Friday, November 20, 2009

Letter to my body


Dear Body:

We have been through a lot together. I remember when we were little and would run and climb and your poor knees and shins were always scuffed and scratched from May through September. Dad called you a Wild child, always running around like crazy. My strong skinny legs carrying me up trees in the backyard and my lanky arms and legs holding me upside down on the monkey bars, swinging and dropping, little tanned child fruit, nearly always landing on my feet.

Then, when we were a bit older, all those confusing changes we went through--what a ROLLER COASTER--messy emotions, my skin--even you totally rebelled against me, everything decided to shift at once, some kind of tectonic hormonal overthrow! We sure didn't look like a tomboy anymore!! Things were different. But you were still there even if I didn't like what you were doing or the shape you were taking, you carried me on long walks with my highschool girlfriends, you helped me through many miles on the track and a few hurdles too, short legs and all. And when I beat you up a bit, but man, you took it-- with a little ice anyway.

I started to get a little bull headed and decided you should take whatever I wanted to dish. I kept you up too late, I pumped you full of sugar and caffeine, I ate whatever I wanted--we wouldn't get fat!! Then remember that day when I wanted to pull my favorite jeans on and thighs--you refused?! I always heard you mumbling, but I didn't pay any attention. Sorry I didn't listen to you. I had turned into a control freak and you were a trooper. But you never said I told you so, you just stood by me.

I abused you a bit too, but we were young, you were bound to snap back so I kept on. I assumed that my pretty pink lungs, you guys could take a little pollution, and the brain, your smart, you can figure out a way to work on 4 hours of sleep. Legs: you just do what you always do and put one foot in front of the other: this club, that bar, one more house party! No argument, we can sleep when we're dead, right?! Sorry about all that I didn't realize how much you meant to me.

Then, when the dust settled and the sun peeked over the horizon of the city, I found you legs, still scuffed up, still strong, still carrying me and my baggage home. This time, I gave you some rest. I put you up and rubbed you down. I found that while all of you, my feet and thighs and arms and skin had been so kind to me, I had used you. If we wanted to be together the way we used to be, we had to start working together.

Feet, I took you down off the platform pedestal and gave you some comfortable shoes, toes not pinched, soft cushion under your heel. I gave my brain some rest, what a wonder 8 hours can do, it thought, it reasoned, it threw wit and wonder my way! I massaged my legs, I worked them and then rewarded them. They carried me as always, the silent warriors with their battle scars and blue veins (huh...those were new). I breathed deep, untainted breaths and brought oxygen deep into every alveoli I could and restored them to their original state: Pretty in pink.

Now we are a team. I listen to you when you want to take a rest, when you need a water break or a walk break on a run. Granted there are times when I make you do things you don't want to, but they are good for you!! I nourish you and fuel you and am your friend. I may challenge you to do better and go farther, but it is different than before. These challenges come with rewards, you have felt it I know. The runners high, the strength, the confidence you have. And through it, I am here for you the way you have relentlessly, fiercely been there for me over the last...ahem, X number of years

Remember--I overlook the little veins on my legs that used to not be there and I think I am MORE than forgiving when I catch sight of the back of my thighs...it's a give and take now. I am forgiving of your flaws and your little nooks and rolls and wrinkles and I know you are forgiving of the crap I put you through as I, yes STILL go through growing pains of all kinds. I mean, we have been through a lot together, you had your hay-day and I had mine and now, now we go through the rest of this together--for better or worse. A team, got it?

See you tomorrow morning for my run and tell our hamstrings that Monday is body pump so they better be ready!


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