A good friend of mine who is a college professor shared that at the end of each academic year, his wife presents him with a piece of antique furniture that needs some work. His way to renew his spirit is to restore this piece to its resplendent beauty. Another friend finds peace spending time midst the serenity of trees and nature. Tending the earth, planting and weeding replenishes the spirit of several others I know. Are you beginning to get the picture?? As for myself, while I love working in my flower beds and growing tomatoes in the summer, I discovered years ago that my spirit loves the ocean! There is something mystical in listening to the waves crash onto the shore and watching the tides come in and go back out again.
Physical activity also refuels my spirit. At one time I had a manual treadmill and lost 15 pounds walking and sweating to tunes from the Top Gun soundtrack. Over ten years ago I started lifting weights and at one point had worked up to bench pressing 95 pounds. A few years later, when my youngest daughter was given her summer conditioning schedule for college volleyball, I not only acted as her trainer…I trained with her! We sprinted, jumped, ran…ok, she ran and I mostly walked! Over the past few years, I’ve walked and walked and walked…I’ve walked miles on the Tri-Village school track….I’ve walked up and down streets at the north end of Arcanum…..I’ve walked on the trail at a park in Eaton….I’ve walked a path on Hursch and Emrick Roads just beyond my front door.
Then something happened. A few aches and pains….more time spent at the office….teaching yoga and working with private clients in the evening….no time to lift weights….These were all excuses for skipping workouts which resulted in a few extra pounds and, well you know how that story goes. Then early this year, someone told me I might enjoy Kung Fu. On April 1st (no joke:) I took my first martial arts class. I will admit the first two weeks were pretty rough but gradually, my spirit awoke from the daze I had put it in with my inactivity. I remembered how it felt to push my physical limits and how empowering that feeling was. My spirit soars when I complete a training. I’m not all that good and at times feel really old, but each accomplishment replenishes me, keeping me going back for more. (I've recently earned my first sash!)
It has dawned on me that my spirit is a warrior. Yoga, Kung Fu, circuit training and miles of walking have reconnected me to my spirit. All of these activities put a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eye, bringing that sense of calm and peace we all search for. I am renewed and my spirit once again soars. My spirit is a warrior….what is yours?