This title explains my headspace for the past several months. Time has been a blur as I’ve recently graduated, unexpectedly and quickly relocated back home, and celebrated my 23rd birthday this week. I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining– I’m so blessed to have a degree, have the opprotunity to move back home while rebuilding my diminished savings from school, and seeing another year when 19 year old me wouldn’t have even thought she would see her 23rd year here on this earth.
The comforting thing about post-grad life is that none of us essentially know what we’re doing. We’re all out here just trying to make it “work” one way or another. On top of all the vast changes in my life these past two months, I also made the difficult decision of putting track on pause. As much as I love training (kind of, lol) and seeing my progress week by week, I had too much going on in my personal, academic, and professional life to juggle a committed training schedule alongside it.
Ironically, I took off the latter half of this current week to 1. celebrate my birthday, but also, 2. take time to breathe as I’ve been hitting the ground running with transferring locations with the job I had when I attended UGA so I could have some type of income to cover my bills while at home. Within this week off, I proceeded to strain my hip flexor during a workout (most likely due to me not warming up fully in the midst of 35 degree weather). If I was “in-season,” then I would’ve immediately resorted to being harsh on myself. But as stated above, this “off-season” looks different for me. I’m not looking to resume training/competing when outdoor season hits or any time in the next several months. This allows me to take a break on eating so clean and planning my workouts based off of when I want to/have time to and not on a must principle. So initially, I “laughed” at the thought of getting injured in the midst of me not seriously training for any goal for the next several months. I’m trying to watch my head chatter and how I talk to myself when I make mistakes in life now.
Seeing all the success my fellow track and field mentors and friends are experiencing so far truly makes me happy. They’ve worked their butts off to get back and I’m glad they’re getting some meets under their belts in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Because I’ve been so strung on watching what I eat/caloric intake/body composition the last few years, it’s hard to turn that “go mode” off with me. For example, I’ll see my friend hiring this person or that person to help her with her training and then turn it around where my head chatter sounds something like, “okay, yes you’re not training seriously this season but you still need to watch what you eat… you haven’t stepped on the scale in a few months but you’re probably back in the 160’s now… you need to be doing something, Rachel.”
To be honest, it’s very easy for me to rationalize these statements into being completely healthy thoughts. But that’s not the case. I’m still working on giving myself credit more but I have to take a step back and realize that my journey isn’t going to look like everyone else’s and vice versa. I’ve been through a lot as well as my fellow competitors. We all fight hidden battles that have the potential to take us down for a bit one way or another.
“My journey isn’t going to look like everyone else’s and that’s okay. I can still thrive in this season.”
I’m only a month and a half removed from completing a very hard semester and undergraduate career in general, I only had a break for a few days after virtually graduating before packing all my stuff, moving back home, and starting work a few days later, and I’ve just been on go mode since last year… and we’re still in a dang pandemic.
I’m not even sure if I want to or even need to go to graduate school in the future, what jobs I should apply for/accept if an offer is presented, and where I hopefully see myself in five years or so professionally speaking. And all of that is okay. I love how I’ve been able to engage in my friend/mentor Tianna’s Breakfast Club weekday mornings (tiannabee.com/tbc). It’s a quick 20 minute yoga + meditation session to start the day. I may not always tune in live but I always go back to watch and practice the sessions. One big thing about yoga and meditation is setting your intention in the beginning of the practice. Tianna does a great job of reminding all of us that tune in. For the last several weeks, my intention has simply been: “it’s going to be okay” or “it’s all going to work out” or “just breathe. Be present and know God is working.” I constantly have to remind myself that I am thriving and growing in the midst of uncertainty and that’s notable bravery.
None of us know what we’re doing out here. None of us are truly masters of life itself. But we’re still here… putting one foot in front of the other and figuring it out as the days come. We’re stronger than we think. It will all make sense someday.