Note: I suppose this is a bit of a follow up from my last post. There is a bit of overlap but I think that the following provides better insight into what’s going on in my head 🙂
I took the month of March off from climbing and went back for my first session yesterday. I thought that after a month of not participating in something I would consider as a relatively large component of my life, I would be stoked just to get on the wall. Oddly enough, that wasn’t the case. I walked into the gym with apprehension and perhaps even a bit of reluctance. I had a friend of mine ask me: so what actually was the point of you taking a month off? For a moment, I wasn’t sure how to answer that. It was a myriad of things to be sure but the answer gave her sums it all up I think: I don’t want to be defined by it (climbing). I don’t want to be defined as a climber, as a triathlete, as a yogi although to a certain extent, I do contribute time towards these things. I want to be known a woman of God and I wonder by pursuing these other things, if I manage to inadvertently erode the foundation of who I am.
Most things that make up what we call life are not inherently ‘bad’; examples being money, career, training for a sport/multitude of sports. But what does happen is that these things become drivers rather than the outcome of the sole driver (faith in my case) of life. I have met a lot of people who live to climb or snowboard or whatever which is fine but it’s not what I believe that I have been created for/to be. I recently started swimming with a triathlete club and their excitement for their sport has been infectious; I’m planning to participate in a sprint triathlon this summer. But they, in addition to the my time off from climbing, has put forth a consideration that I cannot ignore…I cannot ignore that I see myself in their training regimes, perhaps not to the same extent but how often am I doing something like running, swimming, climbing, whatever? How much time am I putting into these things? Why do I do it? I think we are also looking for ways to define ourselves and I wonder if instead of defining myself first as a Christian, I have instead defined myself as an athlete. Do I really do all these activities because I enjoy it or is it because I feel that I need to continue to perpetuate this image I have put forth of myself? I think it’s a multitude of things but what reason is the one that takes the biggest portion of the pie? All these questions have been really good for me to think about and hopefully, address to an extent. These questions are also why I’m very tentative as to whether or not I want to participate in the training necessary to prepare for a sprint/full triathlon (in the future). I don’t intend to take a long hiatus from anything like I did for climbing in March but being with people who drive as hard as I do at the sports they’re part of is a constant reminder of what questions I should be applying to myself.
All this all also made me delve deeper into what I would want in a significant other; I’ve always and still expected that whoever I end up with would be just as active as I was…however, now there are the finer details to consider. In pursuit of all things fun, how often would we actually see each other? Especially if these things are different? Say for example, he’s into mountain biking and I’m off for a climb? Not to say that there would be no overlap; I would hope that he and myself, would be willing to try out the different activities the other is engaged in. Would I really be okay with the amount of time he took to train for whatever? Would he be okay with me spending that much time? And the time that is taken out to spend time with one another, especially time outside of sports/training, would it be considered as an obligation/sacrifice or would be there be desire to do so, a willingness? Would our relationship be defined the sports/outdoor play we engaged in or by something deeper? If it was just the former, then if one decided to stop x sport especially if it is one that is shared, what impact would that have on the relationship? Would he be okay with it? Would I be okay with it? Granted, all these questions are hypothetical since the SO doesn’t exist at the moment lol but I’m glad that God is challenging me to think about these questions for myself and for any future relationship(s) I may have.
Despite all these introspection, I have to say that there is nothing like feeling the sun on your face, wind in your hair, fresh air filling your lungs and water rushing by as your body cuts through. Those are guaranteed moments of when I feel close to God. Sometimes we get caught up in the activity we’re doing, putting on foot in front of the other; sometimes, we have to stop and take it all in.
Update: Funny…just found this article on Adventure Journal that outlines similar thoughts: http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/04/finding-motivation-when-youre-just-burned-out/