On day 21 of #blogjune, I shared a couple of my interests and hobbies outside of the library and information science professional sphere. My reason for sharing them was to highlight that 1) there is more to every day than thinking about and being engaged with a career, and 2) my interests and hobbies need a bit of brain power too and so they put limits on my overall capacity to take things on.
Since graduating from the LIS Masters program in 2013 I’ve embarked on re-discovering interests outside of my work and professional involvement activities. Some I let go to make way for study and some that faded away during a not so great part of my life in my mid-teens and I really wanted back.
In this post, I’ll touch on the other two I wish to share with you – travel, and pilates and barre classes.
Interests and hobbies outside of LIS
I caught the travel bug early on in my late teens. I had gone from high school, straight into university study without really knowing what I wanted or experiencing some, well, life, beforehand. There are pros and cons with doing this and not taking an opportunity to have a breather before moving forward onto the next chapter of my life was one of the cons. By the time I finished my business degree and escaped a not so great relationship, I was itching badly to head out into the world and go discover new things. Back then, I had a point to prove with myself that I could travel on my own. So I did.
It’s not that I didn’t like Brisbane. Oh, I love it. But you know what? Brisbane is always going to be here. Brisbane will always be my home. And I always come home. There’s something freeing, fireworks going off in your mind about travel – exploring, seeing wonders and having adventures outside the comfort zone. I like to challenge myself. One day my sister and I were visiting my late Mum and she asked me ‘why are we here on this rock, going around the sun?’ to which I replied ‘there are so many wonders out there to see and experience’. And then I thought a little further, it’d be an awful shame to waste the gift.
My wedding dress designer remarked to me at a fitting ‘you’ve travelled a lot for your age’. That fact hadn’t ever entered my mind. I suppose I have. Favourite places include:
But there is so much more to see. And there’s a lot of places I need to see here in Australia. The wanderlust doesn’t cease. Good thing I’m marrying someone who also values travel. We travel so well together too.
Pilates and barre
I’ve done pilates now since….maybe 2012? I started off doing mat pilates and then to equipment, or onto the ‘reformer’. I did pilates to tone and to keep my bad hip strong and moving. I still do rehab pilates 12 months after my hip replacement surgery as there are postural and muscle strength issues to continue contending with. What started out as necessary for conditioning and maintenance, soon grew into something that has more meaning for me now.
Approximately 30 weeks after my hip replacement surgery (about February this year), I started doing barre classes. Barre, or ‘Total Barre’ is a workout that mixes pilates with ballet and dance. Barre is fairly low impact and has helped with firing up muscles that didn’t even before my hip problem in my mid-teens. This kind of workout feels more normal and engaging to me than going to your usual gym. Plus, it has me working muscles I never knew existed!
I love going to pilates and barre classes. They’re the one place in my life I don’t need to think. I can just be told what to do and get results. I still have a long way to go to resemble a ballerina, though I never was one to begin with. In fact, I really sucked at ballet but I had to do it for my gymnastics training. Funny I now enjoy it though. I feel wonderful afterwards – mobile, energetic, toned, clear-headed and able to tackle challenges. Over the last few months, I’ve caught the teacher/coach inside me wondering, ‘could I teach this one day?’ …..perhaps 🙂
I prioritise my fitness activities, both for my overall well-being and my ongoing hip replacement recovery. I try not to feel guilty about that and instead be more than okay that I’m looking after myself first, to be able to do the things I want in other areas.