Training was no joke. We had an extremely full schedule taught by world champions. We spent hours each day training and letting the pole rub the skin off our bodies. The first day my shoulders were super challenged and pushed to their limits. It's amazing how athletes train their bodies to wrap all sorts of ways around different apparatuses. Most people see a pole and automatically assume stripper. I see a pole and automatically recognized incredibly skilled, talented and strong athlete. And that was exactly what I was focused on becoming.
Mornings were focused on training. Then afternoons I go out and lay in the sun by the pool. I was never good at being calm or still, especially in the past year. But my purpose for being in Greece was to face myself. And for the first time, maybe ever, I was finally able to just be and allow my thoughts to come without fear of what they would say.
One of my greatest fears in life was being alone. As a child, I heard many threats of abandonment. Even though I never was, the fear was so powerful I eventually ran away. This lead me to jumping from home to home, never feeling grounded. I thought marriage would end the torture and I would finally feel at home and loved. Safe. However, it was not so. Instead, my marriage was another series of feeling like I was constantly on the verge of abandonment. My husband was constantly walking out the door and the fear and pain became crippling to the point where I knew I need help and began to fear for my own life.
It ended up being another relationship where the fear of being left alone was so powerful that I eventually ran away. In escaping the fear of being alone, I constantly found myself alone. But rather than facing being alone, I continued to run. I would run to whatever superficial feeling took that fear and momentary loneliness away. I run to the circus, I'd run to work, I'd run into the open arms of a lover, even if it was only for a night. I just kept running.
But in Greece, I finally stopped. We were at a resort that was surround by nothing in the middle of an island. There was no where to run to. More than that, I didn't want to be anywhere else. I was completely content to sit in the sun by the pool by myself. I let the loneliness in and allowed myself to accept that I had no one back home waiting for me (other than my dog). I allowed myself to take in the loneliness for all that it was and let it sink in.
But it was ok.
Because I had made it to Greece ALONE. No one had bought my ticket for me. No one was back home paying my rent for me. I was doing it all, all on my own. I could be alone. I was ok alone.
I finally stopped running.