I went for a run yesterday for the first time in almost two years. I didn’t have high expectations, I figured I would just see what happened. I’ve never been a fast runner, but I really enjoy it. I love to run the bridle loop around the reservoir in Central Park. It’s gorgeous, it’s a good distance for me (1.65 miles), it’s not too far away but I still get a good warm-up and cool-down walk on my way there and back. While I was running in the sunshine I started thinking about just how much I finally appreciate my body for all of the wonderful things it does for me. Two of my good friends had kids before me and they both told me that they felt a new sense of awe for the amazing things their bodies could do afterward. I have to say, it’s one of the under-reported benefits of having children.
I spent so much of my life being angry at my body. Angry at it for not looking the way I wanted it to, first for being too skinny, then for being too fat. I was angry at it for not being as coordinated as I wanted it to be, not being pretty enough, not living up to my expectations and the expectations of others. It took me 33 years to really feel comfortable in my skin.
How I could not be thankful to my body for doing so much? It took me through adolescence with barely a pimple, grew me to the awesome height of 5’9″ (the perfect height for me), allowed me to run track, play soccer, climb hills, roll down them, survive the freshman 15 (and then some), cooperated with Weight Watchers to get those off, sat countless hours in a desk chair, and finally got me into crow pose. Most amazing of all it conceived, carried, delivered, and fed two whole children. I know it happens countless times everyday, but I just can’t help but be utterly amazed by the fact that my body made two other human beings (with a little bit of help from the husband, of course). My own body grew two others and they survived just on my body for 9 months before birth and nearly 6 months afterward. It blows me away to think about it.
Even more crazy, that body that expanded to hold other little people, went back to pretty much the same shape it had before. Not quite exactly the same, there are changes, but close enough. And then to top it all, I was still able to run the whole bridle loop yesterday. After 33 years of living here, I just want to say thank you to my awesome body for doing all it does.