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The After - Part 3 of 11

Completely overdressed for the event made for an extra sweaty finish.


While much of my time is spent in activity, and I have fully learned to embrace perspiration, I have no tolerance for it at any time NOT directly involved with exercise.


On a day trip, with only a backpack that I would have to carry with me for each stage of the adventure, the packing was strategic.


While it was an oddity to have greater access to indoor facilities with plumbing rather than the standard portable plastic stations prior to the race, it offered opportunity to map out a post-race transition plan.


With the welcome support of my adventure buddy for the day, I was greeted at the finish line with congratulations and my supplies.


After taking a moment in the brilliant, and long since seen, sunlight, I headed inside to a quaint powder room, in a quiet part of the hotel.


Tucked away with no one around, as most participants and fans were still out on the course, I took my time in the transition, honoring the gifts of Dr. Bronner’s, running water, and my thoughtfully packed bag.


This was a notably luxurious interval, occupying nearly half the time the 5.7 miles on foot had immediately prior, confirmation that the right distance had been selected, as the time consumed required extended patience on the part of my travel partner.


With flashbacks to every beach swim, cold dip, finish line, long teaching day at the gym and tournament where an outfit change (or many) were as much a part of the experience as the activities themselves, I honored what I needed.


Simple acts of self-love:


Removing the layers once they completed their task, noting that which supports success while in action can contribute to discomfort if engaged longer than the purpose served requires.


Cleansing away the perspiration, honoring the byproducts of effort, offering a baptism between the doing, the being, and the recovering, beginning again with a clear foundation.


Donning new attire to bring comfort and align with the next activity, taking the core self along while adapting appropriate attitudes for all that is new and yet to come.


I have joked for years about my super speedy showers, and while they can be helpful and necessary for those between class moments and narrow windows of transition, I see now that they were also born out of fear and need for safety over the course of a lifetime where privacy was not respected.


And so it is that the act of careful, thoughtful, and even moderately time-consuming transitions, that trust and love are rebuilt.


A change of clothes, wipe of a cloth, and wash of the hair (not today, but more often than I previously allowed) can be so much more than basic hygiene – they are guideposts of the path back to self on the journey of healing.


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