Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every Wednesday. This will be a weekly series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors that will rotate between Morgan, Lara and Luigi with the occasional guest. We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check-in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, our intuition, our inner power. And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too.
Warning: This post is about how I’m one of those people that *insert eye-roll here* loves working out. As you may or may not know, I was a fitness instructor in a past life. Five whole years of teaching anywhere from 14 to 16 spin classes a week, being in front of 100+ people a day, excreting gallons of sweat — it was a profoundly fulfilling job, but one that came with its own pitfalls.
The truth is, I’ve always loved being active. From playing sports when I was younger to my days of being a circuit queen/gym rat. Moving has always been a hugely integral part of my life. Fast forward to shifting my career towards fitness and wellness in my mid-20’s; what was once a passion gradually turned into a tedious chore. I found myself constantly giving to everyone around me while slowly forgetting what I loved so much about being physical *cue Dua Lipa*. And only now have I come to realize that for the last five years, I’ve been feverishly chasing those memories of working out for me and the mental, physical, and spiritual power of sweat.
Before the pandemic, I was pretty unhappy with how I felt physically. Yes, I had gained some weight, but this wasn’t about that. It wasn’t about not fitting into my clothes or being called ‘fat’ by a drunk stranger. It was about not feeling present in my own body. Like I was inhabiting a body that wasn’t mine. I felt stuck. And so, mid-pandemic, I started to reestablish my connection to my physical self. Starting with gentle walks up the hills of San Francisco, slowly working back in strength training and yoga, peppering in the occasional Barry’s and SoulCycle class. And after a few months of sticking with it, here I am, confessing my love of working out to you, the reader.
I’ve learned so much from this experience of recouping and reconnecting. Mainly, that I am someone who, and my therapist can confirm, processes emotions through my body. Whether it’s stress, joy, confusion, anxiety, or gratitude, the only way I can lean into these emotions and not run away from them is if I am physically present. I recall that many of my most creative ideas, breakdowns, and breakthrough ‘a-ha’ moments have happened while drenched in sweat, and I can’t wait to have more!
Sight: The sun is finally coming out in San Francisco! We are slowly moving away from the gloominess of summertime and into the beautiful temperate warmth of fall in the Bay Area. I never realized how much I needed the sun until I spent the entire month of June traveling.
Sound: My physical body is here, but my heart is still in Mexico. I’ve been using this upbeat birthday playlist from Lara’s birthday trip to Puerto Vallarta for pretty much everything. It’s 25 hrs long. You’re welcome.
Smell: I love a good ritual! Every Monday, I’ve been burning Japanese incense instead of my typical white sage or palo santo. It’s recharged my smudging practice and made me remember there are so many different ways to partake in this little ceremony.
Taste: I’m a Trader Joe’s gay now. I’ve just learned to accept this as reality. Part of the witchcraft of TJ’s is that they put everything but the bagel seasoning on… everything. I present to you: Everything But the Bagel Nuts.
Touch: I’ve recently been playing around with how I dress and present myself to the world. I’ve always loved makeup and dressing up in drag, but what if it wasn’t just to play pretend? I wore a two-piece bralette and skirt set to a party over the weekend, and I truly felt so special. I should have ditched the heels, though.