Thursday, June 7, 2012

Soul Cycle Intention Series Post 2: Confidence

So lately, I have been searching for confidence. Most people either know one side of me or the other. The confident side, or the not-so-confident side.

 Recently, I have been most confident in my physical abilities. Since running the marathon, I have started to believe that there isn't much that I CAN'T do - with proper training. Maybe I can't be the fastest, but I can DO IT. I've come to believe that there's no distance I can't handle, no weights I can't work up to, no resistance I can't keep the pace at. Never in my earlier years would I have thought that at 26, my most confidence in myself would lie in my physical abilities. I'm proud of myself and the way I developed that confidence. I wish that I could say I had that much confidence in other areas of my life. So, when I set an intention for "confidence," I try to channel it to a few different places.

 1. Love, marriage, future: I just ended a short "relationship" with a great guy who it just wasn't going to work out with. When we were dating, I was finally starting to become confident in myself that I HAD found someone who would reciprocate feelings towards me, who I could make a future with and have a family with. So it kind of really burned when I found out that it wasn't going to work out. I started to doubt that I could have a future with any guy - that anyone would ever love me for me. Most people like me for my personality but are not attracted to my body. This guy, he even appreciated my body, but said that we were missing that spark. I couldn't help but wonder, because I felt a spark coming from him - was I LACKING a spark? Will no one ever feel that connection to me? I know that's not true - in fact, quite a few guys recently have felt "chemistry" with me that I did not feel back. Seeing clearly and putting all the facts together before panicking, "I will be alone forever!" will help me to achieve the confidence I am searching for.

 2. Body: Even before my eating disorder, I was not confident in my body. I remember as early as age two wishing I could be smaller, thinner, more compact. Over the years, I have come to embrace certain things about my body. My height - I love being petite. My boobs - okay, they're kind of perfect. My hands - I think they're so pretty. I've found clothes that I look good in, and I finally wear sizes that are normal-to-small. There are parts of my body that I am not so comfortable with, and I tend to feel like people are looking at my body and judging me. I have a date coming up with a guy who works out a lot. I work out a lot too, so it sounds great. However, he commented that due to all the working out I do, I must be a stick. I'm quite the opposite of a stick...I'm more built like a curvy little topiary. And I told him this. We haven't gone out yet (am I going to kick myself for blogging about a guy who I haven't officially met?!) but I'm a little nervous that he's expecting this skinny thing and that he won't be interested in me when he sees what I look like. I need to focus on taking the confidence I have about my strength and physical abilities, and project that onto my feelings about my body. After all, it's all connected!

 3. Fear of Rejection: It's not so much a fear of rejection as it is an obsession with rejection. I become convinced that I am going to be rejected - by guys, by jobs, by friends, whatever. I just tell myself that I won't get the job, that he doesn't like me, that she doesn't want to be friends anymore, because I feel like the let-down will be easier to take if I am braced for it and already believe that it's not going to be good.

So, yeah. This girl who appears confident on the outside in many situations, is actually really in need of a confidence booster. Thankfully, Soul Cycle, therapy, running, and life experience are helping me to build confidence. Setting an intention for confidence at Soul Cycle helps me to remember that it is something that I need to work towards - and that it is something within my reach. I can be confident. I have made such huge strides in my life in the past few years and I can continue to make strides if I set goals and intentions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Who are you riding for? What are you riding for? - My Soul Blog Series #1

When someone asks why I run, the answer is easy. I run for ME. Me, me, me. Running is selfish for me - I need it to be a normal, happy, sane, stable person. Running is an unquestionable part of me. I don't think - I just run. Soul Cycle is a different story. It goes deeper. It's not just about survival. It's what helps me to THRIVE. It makes me really really think.One thing that all of my favorite instructors have in common (true that *most* but not ALL instructors at Soul Cycle have this in common, yeah) is that they not only ask us to set an intention but remind us to think about that intention. I was thinking a few weeks ago that every time I go to Soul Cycle, I would write a blog post about my intention. Then I realized that my intentions are pretty similar. I'm going to do a post series ABOUT my intentions that I have been riding for lately.Usually, it's a "WHAT are you riding for?" but today, it was a WHO for me.Today, I was riding for A friend. Recently, I was at the saddest funeral I had ever been to. My friend took her own life last week. She was honestly one of the strongest people I had ever met, and had been through so much. I could list it all but even that, I'm sure, is just scratching the surface. She got to a place that was so dark that she saw no way out. And I've been there. Multiple times. I was finally able to pull myself out, and give my life a 180, and truly don't believe I'll ever be there again. I love life now - I love my life and I love myself, but I remember clearly what it was like to be on the other end. To hide in the bathroom at work crying, to spend nights restlessly tossing and turning unable to turn my brain off, to think about ways to end everything, to hate my body and hurt it in so many ways, to remember and relive trauma, and to panic over every little thing because life was just out of my control.Somehow I developed the strength during those times. I found that running, total body conditioning, and spinning made me feel better than restricting, purging, and cutting. I learned how to talk about my problems, learned to trust people, and learned how to relate to people. I am NOT that person who I used to be. Sometimes I really don't know why God gave me what I needed to get out of it, and didn't give her what she needed, but I am so thankful that I was able to find my internal strength - and find those external joys.So today, I was riding not just for her but for my friends - and the people who I don't know - who are where I used to be and are struggling to get out of it. For those who are fighting tooth and nail, and for those who are exhausted and ready to give up. For those who have started to see the light and aren't sure how to get there, and for those who don't believe that the light exists. For her and all the other people who just couldn't bear the pain and no longer have the opportunity to turn their lives around the way I did.I was riding for my friend. I was riding for hope. I was riding because I CAN.