Monday, July 16, 2012
Reflecting on what it was like not doing the things that make my life so much better has allowed me to appreciate both activities on a deeper level.
I began doing both when my pediatrician recommended them as an antidote for asthma. I was 5. To this day, I have a tendency to wheeze when I have had to suspend them both for any amount of time. There was a fair amount of wheezing going in winter and spring this year.
I began competitive swimming at age 12. That summer, I lost 20 lbs and grew several inches. I showed up to 8th grade a different person than the shy, overweight, depressed girl of the previous school year.
A couple of years later I began private flute lessons, and threw myself into them the same way I did the swimming pool. I may not have been the best, but I could work harder than anyone else, darn it! And, I did. Typical afternoon/evenings I would practice 3 to 4 hours. Swimming had to take the back seat, although my summer jobs in high school and college were lifeguarding jobs and coaching swimming. I made enough at the summer jobs during the college years to put myself through undergraduate school AND buy my first Haynes. Back then it was $1,160.00.
Flute playing became the center of my life. I got married still am to the same wonderful man), I went to graduate school, and had two children all in my late 20's early 30's. I got back into the water again at 44.
And, that autumn I lost 20 lbs. Didn't grow any, but the change in how my body felt and in how my flute playing sounded was astonishing.
This past winter, Lyme Disease struck, and the major symptom was crushing fatigue. I could not keep my exercise regimen going when there was no telling if I could have enough energy to get through the day. Sadly, I hung up my goggles and reduced flute practice to maintenance.
So it is with great joy that I pick up the two activities that have been so central to my life. Only this time, I am approaching them with a spirit of gratitude that I have these skills, wonderment that I can still do them, and peace knowing I don't have to be the best. It is enough to just show up and do my best.
Maybe Lyme taught me something. Hmmm...