This blog began as part of a class assignment and it turned into something quite meaningful for me. I’ve enjoyed writing about spin class and probing my thoughts to surface life lessons.

In my profile, I introduce myself as having mild anxiety, a very loud laugh, and being pretty convinced that I’m on my ninth and last life.

I talk briefly about anxiety, describing it as something that helps me be on top on of my work – I’m always analyzing, asking myself if I could have done something differently, better possibly. I describe it as living with a pebble in my shoe. “It’s a little annoying, sometimes it goes totally unnoticed, and then in quiet moments, it returns.”

I think I’ve always been an anxious person. As a kid, I was very good in school. I channeled this indescribable energy (worry) into my studies. I was fastidious at school and it served me well.

For most of my life I have been an over-eater. When the phrase “comfort food” became mainstream, I had a personal connection to the term. At 4’10, I was 170 pounds at my heaviest. In my mid-twenties I started going to the gym and counting calories. I was quite fastidious about that too. At my smallest, I was a size zero and 98 pounds. It was problematic, but I course-corrected and am now a perfectly pleasant size.

Today, I still carry nervous energy; that pebble in my shoe. But it doesn’t take over. I’m more balanced, in part, from simply being older and wiser – wink, wink. But balance also comes from things like yoga which I’ve done for years, and my recent addition of spin. More than exercise enthusiasts, instructors who lead these classes share wisdom on mind-body connections. In spin and yoga, you hear a lot about posture and listening to your body. In yoga, you’re guided through many instructions on balance. You’re working balance in everything from dancer’s pose, warrior one, breathing – deep breath in with equal counts deep breath out – and finally in savasana.

There’s a spillover effect, you start to think about mind-body balance outside of class too. When I feel my pebble, I think of deep breathing from yoga class and keeping my head up from spin class. And if that pebble is really assertive one day, I still indulge in potato chips. Because comfort food still has its place in a balanced world.