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Permission to Coast

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

While bike riding the other day, I came to a downhill section in the road where I could either continue to push hard or do nothing and just glide. With my Apple Watch sternly beeping away, tracking my every movement, calorie, and heartbeat, I remember thinking that workouts, mean work, and so I dutifully pedaled harder. THIS IS THE WAY IT IS DONE.

Why couldn't I have given myself those brief moments of joyfully letting the wind take me? And who is that critical inner voice that speaks in capital letters?

I know what a child would have done.

Lately, I've been missing being a kid. Maybe it's because summer represented freedom and being carefree. I see sprinkers and want to sprint through them. Roller skate. Sit in a tree house and eat a sticky, rainbow-colored popsicle from an ice cream truck. That kind of thinking tells me that I need to slow down (not join a self-help group). There's a great quote by Brene Brown that says, "It takes courage to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol."

Pushing hard has always been my mantra, and for those who have read my earliest blog posts, you saw how that turned out. As frightening as it initially was at the time, I knew that cancer came to heal me far beyond the physical body. Cancer has deep emotional and psychological roots, and we have work to do to truly heal. But not all the time.

I am still learning to pace and not push. Unraveling a lifetime of perfectionism and letting good enough, be enough, takes practice and time. Sometimes we just need to coast and hand the rest over to God. Rest is not a reward. It's an intregral part of staying healthy.

On my next bike ride, I'm tossing my Apple Watch in the drawer. And that critical voice too. She can have it out with all my mismatched socks.

P.S. I'll be stopping for a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone on the way home.

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