I’ve been in a running rut for months. The summer humidity and move to a new area with fewer shaded paths are contributing factors. I’ve also started to wonder if this is what it feels like to get older—even though I know exercise is one of the best ways to keep you young.
As a professional transformation coach and personal trainer, I know what to do to combat workout burnout—theoretically. I’ve walked hills and sweated my way through my first (and second) hot vinyasa yoga classes as alternatives to my usual routine. Although I didn’t escape the heat, I loved how my muscles stretched and strained in ways I had nearly forgotten. I rediscovered the inspiring scenery of Burke Lake Park and sought out other wooded oases that are a pleasant change from the pavements and traffic. Perk-ups, but still no return of the mojo.
Then on a rather modest thirty-minute jog today that ended with baby crickets flying up every which way in front of me on a dusty stretch of trail (a few even tickled my knees as they hit), it occurred to me: It’s okay. I practically giggled to myself when I thought it. I don’t have the same spunk I used to, and that’s okay. I don’t go the speed or distance I used to, and that’s okay.
I coach clients that something is always better than nothing and acceptance is the anchor to greater possibility and transformation. And so I will honor where I’m at and do my best with the energy I’ve got. I will focus on what’s available to me right now—fields of wildflowers, bounding late-season insects, a flexible schedule, and an ingrained habit that still serves me well physically and mentally.
It is a beautiful thing to be in motion. And even more beautiful to persevere in living the journey long after the luster has worn off. Discovering joy in the frustration and bounty despite the fatigue is where the transformation lies. And, ironically…miraculously…it’s at this moment of release that the cool days of autumn begin.