"I'm Getting Fat" I Whispered...
“I’m getting fat”, I whispered.
I was sitting on a bed in a hot room, in a beautiful hillside Villa in Malaga, Spain when I first chatted with Vienda - who was in London at the time - via Skype. “Babe, I’m getting fat” I said. “And I’m tired”… “And I’m working too much. It’s too easy. I need to find a new way to do this, it’s not sustainable. I’m burning out and I’m living in Paradise. But I’m by myself and I don’t feel like I have that many options except to just keep going.”…
I was feeling like I was losing myself. As infectious as the travellers life was, I was burning the candle at both ends. I wanted see everything, and do everything, and still work as much as I did back home when I didn't need to see everything and do everything. I also wanted eat everything. Because eating is fantastic, especially in a new country.
“What the heck do I do?”
“Go for a walk” she said
“A walk? How’s that going to help?”
“No it’s not. Its walking.”
“It’s exercise. You’re probably not used to this kind of exercise, because you were an athlete. You probably don’t even know how to exercise like a regular person, because you’re use to doing intense training! But walking is fantastic exercise.”
“It’s true. I’m used to training hard. So, walking is not exercise for me. I don’t feel like it’s going to do anything! I feel like I need to do something harder… but I don’t have the energy!”
“Then walking is good for you. And It’s exercise. And you can do it anywhere!”
“… So Walking, huh?”
I loved her enthusiasm, and I trusted her… but I wasn’t convinced. It didn’t seem like enough to be able to keep off the kilo’s that were about to start showing under my dresses. But she was adamant. I needed to slow down in order to speed up.
But there was good reason for that.
For my entire life, I lived in compartmentalised boxes. I separated my life during my training for my life outside of training. I separated my life on holidays for my life in the “real world”. I separated my life during my work form my life on the weekends. All this separation.
And yet, I travelled every couple of months, I had a weekend every week, I trained for 5 hours a day, I competed in a big tournament 3 times a year, and I worked… all the time!
No wonder I was feeling scattered.
The Invisible Rules
I was adhering to “rules” I had laid down for myself about what I do and when, and what I don’t do when I’m not doing other stuff.. If you catch my drift.
In my life back home, which was how I was living at that point, still - I was eating super well when I was getting ready for big tournament, and then when I’d go on holidays, I’d binge, because it was time to relax after all the hard work I was doing. I was used to working hard, and then partying on weekends… but if I had a tournament coming up (which I always did) I felt guilty about relaxing - because even though I’d worked hard, there was something else I was still working hard for in the after hours, right around the corner.
Do I sound crazy yet?
Maybe you can relate. Work through the week, binge on the weekends. Work hard to look good in the dress, binge at the event, or “relax” on holidays.
There is none.
What I learnt from this experience was how to deeply appreciate my body at all times. To stop taking the hard road and then the easy road, and enjoy the middle way. My own middle way.
When I became a traveller, I had to stop drifting into other peoples holiday mindsets, and remember that my lifestyle is my lifestyle wherever I go. I’m not on holidays, I’m living somewhere new. I play a whole lot more, I take more time off, and I explore, but I work more productively than ever before - and I take care of myself the best I can no matter where I am. A hotdog is a hotdog. It’s still a hotdog. If I want it, I’ll eat it - but not because “oh, this is the only time I’m going to have a hotdog in Berlin!”. It’s because I want a hotdog. The hotdog thats the same hotdog weather or not I’m eating it in Australia or the middle of a freaken' UFO storm. Still a hotdog, dawg.
And by the way, that doesn’t make me more strict or more lax, it makes me more me. It means no matter if I’ve just arrived somewhere and haven’t seen the people I’m with for years, and they want to party, Or, I’m leaving and won’t see them until heck knows when, I’ve got my own lifestyle and values to think about. Because the next place I go will be the same story.
And we are worth more than the party.
For the people we meet, the party is one night. For us, on an adventure, it’s every night. We are always somewhere new and different and we want to experience it. And the people we are with want to celebrate that there is some form of change going on in their routine - an old friend is in town (Thats you!), or maybe they ar eon “holidays!”
One of the elements Vienda and I are teaching in the Gypset Adventure is all about Radiance. It’s about taking care of your glow, no matter where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, what’s going on, or howling you’ve been on a flight or away from “home”.
The essence, is this: Gypset is a way of life. It’s not about looking good and feeling good for a set period of time while you escape “the real world”. It’s a way of living, working, loving, and being, that is sustainable, and soulful.
And The Real world can be anything you want it to be.
Hayley x x
P.S - Our Hot Noggin shots were taken by the beautfiul Michelle at Eyes of Love Photography.