This morning I watched the numbers on my phone’s stopwatch fly as I held a plank pose, my breathing steady, thighs wedged inward and strong. As the digital display whirled past a minute-thirty, my low back (the weakest part of my core) began to shake. I focused more on my breathing, concentrated on those big, strong muscles in the thighs that would help me stay strong. I held on for another thirty seconds.
Months ago, holding a plank for two minutes would have been even easier. I kept thinking about all of my friends starting a new season of IronTeam, and how strong they’d feel, and I couldn’t help but feel a little left behind, a little left out. At the same time, a little voice inside me piped up, and told me to let it go.
Since childhood, I’ve had extreme difficultly making decisions, mainly because I always felt like, if I chose one thing, I might be missing out on something great via the thing I hadn’t chosen. I had a hard time letting go and moving on. As a result, I’ve always hung on a little too long to ideas, thoughts, jobs and relationships that weren’t going to work for me. It has taken me 33 years to learn to start letting go.
I used to think it was strength that kept me in relationships and friendships that were painful or unhealthy. Now I realize that it was more of the fear of the unknown, the “what ifs” that I would leave behind; it was the fear of my own imagination that kept me stuck, clinging onto things that were not right for me at the time. Now, I’ve discovered that one of the most healthy, strong and loving things that you can do for yourself, and for others, is to take a deep breath and release what you’ve been struggling to hang onto, into the atmosphere.
I’ve had to let go of my ideas of being a super strong IronMan triathlete, or even any kind of endurance racer, for the moment. I’ve had to let go so that I could allow health and mental clarity and focus come into my life as I prepare for surgery. Letting go means that you release the intentions, the motivation, the constant thoughts about that one thing, to allow room for new things to come in.
Even though letting go is a release, I don’t believe for one moment that it isn’t making a person a million times stronger.