Growing pains are described as crampy, achy, muscle pains that occur in the legs of preschoolers or preteens. To me, theses pangs seem kinda unfair because right when you are on the precipitance of ‘getting it’ and/or understanding who you are and the life you have come to understand, you are forced to evolve. Forced to change. Forced to bust out of your box. We, as adults, are taught to believe that the biggest moments of growth happen in our youth. Those moments when our bones, the framework of our bodies, decide they must grow. The very architecture that makes us steady, stable, and secure is suddenly required to shift. But doesn’t this happen all the time? Doesn’t this happen throughout all of adulthood? Sometimes willingly and sometimes not?
24-year-old, Simone Biles, had a huge growth spurt last week. Simone stood up and challenged the thing that made her who she is and who we’ve all known her to be- a gymnast, an Olympian, USA’s gold medalist- by saying NO. She acquiesced with the aches and said no more, this is not good for me, or my mental health. It was this impeccable landing of NO that will change the game and change Simone forever. Simone choosing her mind so that she can protect her body. Simone shedding light on the overlooked importance of mental health in elite sports.1 With another twist of fate, this past Tuesday, Simone was back on the balance beam reclaiming the ending to her gymnastics story. She would finish on her own terms and in her way.
I wish I could say I am as brave as Simone. I feel like I fall more into the camp of being pushed to change. Two weeks ago, as I walked through my old neighborhood of Crown Heights on route to Tangerine to teach, I had a glimpse of what my life could still look like and that crystal ball was very enticing. I could comfortably teach what I know, at a place that loves me, with people who know me, and stay nice and safely in my skin. But life always has other plans.
Life takes us on a road’s less traveled. Roads where we must say NO. Or Yes. Or something in-between. Road’s where we trust the balance beams, uneven bars, or the leap from the vault into mid-air not knowing how or when we will hit ground.
I say to you, what I say to me- keep going. Keep going, whether you are participating or resisting your growth spurt. Keep trusting that you too will stand up tall on the platform of life and advocate for what you want and who you are- no matter how it feels.
1 Simone Biles, in a Comeback, Takes Bronze on the Balance Beam, By Juliet Macur
|Empty Road Meditation|
Sit comfortably (cross legged, virasana, in a chair)
Eyes closed or vision soft
Connect to breath in body
Find your third eye (spot right between the eye brows and a lil higher)
Envision a road moving from your 3rd eye outwards
Know that you are on this road and this road is taking you forward
Trust that you are on the right path
Trust that you are moving forward in the direction of your life
Inspiration Station ✨