When You Stop Moving

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I woke up covered in sunshine, wanting to climb a mountain.

I wake up like this a lot. My legs crave the strain, my body craves the salty sweat, my eyes crave the see-for-miles views.

Usually, the feeling prompts a swift roll-over-grab-my-phone-and-Google-closest-trails maneuver (it’s truly a sight to behold) and I’m out the door before you can say “hey, alex, have you considered not hiking alone?”

Though routine makes me feel safe, I tend to fight it like I fight anything that keeps me pinned to a too-rigid existence. My primary strengths and joys lie in the flexibility I’ve cultivated since I stopped learning from desks three years ago.

Today, I had other things to do, and instead of fighting it and hiking a mountain anyway, I drove to the farmers market. I met a friend. I ate a waffle. I went on an impromptu history tour. I bought a book because my heart knew it was #independentbookstoreday before my head did.

Texting my mom (for what felt like the first time in months) as I sat contentedly drinking tea and reading my new book, I told her that I felt like I’d climbed a hundred mountains over the past two months and it felt like the most honest thing I’ve said about myself lately.

Metaphorical mountains have been my most common terrain over the past few years, yet it always takes me a bit to realize I’m climbing one.

The last two months have been strangely brut-iful (brual+beautiful). I’ve been floored, I’ve been told to “Get up and keep moving, punk!,” I’ve smiled an unexpected amount of moments, I’ve woken up happy far more than I’ve woken up sad. Heavy and light, right?

This springtime has contained thousands of miles (feet + tires + air), three deaths in two weeks (what?), restorative out-of-town visitors (ily, bb), putting unnecessary pressure on myself (because I’m a human being), missing yoga too many times and more. It’s been an endless, somehow strangely balanced, sea of very heavy and wildly light.

I’ve been writing a lot and thinking a lot but mostly I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to SLOW. IT. DOWN.

Let me tell you. Today was that opportunity. Not being “allowed” to hike a mountain left room for more measured moments: easy laughs, stained glass windows, real life talk, surprise sunflowers at my door, existing boldly in my body..

And frankly, I ran up and down the stairs of my place of employment so many times over the course of the TWELVE HOURS I spent there yesterday that I lost count, and I probably would have been the grumpiest, testiest version of myself had I made it anywhere NEAR a real mountain today.

Shout out to the slow life, dudes. If you’re climbing mountains (metaphorical or literal), don’t forget that resting is important, also.

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