Get the Slow Down #1
Jessica, SLOW DOWN!
These are the words I heard over and over again from my father. I could be sliding around the corner from the hallway into the kitchen, almost knocking into my aging grandmother or upset about something my brother did and couldn’t speak through my sobbing tears.
Jessica… slowww downnnn
And now I hear the voice of him in my head, no longer on this planet, he continues to get his simple message across to me. I can hear it, clearly at times and more distant in others.
The slow down has come to me in different forms over the years. In childhood it seemed more innocent – slowing down to be able to clearly tattle on my brother. Or stopping to think before I went for the thing I was not supposed to touch or do.
As an adult it gets more complex and complicated. The first time it me was in 2004. I was a budding high-level triathlete. I was training a lot…too much come to find out. I was sidelined almost overnight with debilitating fatigue, weight gain, hair loss and oh did I mention the fatigue?!? I was pretty quickly diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This was my body very clearly telling me to slow down. I had no choice. I literally couldn’t get off the couch. I gave myself time to recover, and turned to the opposite of triathlon and took up sugar and carbs. I gained a lot of weight, often was in tears not understanding why I felt like a stuffed sausage in my own skin. I struggled to find a balance. I talked to my Dad and in his infinite wisdom said, Jessica why don’t you slow down and rest.
Fast forward to 2010. I moved to DC from Florida and was energized by a new environment, one that was filled with healthy, lively people in an affluent suburb. I joined a new gym, made new friends and was motivated to figure this weight stuff out. I dove into learning about metabolic conditioning workouts and cutting out sugar and all the bad stuff. I lost the weight, was becoming more fit and was feeling amazing in my skin again.
Some of the people I met, also fitness enthusiasts, got into Crossfit. It was fairly new at the time and I was talked into trying it. I LOVED it! It was the metabolic conditioning workouts that I had grown to love and set in with a cool community of like-minded people. The one aspect that was different was that it was also competitive. And come to find out, I realized I love to compete. Not sure I had that awareness prior, even though I have always found myself in competitive sports. Lol Anyway…here I am, a strong, young Crossfitter who’s driven to “win” every workout I did. Maybe you can see where this is going…
My body shutdown once again. This time my hair was falling out, skin was cracking, terrible acne and the soul crushing fatigue returned. My thyroid condition, which had been under control for years, was now out of balance.
I hear my fathers voice once again…slow down.
This time the recovery seemed much faster.
I had started to embrace what it means to slow down.
What does it mean to slow down?
How do I know I need to slow down?
What will happen if I don’t?
What do I have to do?
Follow me along on this journey as we explore what it means the concept of slow down.