Getting back to my routine has proven to be difficult, as you can see from the gap of blog posts. My first couple of weeks back in the office, and the Pilates studio, absolutely drained me. I was struggling to keep my head above water. I had so much work to catch up on that I didn't know where to start, and I felt rusty in my teaching style. I had to make sure I made time for my physical therapy, created quality workouts for my clients, not spend too much time in the office stressing over the mess I had in front of me, and actually try to get some decent sleep at night. While I was happy to finally be back on the grind, it was a frustrating start back.
With the arsenal of resources that I had, and have, I was making a lot of quick progress between physical therapy and personal training. As soon as I started spending more time in the office, however, I could feel my progress regress. Staying in one spot for an extended period of time has never been my strong suit. My muscle gains slowed and I lost some of my extension in my knee. Great. I knew that I had to be strict in my schedule, but was really struggling to stay motivated. This was the mental aspect throwing challenges at me. I kind of just chugged along for a while and went through the motions. My eating habits were way off from my norm, my quality of sleep was complete garbage, and my workout schedule was mediocre, at best. I could see what I needed to change, I even knew how to change it, but just couldn't find the motivation to do so.
This went on for about six weeks, until I went to visit one of my best friends in Atlanta. She's always been my rock, my confidant, my thought pusher, my absolute best friend. We talked about everything from work, career goals, dating, dieting, fitness, and any small thing in between. I told her I felt like I was a little stuck, in relation to growing as a Pilates Instructor and life in general. She sat there with me and hashed out ideas, offered to make a schedule (she's a project manager), and her boyfriend sent me a number of useful documents to help me continue my forward momentum. I already felt better. It was almost like I needed some accountability, someone to light the fire again for me, and that brainstorming helped so much, maybe more than she realizes. She even sent me a free week of Hello Fresh (That's a link for $40 off!) boxes to help me get back on track with my preferred method of food consumption. A healthy diet has never been hard for me, but I was eating out more than I'd like to and needed something to get me back into the habit of cooking at home. The concept of Hello Fresh is to have quick and easy meals, with fresh ingredients, delivered to you doorstep once a week. Sign me up. They send a super easy card with cooking instructions, nutrition facts, and a wine pairing suggestion for each meal. This was my kind of plan. I had no idea that something seemingly so small, would make a huge difference for me.
When I returned home from a blissful four days with my best friend, I felt ready to tackle life again. I had a new meal plan in place, new ideas and strategy with my Pilates career, and a better handle on managing my very demanding schedule. Hallelujah.
When I first went back to work after my ACL surgery, I didn't expect to feel this way. I thought I would just be able to bounce back, because I felt pretty good getting back to it. I was hard on myself when I couldn't manage all of it and it just made me feel more down. I've been a master multitasker/planner/fire diffuser for as long as I can remember, and couldn't quite get a handle on it again. What's the lesson learned? Be kind to yourself and just keep swimming. Sure, I was going through the motions for a few weeks there, but at least there was motion. I'm not "on" all the time, I'm human. Do I feel guilty and regret that time "wasted"? Sometimes, but it was part of the process. I like to think that it was the universe screaming at me to slow down, take a breath, take care of yourself, and it's okay if you don't hit every deadline. I can only do so much, we all can. You only owe it to yourself to give it your best, some days 25% will be your best, other days will be 110%, and that's completely fine.
Inspiration comes in many forms, and throughout all of this I'm reminded of someone that I have idolized since the eighth grade. In the words of the late, great, Pat Summitt, "Keep on, keepin' on."