The World We Live In
In the fitness world, you see admirable physical traits –chiseled abs, big biceps, thin waist lines, plump booties, flawless skin. You might also see seemingly impossible feats of strength, speed, agility, or balance. It surrounds us. The message is “You need this perfect body! This product will give it to you, for this price!” Or, “If you can look like this or do that, you will be happy!” It’s a fun world, with its merits of impressive achievements and endorphin-inducing joy; but it’s also intimidating & misleading, as we are presented with high standards and underlying messages of self-lack.
The Bodies We Live In
Our bodies are incredible. The more you understand its workings, the more you are in awe of what’s involved in the simplest actions we take, from walking, to eating, to just breathing. It is the vehicle we ride in for this lifetime. Our bodies are so intelligent that they work to protect us from harm and stress. They hold trauma & memories we can not even recall sometimes. In order to live in complete peace, we must learn to befriend our bodies, to explore their reactions & reasons, as this book explores. In spite of this, or rather because of this, fitness must be more than the physical.
The Fear We Have
I love working out. I love exercise. I love every single aspect of it. I genuinely do. I love the discipline of routine, the accountability with myself, the reliability of its accessibility & benefits, the pride in improvements, the simplicity & variety it offers. (I talk more about this here.) I can love everything about it, but I can’t make it everything. The fear I have, & the fear I see mirrored in the actions of others, to different degrees, is making everything the physical. No matter the fitness level, body size, or physical ability, I see people –myself definitely included– putting so much weight on the physical (haha! It’s a pun!). It is most often subconscious, but always a measure of our worth.
The Enough We Are
You are more than your body. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Feel the life inside you. That is you. It is beyond your physical limitations, or abilities. It is beyond your surroundings. It is beyond this world. You are enough. You are more than enough. You have power, life, light, goodness, beauty, perfect already, inside you. That is the paradox: we work to improve what is already whole within us.
From this place, any action we take is a bonus, & not contingent to our worth. This includes what kind of body we have, how much we weigh, how much exercise we do, how physically skilled we are. When we know that we are enough, the inevitable reaction is self-love. And when you love yourself, you want to do what’s good for you & your body. Thus, exercise becomes something enjoyable & beneficial –not guilt-laden & constrictive. Connecting to our bodies is essential to health, but first we must connect to our inner selves.
I hope I can exercise till the day I die. I hope I have the privilege of an able body & the fitness level to work out when or if I get to 80 years old. But if not, I know I am always enough. And so are you.