At last t-shirt days and balmy nights have arrived. As we slip into our flip-flops, we might be very tempted to leave far behind us memories of March and April’s inclement weather. We had a bumpy ride of windy and rainy days with plunging and rising temperatures. Many a co-worker and client griping and grumping.
Eager to shed our winter layers, many of us seem to annually suffer from seasonal amnesia about the tempestuous nature of winter’s transition into spring. I will grant that this year’s stormy spring seemed to stretch longer than those in the past, but nonetheless the atmospheric churning is a necessary outcome of the warming air.
Just as the weather shifts, so too do our bodies. Factors such as sleep, nutrition, emotional stress and the energies of our environment can all affect how are bodies behave on any given day.
When we are scheduled for a workout, we would often like the session to be all blue skies and sunshine: we want the body to be hearty and whole and challenged to its utmost. But then there is the reality of life: an illness saps the strength, a business trip twists and tightens the body, a family crisis absorbs the mind.
Then we must tend to the body’s needs. As much as we might desire to be running a marathon, perhaps we need to take a stroll instead, or even just simply lie down and breathe. Just as we might be longing for languorous, sunny picnics in the park, instead we stay inside and cozy up to a mug of tea.
The key is not to fight the reality of our atmospheric or bodily weather systems. Instead, see what is it is like to accept and work with what is present. Then you can see what is possible.
I have had clients who are disappointed with being slowed down or feeling set back in their workouts due to injuries or emotional stress. It can be discouraging. But during these “low” times, they are still learning in their sessions. They are gathering information into their nervous systems. It is much like weaving, in which every thread of a session–whether it is about finding subtle movements in the ribcage or bicycling while in a shoulder stand–creates a greater whole cloth. The body has greater integration and consequently greater fitness and health.
Then when the sunny, warm day does show itself, you can go sprinting with a whole and happy body.
This was originally posted May 25th, 2011.