Friday, June 20, 2014

My body...

I ran 8 miles this morning. For the first time in my life. 8 miles. I'm still sort of stunned. It hurt like hell and I ate 2 burritos afterwards, but I ran 8 miles.
Post 8-mile run
As I was on the last mile, I started to think about my body and how much it's sort of amazing. How I never appreciated it when I was seventeen. How frankly, I was very hard on it. Looking back, I would say I was at war with my body.
Me at 17
The war was a very long one. Played out on several fronts for many years: food, drugs, sex, pain. There is never a day when I don't wonder how my body has survived it. I have been an aggressive opponent against my body, and still my body survived it. Not completely unscathed, unfortunately. I have mysterious "health" things that no doctor can quite explain. Scars from the war, I think.

I ran 8 miles today. When I peeled off my clothes afterwards to take a shower, at first I felt the familiar disgust towards my body. Because no matter how laminated my feminist card is, that hasn't gone away. That knee-jerk reaction to be a pretty girl. I didn't know how beautiful I was at seventeen until my body made it to 40. I am covered in bruises and scars and stretch marks and cellulite and sagging skin. I don't have abs anymore. I had three babies who were nine pounds. No abs, just skin that sometimes hangs over my jeans.
With my midwife the day I delivered my first child
And yet, today, I shook off the resentment at the way my body looks now. Because I ran 8 miles. And somehow it feels like finally the war with my body is over. I want to do good things for it now. I want to feed it and take it for walks and make it part of me, not something that I have to fight with. That is why I'm grateful for 40. Because my 40 year old brain is clever enough to say: Enough. It's enough now, Christa.


6 comments:

Katy Upperman said...

Thank you for this. You are beautiful. <3

Carrie Mesrobian said...

to this I say, fuck yeah.

damn right, girl. I could repeat all of this.

my mantra this year, as I turn 40?

looking at myself in the mirror, and saying, "eh. not bad for 40."

fascist beauty standards: I yield. god it feels good.

ckuzma said...

You have so perfectly described why I love running specifically, and fitness in general. No matter who you were or weren't in the past, what you could or couldn't do--when you complete a physical feat you thought was out of reach, you have that moment where there is zero doubt you've just kicked ass. And you get to keep that one, and the next one, and the next one, and over time, they add up to something even bigger.

Hugs to you and your body. I'm so glad to hear about your training--I haven't had a chance to ask you about it! I know you'll do great in the race, but the training is what's really transformative, in the end.

Stephsco said...

Encouraging! I despise running so 8 miles would be a miracle. I love dance fitness, cycling, and yoga, so I try to appreciate the effects of those :)

Vanessa North said...

Congratulations on your first 8-miler!

Finding peace with our bodies is something so many of us struggle with--it's wonderful to read this and hear that your war is over. <3

Nyrae Dawn said...

You are so incredibly inspiring. Thank you for being you.