Making peace with your body

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Movement
Tags: , , , , ,

Ever since I had my son my mind and my body have not been on the same page.  My mind has been very judgmental of my body.

I hear myself thinking:

“Why does my back hurt? I didn’t have this issue last time I was getting myself in good shape.”

“What’s up with my knees? My ninja alter ego is severely impaired by the bubble wrap sound effects they keep making every time I squat.  Not to mention that random feeling of pliers pinching my left knee during deep knee bends.”   

“Why can’t I do a muscle up, again? Oh yeah, I’ve never been able to do that one.  Keep practicing silly.” 

Crashing

I was skim boarding. Really!

Yes, the years before I had my son I would get out of shape, start working out, my muscles would ache, I would love and hate it all at the same time, I would grow strong and that was that.  My body, however, has changed and my mind hasn’t been working with my “new” body to help it adjust.  Instead of honoring where I am, my mind has been judging where I SHOULD be.  Needless to say it’s been extremely hard to make any forward progress athletically.

It wasn’t until recently when I started to pay attention to this mind/body separation that any forward progress has been made.  First, I’ve had to acknowledge that there is a level of dysfunction throughout my body.  Structurally my body is out of alignment, my connective tissue is weak and I’ve been forcing movement patterns my body just isn’t ready for.   Secondly, I’ve had to let go of the way I trained when I was in my twenties.  I just don’t heal as fast or recover as quickly as I use to.  Lastly, I’ve realized that I actually have to practice with focus and purpose.  For me this means coming up with a program that has a progressive nature and not just running out the door and trying the hardest thing I can think of until it works.

So, you might think that I feel a bit discouraged about the current state of affairs, but in reality I feel free for the first time since my son’s birth.  I now know where I am and I can make steady progress and move forward from that place, and not from where I “think” I should be.  Basically I’ve taken my power back.  Before taking this personal self-assessment I felt as though I was settling and being weak if I didn’t push through.  Now I realize that I’m not settling.  I’m starting from where I really am.  The goals are still high, but the starting point is realistic.  Since I’ve done this self-assessment, I’ve been making marked progress and my perceived setbacks have been few and far between.  It’s great!

So what’s the lesson?

Before I started to pay attention to my body I allowed my mind to decide, based on the past, where my physical body was in this moment.  So, for me, the lesson is to create a practice where I listen to my body first.  Where I’m honest with my physical state of being and then, from that realistic starting point, I allow my mind to come up with my next steps to achieve my goals.  The funny thing is, the more I dedicate myself to this practice physically, the more I see how it applies to my whole life.

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