Are We Learning Anything?

‘ello friends!

I’ve been slacking the past 2 1/2 months and i apologize. however, i did go on vacation for part of this hiatus.. does that count as not being lazy?

Speaking of.. laziness that is, as part of my Lent challenge (as i like to call it) i gave up being lazy and have embarked on a journey of physical activity three times a week. Now, for those of you who are active already, i know this 3day-a-week idea sounds like peanuts. I used to think that myself, back when i was one of you. But for the past 4 years, not only have i gained 20lbs (I’m only 5’1″) i have also fallen into a lifestyle of lazy. I stopped playing volleyball, i stopped coaching, i stopped going to the gym.. every aspect of movement, for some reason faded into the background. and let me tell you, that makes me sad.

Sad, not only because i went up two pant sizes and for some reason was OK with it, but sad because i let a huge part of me go, and for a reason i can’t explain. I had been playing volleyball since i was in 5th grade. Growing up in CA this was not rare, but even after moving to New England where it was scarce, i still found clubs, and HS teams, and even more excitingly, a college team to play for. Never mind the sport, i loved the training. I loved the fact that i could run farther and squat more weight then most people i knew. I loved being able to run 5miles without stopping.. i can barely make it 1mi now. I loved that sore feeling in your legs that makes you walk down a flight of stairs sideways, or you’d fall over. I loved proving i could play. Like i said, I’m only 5’1″.. 5’2″ on a good day, so i obviously was never in the front row making wild spikes or game-saving blocks. Positions where i did play, my goal was to dominate. And even though i knew the likely-hood of playing in the front row was rare, i still worked on my vertical, my setting, my arm swing, and my technique. Because the three seconds that i might be at the net, i wanted to at least make an impact. I just loved working out and making myself better even if it meant nothing to everyone else. I honestly love a challenge (hence calling it the Lent Challenge)

And now.. after 4 years of pity, i woke up and found the perfect way back. I might not jump on a volleyball team tomorrow (since i can barely run a mile without stopping right now) but i am actively looking for opportunities hopefully this summer.

And as I’ve mentioned, Lent is a huge part of  getting me get to my goal. several of you are probably asking.. “why Lent?” well because, every year i take Lent very seriously. Many people are always slightly surprised to know how disciplined i am when it comes to Lent. I get a lot of “I never thought of you as the Religious type” I always try and explain, that you don’t have to be Religious, per say, to follow Lent, just determined to change your lifestyle and disciplined enough to recognize what you NEED vs what you WANT. Believe me, I’m not very good at going to church, nor I am I good at reading the Bible, but I am good at believing. I am also pretty good at finding spiritual guidance and trying to be a better person. I like to think most of us are like that. Most of us have a sense of spirituality and of a ‘higher power,’ mine is God, but i feel like the book “Eat Pray Love” explained it best, so ill just leave that to Elizabeth Gilbert.

i am clearly digressing. back on my point of Lent. in lament terms, i have here a definition via Wikipedia:

“The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of penitence.”

Luxury. I love that term. It brings me back to my point of NEED vs WANT. Last year i gave up bread for Lent. Now THAT was difficult. Mind you bread, i understand, is not a luxury, but it is definitely something we take for granted in every day eating. Bread is in EVERYTHING! From basic bread and butter/oil at a restaurant, down to pizza and pancakes! Even muffins! All these things are made from the same ingredients as “bread” therefore they are bread products. And i know you all think I’m crazy, and all my friends thought i was crazy last year, but think about it.. we totally take that little piece of food for granted!

It really made me realize what there are a lot of things we take for granted. I know people who give up chocolate, chips, coffee, and basic items that we don’t realize we have everyday. So once they have these items again, its like “OMG I’m never taking you for granted again!” I also know people who try and give up harder items like smoking, which is a lifestyle and habit change. That kind of change is what i am looking for. To change bad habits into better ones. To make a lifestyle change and become the healthy person i once was. Every year it is a learning experience. Seeing what I NEED, what I WANT, and what makes me a better people.

I know many people who don’t make it through the first week of Lent because it is not easy. Like i mentioned before, it involves discipline, which is probably why i enjoy this time of year, because it is like sports.. you have to follow guidelines to be successful. its another challenge in my year. And not to sound completely deep or whatever, but being lazy is a luxury. Not having to work. Sleeping all day just because. Its easy. Literally there is no work involved. None. And i know this type of “giving up” is fairly interpretive, and going back to the gym is more of a starting habit, not so much a sacrifice. However, like giving up smoking, its making a change in my lifestyle. Part of Lent is giving up a Luxury, and right now, i no longer have the luxury to go straight home after work and sit on my butt and watch tv. I no longer have the luxury to sleep in on my late days or stay in bed till 12p “just because i can”. It makes me more productive. And if there is anything i learn during this year’s Lent, (other than never stop doing what i love again!) its that being more productive allows me to take in more of my day, which as many of my past blogs discuss, we don’t know how many days we have left.

So for those who are following Lent this year try and make it worth it. Its like your birthday, it only passes once a year, and not celebrating is unheard of. Also like birthdays, you learn something every year. Think of Lent like Life’s Birthday. And really, if you think about it Lent brings us to Easter, which signifies Jesus rising from the dead, which kind of IS like life’s Birthday 🙂 It allows you to celebrate your successes and challenge yourself. It also allows you the ability to make a change in your life.

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