WALK AND TALK O’CLOCK
By: Lauren Anderson
One of the things I’m learning, and I keep learning, is the that there are many avenues into loving your body. That there is no one “right” workout program, or way to eat, or even one correct path to forgive ourselves or our bodies.
Because what feels good on one day, can feel like crap the next. What works for one, is not necessarily good for all.
Which is why I admire what the coaches at Solcana teach me, so much. For as cool as it would be to be taught how to power lift from a talking brain in a jar, I think I prefer knowing that my coaches also have bodies that they live in. And deal with. And practice loving.
I love that they are open on social media about being gentle with themselves. I think it’s so easy to assume that body pros are immune to the stuff that bubbles up in us mortals.
But these champions really walk the talk. They show me how to be honest about what my body needs. They aren’t afraid to admit that some days they need a push too. That there is tremendous amounts of forgiveness that they include into their own personal workout routines.
That even for “workout professionals”, some days are hard.
There are days when they have the answers, and then there are days when they don’t.
They keep showing up in so many different ways. After having a baby, after an injury, after a death, or a divorce– they show up. And they seem to listen to their bodies.
I think the most potent lesson for me observing them, is that they seem to stay inside their body.
THE WHOLE TIME. I don’t know if that’s true of course, because I’ve never outright asked.
But the way they move and channel themselves, seems so grounded in the body. For so many years I pretended like I didn’t have a body. I would try so hard to float outside it, or above it. It means a lot to be able to observe a different way to be from my teachers.
It’s so damn powerful to watch.
They bring their body into the gym. And to their work. And to their joy.
By softly observing this over time, they teach me to do the same.
Not only do they show me and teach me this when I’m literally at the gym, they also show me and teach me this just by living their lives as openly and with as much compassion as they do.
Some of them bike to work. Some of them eat doughnuts. Some of them hate burpees too. They are full individuals who have somehow managed to incorporate “having an active lifestyle” into being something I don’t want to roll my eyes at.
They say living by example is the best teacher, and I am grateful to have a front row seat to this.
And you know what I’ve concluded? It seems really HEALTHY.
Like… “have a solid workout, and then have a beer with your friends” kind of healthy.
Maybe the word I’m really looking for here is~ BALANCED.
When I was at a particular low point in my life, I remember staying up all hours of the night watching Beyonce videos. There was one video in particular that I watched the most. It was a special version of her dance song “Get Me Bodied”, that she did for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
She did a special version of her song with a bunch of kids in a lunchroom. Dancing and having fun. And at the end she eats this apple, and smiles at the camera. And it’s cute, and fun, and for some reason I got locked in on it.
I must’ve watched that video 100 times.
I don’t know why. She just seemed so happy and so… healthy? Or at least a version of “healthy” that I was craving to be. She was dancing and laughing and eating apples. Her exercise and her body wasn’t this hard and precarious thing. It was how she HAD FUN.
I think at the time, I wanted to feel like she appeared to feel in that video– and I super DUPER didn’t.
One might think that watching that video was hard, but I remember it soothing me.
Thankfully, I’ve moved past the time in my life where watching Beyonce videos was my only guide for “healthy” behavior. But I’m mentioning it now, because in a strange way, that video motivated me.
It got me up out of bed some days. Observing this “healthy” behavior and how much fun they were having, made me want to do it too. It made me want to “walk the talk”.
That’s what the coaches at Solcana do. They make moving my body feel like FUN. They make it a thing that I want to do. A way I want to be. And in the observation of it, I have become more like this is my own life.
So cut to Memorial Day weekend.
Because of work, I wasn’t able to go to a cabin or anything like that. But the beauty of the weekend made me want to get outdoors and walk around.
I looped my buddy Melanie into showing me a new lake that I had never walked around before. Walking around the lakes in Minnesota is one of my favorite things to do.
I like to call em “Walk n’ Talks”. Because the conversation that usually occurs is as fun and beautiful and fulfilling as the atmosphere that surrounds us. It’s as “healthy” as the walk itself.
When we “Walk n’ Talk”, stopping to listen to the live music at the pavilion, or watch a frog jump across a path, or watching the sun set, is as important as getting our muscles moving. In this walk in particular, Melanie and I made a point of tap dancing on all the flat rocks and tree stumps we could find.
It was fun. And it was funny. And it felt really really good to get up and move my body with a friend.
And then it dawned on me. These “Walk n’ Talks” are a version of me doing what I observe my coaches doing at Solcana. It’s me Walking the Talk of an active lifestyle.
And the it hit me like the scent of lilacs in the air right now in Minnesota.
(Which if you don’t know– IS STRONG)
This is what BALANCE might feel like.
I used to put stereotypically “healthy” behavior into the BORING folder. Like things could either be “Good for me” or “Fun”– but they couldn’t be both.
I’ve always been lucky to have friends who are willing to go deep, but our talks and laughs used to be primarily over lots of drinks and fried appetizers and cigarettes.
Sure, there is still room for drinks and apps (no smokes though… that ship has permanently sailed.), but it’s good to realize that fun and deep conversation aren’t contingent of that stuff.
It kind of seems like a “No Doy Anderson” thing as I type it out.
But when you’re a self-proclaimed quasi-hedonist, who loved to “party”, and has lived outside your body for as long as I have… it’s seems really significant to discover there can be another way.
I can laugh and feel friendship and have as much fun at Happy Hour as I do at the gym… or walking around the lakes. All these things can combine in a balanced and active life.
And there is room for all of it.
This lesson crept in like whisper while I slept. I’ve been so busy focused on the BIG WHOLESALE CHANGES on this fitness journey, I didn’t even realize that was a belief that I had.
But here we are, and the idea fell in front of me like a feather gently landing at my feet.
I am grateful for this new lesson I didn’t even realize I needed to learn.
I can be like my Solcana Coaches. I can be my own damn Beyonce video.
I can seek balance, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I can be active and still have fun.
The cuckoo bird is chirping, and it’s officially Walk n’ Talk O’clock.