Originally published November 9, 2017 on getfit615.com. Republished here with permission. (Get you blog featured!)
“Hey, Kate, want to do some sprints?” “Sure, Hilary!”
Hilary hit the sidewalk, I hit the bike lane on Music Row in Nashville, TN. And we ran as fast as we could possibly go from the gym down the block.
It took me back to high school track. Fresh cold air. Plank parties. Falling on my face out of a block. Tripping over hurdles, every time. The actual track. Spikes. “Pump your arms” coach used to say. “Nervousness is good,” he’d tell us at a meet when I was sure I was going to come in last in every event. Hill sprints until we puked. Having to run from my high school to the hill. Cramping. Having to run back. Hating it. The cool down shuffle. Stairs through the school.
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We hit the next block over from the gym and, through my wheezing, Hilary said, “Just imagine, one day our bodies won’t be able to do that. We must be grateful for that.” She’s so right.
“Just imagine, one day our bodies won’t be able to do that.”
Before my grandfather died, he was on oxygen all the time. He had to carry around a tank to help him breathe because his lungs couldn’t get enough air in them to fuel his body. Can you imagine what he would have done to be able to do a sprint and have his lungs be filled with fresh autumn air? Can you imagine what he would have done to be able to just walk up the stairs at his home to get to his library.
“You sound like a little steam engine,” Hilary said in response to my breathing pattern: inhale for two steps, exhale for two steps. And when I’m really going, that little steam engine gets pretty loud and just rolls.
It’s invigorating to think about the amount of air that goes in and out of our lungs and our bodies–the way our heart has to pump to make that happen. The way our muscles are firing. The way things are moving inside our bodies. Everything that happens after we move as our body settles. That rush of adrenaline.
It’s invigorating to think about the amount of air that goes in and out of our lungs and our bodies.
It’s incredible what our bodies can do when we ask. Our bodies are ridiculously adaptable and ridiculously informative. And gosh, what a silly choice it is to hate our bodies the way we do.
What a silly choice it is to hate our bodies the way we do.
What an empty thing it is to hate movement, to wish we didn’t have to. To choose to stay sedentary instead of choosing to give our body what it needs and craves: movement.
And you know what else our bodies crave? They crave for us to let go and just love. When we hold onto stress or hate or judgment, it’s not only our “being” that hold onto it; our physical bodies hold onto it, too.
Our bodies crave for us to let go and just love.
You know how the saying, “It feels like a weight has been lifted”? We say this because it kind of has. Our body has been given permission to let go. To stop holding on so tightly to whatever or whomever that was.
As a society, I think we crave adventure. Millennials are dying to travel more. We’re dying to see more of life, more of this world. We want to get stuff done. We want change. We want growth. I wonder what would happen if we all found adventure at home, first. If we experienced shift and change and growth at home. And by “at home,” I mean, within our bodies.
I wonder what would happen if we experienced shift and change and growth at home, within our bodies.
What if we listened, first? What if we went inward, first?
One of my favorite excerpts from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart is this:
The call to exercise doesn’t come from gyms, health clubs, physical education directors, or diet books. The call to exercise comes from our bodies, from our souls… find some way to move your body that feels good for you. Start doing it, even if it doesn’t feel good at first. Do it until you can hear your body, hear what it wants, hear what it needs, hears what feels good to it. Do it until you can hear your body tell you how and when it wants to move. The better you can hear your body, the more clearly you will hear your soul.
It’s been some time since I’ve run that fast. And it’s the first time in my life that I’ve said, “Wow! That was incredible.” It’s amazingly disconnected that I used to hate that. Gratitude changes everything.
Gratitude changes everything.
This is the first time in my life that I realize how privileged I am to be in this incredible body. In fact, I bet I wasn’t even close to running this fast when I was in high school. My hatred for my body and for running probably took over and didn’t even allow me to get into that space where I could just let the little steam engine that could take over and really run.
Who am I to keep my body from doing things that feel incredible? Who am I not to listen? Who am I to continue to hold onto fear, keeping my body from flowing, from moving?
Who am I to continue to hold onto fear, keeping my body from flowing, from moving?
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