In late December, a coworker mentioned that she was going to do the Yoga with Adriene 30-day Challenge in January, and she was wondering if anyone wanted to join her and hold each other accountable. If I know anything about my motivation to work out, I know that I 100% need external accountability. Even though I have never been good at yoga (as much as I want to be), I decided to join her. I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, but for 2021, I want to focus on balance and finding time to do things for me. What better way to kick off a year of self-care than with 30 days right off the bat.
Doing yoga in a camper definitely has its challenges, but I managed a decent set up as long as no one else needed to do anything for the duration of my practice (Bird did join me one morning when she woke up earlier than normal, but it was fun to have her playing around even if it was not as productive as it could have been). As long as I stay perpendicular on my mat, I rarely run into counters or the dinette (LOL). Additionally, ensuring that we had internet service was an important consideration. Except for 1 day when I was sick and 1 day when we were boondocking and service even for our phones was spotty, I completed each session on schedule (when I did miss, I doubled up the following day to stay on track).
Throughout the month, I noticed small changes in strength or balance just in carrying Little Bird into the camper or getting up off the floor from playing with her. The first time I truly noticed a difference was on our hike in Hot Springs National Park. Will typically leads the way, and the initial ascent of this hike was strenuous, but I felt strength in my legs and core that I am certainly not accustomed to and I passed him up (yes, he was carrying Bird, but that is not new). I was shocked at the confidence I had in my footing as well. Every subsequent hike has been similar, and it feels incredible.
I knew the true test of how the month went would be the next time I got on the paddleboard, as that is where I have struggled with my core strength, balance, and confidence in my body. Every time I have gotten on the paddleboard, my first attempt to stand has me looking like a newborn giraffe with legs shaking and my lack of confidence shining through. Once I get up, I usually kneel right back down, regain my composure, then try again. The second attempt is usually much better, and I am able to stand up for some time before feeling wobbly-legged again and opting to kneel back down.
This week, we are staying right on the Colorado River in Matagorda, Texas, and this was the first opportunity I have had to get back on the paddleboard since my yoga journey. Granted, I have not kept up with the yoga, as I have been focusing on other forms of self-care, but I still feel the effects in my core. This trip on the paddleboard was incredible. From the moment I knelt onto the board to pulling into what turned out to be a very muddy cove at the end, I have never felt so comfortable and steady. And it was amazing.
In the past, I have been hesitant to stand and typically spend more time kneeling than standing, but this time was different. From the very get-go, I was eager to stand up and I had no baby giraffe leg feelings for the entire float. I did end up kneeling a couple of times as 2 boats went by (and dealing with their wakes was an entirely different challenge) and I took a few minutes to relax with a snack and water break. But other than that, I was standing up and standing tall.
As February wraps up and we head into March, I am making a commitment to myself to write down a plan for self-care. Rather than flying by the seat of my pants, which is how I have rolled in February, creating a plan that includes yoga, journaling, reading, and meditating will help me stay on track and will hopefully bring the internal accountability that I clearly need.
After realizing just how much strength, balance, and body confidence I gained in those 30 days, I know I will begin to incorporate yoga back into my routine—just maybe not for 30 days straight. However, I know that accountability is my biggest obstacle, and I am so grateful that my coworker was right there with me (virtually), because having an accountability partner helped motivate and encourage me to show up on the mat every day.