[NY Resolutions: Why I don’t have one]

I used my Christmas money to buy a gym membership.

It was probably one of the most cliche things I could have done to start 2011, but I figured…”What the heck, how often do I have an extra $300 lying around?” So I bought a gym membership, along with, I’m guessing, about 77% of Americans who choose to ‘lose weight’ as their New Years resolution. [For the record, my NY resolution is not to lose weight. I chose not to have a NY resolution, I figured I’d break it and I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment.]

These last two months have been really hard for me mentally, physically and spiritually. I’ve been battling with bouts of anxiety, sprinkled with bits of depression and it’s been really discouraging. I like to know the origin of things, and as hard as I tried for two months, I could not come up with an explanation for my ‘problems’. I think it all started with my Finance class at Liberty, it was really challenging and I let it get to me. I started to believe I was a failure, and things spiraled downhill from there.

For two months, I let those thoughts and feelings consume my mind. It was all encompassing. Prior to those two months, I had been running diligently, at least 4 times a week, sometimes 5. But, I got a cold in the beginning of November, and that broke up my routine.

So, I quit working out. And I kept getting sick. And I was anxious. And I was slowly becoming depressed.

I was chalking all of this up to my hard class. But I couldn’t figure out why it was affecting me this way, I’ve been in school for 17 years, had it finally all caught up to me? As hard as I tried, I couldn’t resolve with myself that a tough class did this to me. I needed a better explanation. And in late December it dawned on me. All of this started after I quit working out.

Someone once told me that taking a 30 minute walk is equivalent to taking a dose of antidepressants. I didn’t really believe them, but I remembered that as I went for my first run in two months at the end of December.

My boyfriend got me Nike Free Runs for Christmas. He gets me. I think he subconsciously (or consciously) knew that me not running was taking a toll on my health. So he gave me those shoes for Christmas and a gift card to buy new workout clothes. As I was opening them he said, “I know how happy running makes you, so I wanted you to have these.” And it all clicked.

I ran four times last week and I already notice a difference in my moods and thoughts about myself. I don’t feel 100%, but I’m feeling over 80% for the first time in months.

So I bought a gym membership with my Christmas money, not because I made a weight loss resolution that I’ll break in February, but because I want to be healthy mentally, physically and spiritually.

Here’s to 2011 and early morning workouts and gym buddies and being healthy. I’m going to make this year a good one.


Expectations and Phone Calls

So two things were happening to me at this point in my journey:

  1. All of my expectations for this trip so far had been shattered, and nothing was going the way I expected it to.
  2. I was experiencing an intense whirlwind of emotions, and this whirlind was quickly turning into a twister.

It’s interesting because so much planning went into this trip, however, I felt like I had woken up that morning and decided… ah, I’m going to go to Namibia for 6 months today. So for every plan I’d made thus far, I felt like that plan had been pushed aside and an entirely new plan was laid out before me… one that was undiscovered and brand new.

I started to learn something about myself, and something about the God I serve. As far as I go – although I love spontaneity and adventure at home, it was an entirely different story when I experienced spontaneity within the context of a new country and unfamiliar surroundings. Where at home, I would be the first to suggest an adventure, I was realizing that alone… in a different country, stripped from the comforts of knowing street names and being able to speak the native tongue, every moment spent outside of my bed was an adventure… and that both energized me, and terrified me.
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