A few months ago, I started feeling as if I needed to learn something more—maybe it was time to find a new spiritual teacher, study another form of healing or medicine—perhaps study plants or herbal medicine, or perhaps homeopathy. So many options and no real passion to do any of them.
So I sat in meditation and asked whomever was listening, hopefully my higher self, “What am I to do next? What else do I need to learn or do to manifest my potential, be of service and ultimately be successful?”
The answer surprised me. I expected to be told to meditate more; follow the teachings of some great spiritual teacher; read more; expand on my medical knowledge; do research…..But no. I heard this answer instead, “You need to get physically stronger.” And then the image of a female tarzan swinging on a rope, running as fast as her horse, and leaping from trees in flight like the hawk came to mind, followed by the image of myself as a gentle female warrior, practicing martial art movements while seeing the reflection of my movements in the stream that I practiced by.
Interesting, I thought. I have not been so physically well this year. My lower back had been highly problematic since my car accident at age 15, and had limited me from really working out the past year especially. My blood count had also gotten lower by virtue of being an aging female, which had led me to be fatigued and sleepless, recently remedied by taking iron supplements. This answer came right about the time that I had regained my energy, my strength and a few painless days. So getting physically strong made sense.
But I also understood that visions like this have a deeper and larger meaning. I did not have a vision of working out in a gym, but of being strong within the context and elements of nature. I was shown a strong, resilient woman who was aligned with the elements of nature and “Qi”—the Chinese word for Energy or Life Force, and who moved beyond human limitations like flying from tree to tree and running like the wind.
I understood that I was being told that I had to cultivate my Life Force in order to be successful, vibrant and resilient. I wasn’t about to fly through trees or try to keep up with any horse, so, I began to look for just the right way to do this.
I started working out again more diligently. I channeled the energy of the hawk or the horse and found I was able to lift more weights or run faster. I found that when I meditated first, my ability to pay attention to my body and avoid injury improved. But it wasn’t enough. I was bored. Plane and simple, I needed play mates. In my image, I had the hawk and the horse. In reality, I had other sweaty people in my gym that listened to their ipods.
And then….I was introduced to BayState CrossFit. Created by Greg Glassman in the 1980’s, CrossFit is designed as a general physical preparedness program optimizes physical competence, improving cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. The program uses weights, one’s own body weight and flexibility, and the outdoors. It is intense and hard.
The hard part had me scared when my significant other ranted and raved about the hard work out he had done and how well he had performed. I thought I could never participate in such a thing because of my bad back and let’s face it, my inherent laziness.
But then I met the people. They lured me in. See, BaySate CrossFit isn’t just a place to work out, but it is a community of well-meaning people who have the desire to be fit, mentally and physically. They take care of one another and cheer one another on.
I decided to give it a try, and boy did I get a cheering on. It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it, even as I struggle to shift positions in my chair because my quadriceps ache.
I have only done two introductory sessions. Before my first one, I was filled with fear and worry that was immediately put to ease by the people. I still don’t know if I will be able to do this, but I am determined to move beyond my limitations and use what I know about “Life Force” to help me find and improve my agility, strength and flexibility.
Physical health, is not just physical health. Your body is the vessel that allows you to be here on this Earth. If you are not physically strong, it is difficult to also be mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong. Your mind, body and spirit are one unit, and I for one, have often forgotten this fact.
It is no wonder that great athletes are often successful in business. They know how to focus, concentrate, and move beyond their fears.
And so, I welcome you to join me on this journey as I blog through my trials and tribulations exercising my way through CrossFit. I will write about my own challenges and what I am learning. Perhaps you will do the same with me and share your stories.
Until then…..I have to go stretch!