Like many people, we live a fast paced life. As a business owner, writer, and photographer, life and work are one. I love it, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sometimes you have to disconnect to reconnect. My husband and I spent a long weekend in southwest Colorado hanging out, hiking, and playing in nature. It felt really good to get grounded and connect to what is important to us. We took some time to re-evaluate our goals, and added a “joy and happiness” component to our bucket list.
It is really important to me to not only listen to my body, but honor what it has to say. I do an excellent job at it in some aspects of my life, and other areas are a work in progress. My biggest “ah-ha” moment of the trip came while we were hiking in Durango. Aaron and I love being active, but it tends to be our biggest point of contention…and now I know why!
I finally accepted that my body requires more calories to function than Aaron’s. I don’t know how he does it. We hiked for 3 hours and then cooled off in the river, jumping off a series of waterfalls for another hour, and then drove 30 minutes back to Durango. During this time he had a muffin and coffee for breakfast, part of my granola bar, and some beef jerky. I, on the other hand, had a muffin and coffee for breakfast, a granola bar, and a ham and cheese sandwich with some chips.
My moment of realization came on our descent from Elbert Creek. I was stumbling down the rocky path trying to keep up with Aaron. My back was starting to hurt, I could feel a headache coming on, and irritation was setting in. One of those audible “I need a minute” exhales escaped. Aaron asked if I was ok. “I think I am hungry” I said. “Oh, really?” he answered, half shocked, “we are almost down”. For a moment, I thought about waiting until we reached the car to eat my granola bar on the way to Cascade Creek. As we slowed our pace to a stop, I took a moment to check in with my body. I’m really hungry at this point, so why, exactly, am I trying to convince myself that waiting to eat is a good idea? “I need the granola bar.”
We took a two minute break to have a snack. My body instantly felt better, I felt lighter and restored. And as we finished our hike we had a great discussion about what my body needs. Plus, we figured out why when hiking, biking, skiing, ect., we don’t get along that well. First, he’s a better athlete than me (yup, I said it). He’s fast and strong, and seems to effortlessly excel at whatever he’s up to. For me, this means I work my ass off to keep up…it’s exhausting. What I continually ignore, and what causes the most tension, is my need for replacement calories. Aaron could have hiked and swam all day on the muffin he had for breakfast. I needed twice as much food as we packed. I inhaled a ham and cheese sandwich from a gas station (for real, I was that hungry) because I thought my stomach was going to eat itself. I felt like a million bucks after that gas station sandwich!
I really needed to say out loud how my body felt before replacing calories, and after. I needed to hear it and so did Aaron. It felt good to feel understood. And most importantly, I was listening to my body and honoring what it had to say.
more photos from our trip can be found on my photography site – Audrey Michel, Wedding Photographer