Cardio taught me to pace my heart.
I have a fascination and admiration for the human body. Its form, how it heals and adapts, and what it can do. I appreciate the things my body allows me to experience and I appreciate nourishing and nurturing it. I've learned to value it and enjoy caring for it.
However, I still have the habit of pushing my body beyond its limits. In the past, I'd push beyond the "sweet stretch" while practicing yoga and pretty much fucked up my ham strings for a while. I've lifted beyond capability or danced too long (with absolutely zero regrets btw!). I forget to breathe when I climb. I forget to breathe in general.
I have also had a strained relationship with cardiovascular exercise. The thing is - I do not like it. It gets monotonous and it gets painful and makes me more aware of the pain because of its monotony. It was a vicious cycle. The other evening I told a friend that something seems irregular with my (physical) heart. I noticed that even when I'm not tired but do cardio for about ten minutes, my heart rate quickly rises to easily 160 to 170 bpm.
As a result, I started to observe my heart rate a little more. This time I tried to slow down and keep my heart rate below 160 for the 15 of cardio I do at the gym. The pace was much slower but definitely more comfortable. I finally reached that "sweet burn" I've heard about. It felt good to move my body this way. I enjoyed cardio for once. It wasn't difficult. I was once again fascinated with the body.
Then it got me thinking about how I lead my life and how my emotional heart came into play. Sure I can force my being or body to be faster but then I rob myself of the moment of enjoying the journey and the work and miss out on the "sweetness" - whether there was pain involved or not. It brought me to a deeper sense of awareness of my own pace and responding to it with respect. In theory I've known this but also didnt quite appreciate it - and honestly it was mostly annoying.
I can't force it to openness and sharing when it's not conditioned. I have to respect its pace before I run out of breath and give up again altogether. I can't jump to intimacy. That would be another shit show i'm all too familiar with. So here we go. Fingers and toes crossed.
Ramblings of the soul.