Why do you move (or not?)
For the longest time, I told myself I was that classic Type A person. I prided myself on my ability to set goals and achieve them. Never was this more present than in my fitness. Even as a tween, I remember getting up early to run around the block in preparation for the upcoming school track meet. I was focused and directed when it came to exercise.
This behaviour was celebrated by my coaches, teachers, family and friends everyone thought I was an exceptional athlete except for myself. You see all of these things about my relationship with exercise was true but there was one thing hidden, the motivator behind these lofty goals.
You see, what the truth was, from a very young age, I believed I was fat, stocky -my shape being less desirable than those around me. I internalized every passing comment or comparison as not enough, that I needed to be altered or changed. I was not enough as is! To begin a very long and tortuous journey with exercise. It offered an escape from my body a possibility to alter how I look. With enough drive and force, I could be free. Therefore the backdrop goal for every minute spent in the movement was to lose weight and get that body that would make me feel whole.
Don’t get me wrong I always loved sport, I was competitive and I lived for being part of a team. This is not one of those throw the baby out with the bathwater (whoever came up with that expression anyway) kind of situations. At school I played basketball, field hockey, ran on the track team and was always a leader on these teams. I went on to play varsity squash at university and continued with competitive play for most of my 20’s.
Some of the benefits of an active and sporty life have shaped who I am today and made me into the person I am. I would never want to rewrite my history and the things I did, no I would however love the opportunity to go back and hug that 13 year beautiful, fragile, perfect girl and tell her go play, laugh, run, jump for joy and to stop giving a shit about whether or not this is the thing that will finally make you skinny!
I wish I could tell you that at this point, I saw this wound and wrapped myself in a blanket of compassion that looked like moving my body with love and kindness and setting fitness intentions from a place of heart’s desire not a premeditated motivation. In truth, that journey would take another decade and continues to reveal its ugly head at times when I feel vulnerable. The difference is that I can now see the pattern and stop that demon in its tracks.
I am currently lifting weights, jogging, practicing yoga and taking my pouch for long walks. I am still very active and always will be. It is part of me but what I have healed is my why, no longer is my drive from a place of not enough rather I choose my activities based on the power and strength I feel in my body, the presence and connecting I have with self and the joy I access when I am in movement.
So dear ones, I ask you to take a moment to ask yourself why do you move? What brings you joy and what excites you? Let go of the should and could and set your intentions based on your heart’s desire. You are enough exactly as you are. The true gift of movement with its mental/emotional and physical benefits can only be received when you are in a place of enough.