I wish my 35 year old self and my 25 year old self could have a conversation. There are so many things I would tell her, including:
- Sleep matters.
- What you think you know about exercise and how to design effective programs is wildly inaccurate (an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology and a certification do not an expert make).
- If you want to be better at what you do, you will have to practice lots of things that won’t come easily to you. You will learn to slow down your movement, embrace deconstruction of exercises, and breathe deeply. Only when you learn to embody some of these ideas will you be able to help others understand how movement works and develop a deeper strength.
- You will never be good at yoga. But something will bring you back to the mat, over and over again.
- The day is better if you roll out of bed and go for a run, even if it’s before dawn.
- There is no perfect system, and nothing works for everyone. (This will need to be repeated at regular intervals to my 28 year old self and my 33 year old self). While it would be much easier if you could put everyone into a nice, neat box, training doesn’t work that way.
- Movement is medicine and being strong is empowering. If you take the time to move well, the aches and pains you feel now will go away. You will be able to say, “I feel way better at 35 than I did at 25.”
- Get outside everyday, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Read and write about things that are challenging for you to grasp. Deeper study (including writing) leads to deeper understanding.
- Life is short. Take vacations regularly.
I don’t know if my 25 year old self would listen to this older, wiser version of me, but it would save her so much time and frustration. On the flip side, maybe all of these lessons are part of the journey.