paths I will cross again, but many connections will be simply memories to hold dear. It’s just truly hard, although I get it’s a part of the journey .. but prior to this trip, this would never been what I guessed would be the challenging part. I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people, and feel so blessed, both fellow travelers and locals mixed ... people I felt truly understood by, connected to, in such a short time... it’s honestly beautiful and awesome. I am eternally grateful for each moment, each connection each memory created. It’s only been a short time in my new “home” (my heart) away from home ... and I’ve already had all these amazing people cross my path- I can’t even begin to imagine who and what is still to come!!! This journey is in honor of all the beautiful souls on the road - living life - from close and far, no matter where they are, whether or not we reconnect - the imprint they made will never been forgotten. Them and of course my forever one true love, Mowgli, who is with me everywhere I go❤️