For years, I treated my body like it was a machine. I interpreted its signals of pain and dysfunction as something I needed to work harder to overcome – as if the intelligence of my body was somehow lesser than the intelligence of my mind.
I’d grind my body into the ground believing that if I could just work harder, go longer, and get faster then I would reach my goals. I thought that strong willpower should overrule the cravings of my physical body. I subscribed to the theory that if I’m mentally tough enough then I could transcend the physical limitations that seemed to be keeping me from reaching my goals. I was wrong.
You see, the body has a wisdom all its own. It knows things that your mind does not and it doesn’t lie to you. It communicates with you through sensations – some subtle and others not – sadly, many are ignored as we curse the weakness and shortcomings we see in ourselves. Even though we often treat them like liabilities, our poor neglected and mistreated bodies just keep carrying us through our lives as best they can while we deprive them of much needed rest and restoration in the pursuit of being “busy”.
I’ve learned that the more I embraced the wisdom of my body and held its own unique intelligence as equal to the intelligence of my mind, the more joy and freedom I found, the healthier and happier I became.
I no longer torture my body (and my soul) with grueling workouts. Instead, I move my body every single day in ways that feel good and are specifically intended to keep my body strong, fully functional and feeling fabulous.
Your body is not something you need to overcome or beat into submission.
Your body is home to your heart and soul. Stop telling yourself that you have to find a way to ignore or rise above your physical form. In the end, any path you choose to take in this life will be taken inside the one body you’ve been given. Pay attention to it, nurture it and it will take care of you for years to come.
WOW this was so me! I kept running and running, ignoring my poor old knees until one of them said, “Enough!” And though I miss running terribly sometimes, it was a relief to let it go.
So as weird as this is, I’ve been thinking about how you have been since August 1st, so today on my drive home, stuck in traffic, after hanging out w 800 middle schoolers, I decided I’m just going to check safari… Truly the power of the heart and mind and body, and there was my Al, amazing and you, I kept driving, kept thinking, did the mom thing and ran 8 miles because it’s what I do now … With no real goals, just because I wanted to, not even knowing that one of my best friends I have ever had has been doing the sameAnd a million times more, we have come so far from white pizza and sex in the city not to mention wibs… Miss you like crazy!!!!
OMG!! I was just talking about you with Chris the other day! Miss you so much! Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) where you’re living – I’d love to see/meet you for a lunch or something! My life has completely changed over the past few years and I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to! xoxo
Very brave, Anne! It’s hard to honor our bodies in this way sometimes (especially as stubborn runners). I used to think I could train the injuries, aches, and pains out. But that was a losing strategy every time. No more hard core stuff for me. I am grateful for whatever my body gives me and take each day as it comes. Proud of you for giving up the fight against yourself. That is the very definition of courage! xo