For a long time I thought that being physically active is the only indicator of living life well. That I had to belong to a gym and make healthy food choices every day. If I wasn’t doing these things, then it meant I’m failing at life.
Added to this I work with some very active and healthy people. They run and cycle. Play various sports. Eat healthy. Do triathlons. Go for hikes. Climb mountains.
I would compare myself to them and always fall short, because those things are just not my strength. Or really even something I enjoy.
Earlier this week we were having a conversation about weekend plans. Someone mentioned running a race. In the past I would have felt “bad” and justified why I don’t really participate in these type of activities. Not that day. Nope. I told them my plans were to read a book.
I jokingly compared my reading to more active hobbies during the conversation.
Friend: “Where do you find time to read?”
Me: “Where do you find time to run? I read on the train, late at night. I find time.”
Friend: “I run in the mornings before work or after work. I wish I could read more. I just don’t have the time.”
Me: “We make time for things that matter to us. Everyone has different strengths.”
Later in the conversation…
Me: “Don’t judge me because I read. I don’t judge you because you run.”
Throughout the week I have been reflecting on this conversation. What stood out for me most was my feelings during and after.
I did not feel bad that I didn’t have weekend plans involving hikes and obstacle courses. I felt empowered when I was honest about who I am.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no couch potato. I’ve done the Lion’s Head climb three times since last year November.
But I also enjoy relaxing with a good book.
I’m realizing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. As long as I am happy with who I am, that’s all that matters.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”