*After reading the post below, head over to Lindsay’s blog to read my guest post on “5 things I wish people understood about having a chronic illness“!
So often in life we hate on our body… or, dare I say, we’re even verbally abusive towards it. We pick it apart, complain about it, and notice the things it doesn’t do. We see when it fails us in some way, and we tend to focus strongly on that. Is that a relationship you want to have with your body? I sure don’t!
The fact is, I’m human. While I’ve grown a HUGE amount since high school in terms of loving and accepting the body I have, I still have my moments. Having POTS is really frustrating, and sometimes I get very upset towards “my stupid POTS riddled body” (that’s how it usually starts, either in my head or out loud to someone close to me). In countless ways every day, it feels like my body is failing me due to POTS.
Or take my current “injury” situation (I say “injury” in quotes because I am convinced this is just the beginning stages of shin splints, and not any big injury at all) with shin splints. I am SO frustrated that my body is failing me at the moment. I do PT exercises every week, I ice regularly, I roll my legs, I do pilates and weight lift to strengthen my body, and I do all sorts of cross training. I don’t run high mileage weeks… ever. So I feel like, right now, my body is failing me. It’s frustrating. But where does dwelling on that really get me?
The fact is, when I look at the bigger picture, I am so thankful for what my body does for me. When I stop to think about it, it’s really pretty amazing. After my really solid 7 miler a few weeks ago, I got in the car and patted my leg, saying “thank you so much body for what you just did for me”.
The fact is that, even when things aren’t working optimally, like my situation right now, my body still does amazing things. My heart bumps blood through my body with no effort from me. I breathe, swallow, digest food, all without thinking about it. That’s amazing, right? My eyes move around and my brain quickly processes the information. I speak without having to think through each little word. I walk next to friends and carry on conversations while enjoying nature and keeping my eyes out for cars. MY BODY DOES THAT FOR ME.
My body has carried me through 1,435 miles of exercise so far this year. It’s carried me across the finish line of 6 (or 7 really) half marathons. It’s let me finish two triathlons. It allows me to work out while I talk the entire time while I teach my pilates barre class.
My body does amazing things for me. I’m assuming that your body does the same for you too. It’s not perfect by any means, and having a chronic illness certainly doesn’t help.
Do we pause to thank our body for what it does for us? Do we speak with gratitude about it, or do we use hateful words towards it? Do we come from a place of thankfulness or hatred?