Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five: Exercise

Sophia says: "I just got back from an 8 mile bike ride down the beach boardwalk near our home, and was struck with the number of people out enjoying physical activity. Runners, other cyclists, surfers, swimmers, dogwalkers, little kids on scooters....It's easy to lose track of my physical self-care in the midst of flurried preparation for a final on-campus interview Monday for a college teaching position in the Midwest (prayers welcome!) and the family move that would accompany it. But each day that I do make time to walk or ride my bike it is such a stress reliever that it is well worth the time invested!So how about you and your beautiful temple of the Holy Spirit?"

1. What was your favorite sport or outdoor activity as a child? I have just been having some great conversations about this with R as we visited my old hometown. As a kid I loved to ride my bike and would do so for hours and for long distances. My favorite ride was out to a beautiful park that is built up on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. I'd ride out there with my journal and literally spend the day, riding, dreaming, writing and thinking. As we drove up and through the park it brought back great memories of those days, and also amazed me a bit with my ability to do those hills!

2. P.E. class--heaven or the other place? Oh the other indeed! I was a chubby little unathletic kid. The classic "last one picked" for all the team activities and the child the PE teachers loved to hate. In high school as students from the Catholic girls high with no gym, we were bussed across town to the public school gym for PE and were subject to the catcalls of the guys as they watched us do our jumping jacks in our cute blue jumpsuits out on the track. I managed to wipe out on the cinder track in fine form the week before graduation and graduated in a knee brace. Oh, yeah...I loved PE!

3. What is your favorite form of exercise now? Yoga gave me back my body. It was the beginning of my actually beginning to reside in myself. I also like to walk and to do anything that feels dance-y. Biking is coming back into my life, too. I bought myself a bike for my birthday and R and I took our first cruise the other night. It was quite an adventure. He had a flat that required bike shop intervention. I lost a pedal! That one meant we had to walk the bikes over to his work, so he could get some tools to put it back before we could ride home. While there we discovered that my tire needed air, so we had to detour to the gas station. But it was fun anyway, and we are hoping that we worked all the kinks out!

4. Do you like to work out solo or with a partner? It depends on the activity. Yoga is a solo thing for me, walking and biking, I like a friend along but will do alone if need be....other "exercise for the sake of exercise" is a necessary evil and I'll do it however.

5. Inside or outside? Again, depends... but outside overall and strangely enough, the hotter the better. Heat and humidity energize me. Nothing like yoga on the beach, or a bike ride with the air blowing on a hot day. I know....people tell me all the time. But it works for me!

Bonus: Post a poem, scripture passage, quotation, song, etc. regarding the body or exercise. While this isn't about the body or exercise came to me from one of my yoga teachers at a yoga retreat in Mexico that was a very special experience in terms of reclaiming my body and so it does have that connection for me.....

The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Mrs. M said...

Your bike rides as a kid remind me of all the wonderful children's stories with bicycle adventures-- Elizabeth Enright, Madeleine L'Engle. Now I'm picturing you as a tiny heroine...

Jan said...

Thanks for the Rumi thoughts.

Barbara B. said...

Your bike ride the other night was rather epic!!
I think you two must have gotten all the kinks out -- next one should go more smoothly. :)

Purple said...

Such an adventure you and R had on your bike ride. I wish I thrived in heat and humidity...but I think wilting would describe me in those weather conditions.

ElastiGirl said...

thanks you for sharing the rumi meditation - radical hospitality indeed...

mompriest said...

Oh my, a new bike and a first outting, and all those issues - still you were in good company, that helps! Love to bike ride, too! Like the Rumi poem, too...

mid-life rookie said...

"Heat and humidity energize me."

Words obviously written by someone who does not live where I live. The official high will probably be around 105, but the thermometer on my patio is reading 112. Can I come to where you are for a while?

Last one picked... Yep - been there. Enjoy your bikes.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

the poem is beautiful! beautiful!

the heat & humidity? uh... they are not so beautiful here at least... not without rain... *sigh*

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