A Letter to the Body

Dear Body,

I am sorry.

Sorry for the miles I ran in the pouring rain, in the sweltering sun, in the freezing snow.

Sorry that you begged and pleaded and asked me for a reprieve from the pounding on the pavement…and yet I ignored you and continued running in the wee hours of the morning or the dark hours of the night.

Sorry for the hours spent doing laps in the pool or laps in the ocean or laps wherever and whenever I could get the opportunity.

Sorry that my skin turned an eggplant-black dark hue and my hair became brittle like straw because of the chlorine and sun…and yet I ignored you and continued kicking and stroking and kicking and stroking.

Sorry for the sweat that poured out of me when I did two 90-minute hot yoga classes a day.

Sorry that I started emitting an odd stench during each class, my muscles slowly breaking down…and yet I ignored you and continued bundling up for the hot room, drawn to the mirrored corners to do my standing head-to-knee poses.

Sorry for the “hypertrophic rep schemes” of squats I HAD TO do multiple times a week.

Sorry that I could feel the sharp aches of a pulled rib that became worse every time I took a breath and yet I continued deadlifting because I feared my muscles would atrophy to spiny noodles if I stopped hefting a barbell at the gym.

Sorry for giving in to the compulsion to do just one more lap, one more mile, one more pose, one more set, one more exercise.

Because that was all it really was.  Exercise.  No real goal besides wanting and needing a fix.

A fix for what?

Distraction?  So that I wouldn’t have to think about the problems and questions and worries of the day?

Fear?  So that I wouldn’t have to wonder about who I REALLY was created to be?

Anxiety?  So that I would be able to fit in a perfect bubble and identity and shape and form that was perfect and outstanding and an achiever?

Dear Body, I am sorry.

I am sorry that I have mistreated and not listened and not honored you.

And I am also amazed.  Amazed at how you could withstand all of the pain, all of the pressure, all of the abuse, all of the stress placed upon you–and yet, you are still here.  You are still moving.  You are still breathing.  You are still doing.  You are still breathing.

So, dear Body, it starts today.

I honor you.  I care for you.  I love you.

It was you that allowed me to bear two wonderful children, to travel the world with the love of my life, to be a bearer of all things lovely and whole and grand.

I honor you.  I care for you.  I love you.

No longer will I awake at an ungodly hour in the morning to run on the treadmill or lift weights overhead.  No longer will I make myself move or burn calories because I am living in fear or want to distract myself.

Dear Body, I love you.

I love you.

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