A few weeks ago, I found myself harbouring pretty low vibe, unkind thoughts. Dem thoughts reserved for the most vulnerable of moments – in a change room, gettin’ nekkid with a new lover, heading to the beach in a sea [pun intended] of 10s – the typical playground for our ‘mean gal’ to be handed a megaphone and protest loudly. Where comparison – that not-so-subtle thief of joy – prays on your insecurities and deems you ‘worse’, ‘inferior’ or ‘unworthy’. Triggered by both nothing and everything, these thoughts stuck around for a while and set up camp in my already swirling-with-ideas-and-to-do-lists brain. And for a little while, I caved. I surrendered to the lull of its falsities and I temporarily allowed myself to believe that I was x, y and z.
And then something shifted.
I had decided to amp up my training – to swap my daily hikes in favour of a much more sweaty and challenging series of classes and to make more space for my old flame of circuit training. I re-joined a gym after a 6 month hiatus of spending my time outdoors and using nature as my playground and stress dumpin’ scene. I entered the new scenario feeling so unprepared. What if I wasn’t as fit as everyone else, would I be able to keep up, what if I made an absolute idiot of myself … and so on. But here’s where the perspective flipped.
I have found myself showing up, time after time, to a space where strength and fitness are celebrated, and not the size of our thigh gaps. Where the class ends in a united, all in this together, front of ‘wahoos’ and fist bumps. Where looking sweaty and disheveled at the end of the class are honoured like little medals. Where mental constraints and limitations are acknowledged, and shattered. And, above all, where our bodies are appreciated and celebrated for what they can do and achieve, far more than they are for their sole aesthetic.
After spending a while stuck in the vicious cycle and routine of being solely focused on the outside as a reflection of the inside; it has been unbelievably refreshing to change directions and pace. To see how health and vitality are first born of a total respect and appreciation of the place we find ourselves right here and now.
And, look, I’m me. And I’m obviously human [and female] AF. I’m always going to have goals and aspirations and targets that I’m chasing. I’m sure I’ll always be working towards some degree of manipulating one part of my body to get smaller and another to get bigger. But this subtle change in thought of my body being only a canvas, an image with no back story, versus seeing our bodies as vehicles and in being so grateful to have the opportunity to challenge and grow and thrive with them – THAT is what is feeling so effing refreshing and reassuring.
So here’s to bodies that move, and sweat, and serve as the perfect metaphor for our lives.
Blessings and so much booty x
Image sourced here.