One of my New Year's resolutions was to continue writing in my blog. It's literally been on my "to-do" list since January 1st, but hey, better late than never, right?
I’ve done quite a bit of thinking the past month, and things are looking up. Though I believe some of the change in attitude and mindset has to do with our new dog, Comet, who literally walked into our lives on January 2nd, I am convinced that she was the final piece to a puzzle that I had been assembling on my own for the past couple of months.
Rather than call this a “blog,” I decided to name it “Glimmers of Hope” because I hope that it will be just that-- little snippets of positivity-- stories of kiddos discovering the ukulele, Comet learning to walk without a leash, or why taking two months off from the gym was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I am inspired by a friend from high school, Liz Buechele, who started her own nonprofit called The Smile Project. You can read about The Smile Project here. The mission is incredible, and so important in times of despair and uneasiness. For the past 2,600(+) days Liz has been posting “Happiness is….” posts. “Happiness is those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs." or “Happiness is the smell of fresh, warm laundry.” I love the idea of finding happiness in each and every day, so now it is my turn to share.
Happiness is… your first day back at the gym after taking two months off.
It’s no secret that both myself and my husband Joseph struggled during our move to Georgia. We left a place we loved, some really amazing friends, a job that I adored, a gym unlike any other, among other things. When we moved I was disheartened to find that the Crossfit scene in Statham, GA is rather bleak. (Surprised??) I was also disheartened to find I have a 50 minute commute to work every day and I’ve got to be there at 7:30 AM-- rough.
I tried out a few places, but none of them had the sparkle that my previous home, Crossfit New Haven had, and I wasn’t willing to drive an additional 30 minutes to go to a “so-so” facility.
Cue me joining a gym that was not at all the right fit but was ultra-convenient.
Without going into details, let’s just say this was not the right facility for me. I was pretty unhappy in general, and Crossfit used to be my escape. However, my so-called escape became an added stressor, and I was coming home from working out more stressed and anxious than when I arrived.
So I had to make a decision-- keep going there or change something. I opted for the “change” option, which leads me to my “Happiness is” statement. Rather than jump into a new place that might not be right for me, I chose to take some time off. Rather than leave work stressed about getting to the gym so I could work out, finish driving home, make dinner, go to bed, and do it all over again, I chose to come home from work and relax. I chose to find time for me. I chose to take my time and wait until I was ready to make any real moves or decisions.
I immediately noticed some things--
1. I was happier. The gym had actually been having the opposite effect it is supposed to have. Now that I wasn’t going, I was more relaxed, less tired, and able to adjust to my new schedule of pre 6:00 AM wake ups.
2. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t stressed about going back. I have been working out since I started Tae Kwon Do at 7 years old. I know it is in my mind, body, and soul to be active and work out. I reassured myself that fitness is a lifelong journey. In the grand scheme of things, taking two months off is such an insignificant amount of time and not going to make or break my athletic career. I knew myself well enough to know I would go back because it’s who I am.
3. I knew I would have to make a tough decision. There are no conveniently located Crossfit gyms in relation to where I work and where we live. Period. There is however, one gym that used to be a Crossfit affiliate and offers “functional fitness” type workouts. I realized that at the end of the day I just want to be healthy and happy. If I’m doing Crossfit, that’s great. If I’m not doing Crossfit, but am still happy and healthy then that is fine too.
I took two months off and finally felt like it was time to go back. I made that tough decision and found myself at Forge-RX, the first non-Crossfit gym I’ve joined since 2012.
Not only was the workout awesome, the facility was nice, coaching was spot-on, and above all, I actually enjoyed working out. For the first time in months I enjoyed being there, doing my thing, and putting myself through that self-induced suffering I’ve always loved.
Taking two months off was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It reset my mind, rejuvenated my body, and helped me to remember why I love exercising so much.
There is a special satisfaction that comes in knowing you made the right decision for yourself in a tough situation. That, right there, is without-a-doubt a glimmer of hope.
Hi! I am Nicole Guimaraes. I'm a K-2 music teacher in Falls Church City, VA. I've got an amazing husband and a fabulous dog who keep me busy. If I'm not teaching or walking my dog, you can probably find me at the gym!