As I just finished my last competition as a gymnast a few weeks ago, I started to think about everything I’ve put my body through in my twenty-two years of life so far and I decided that I owe it thanks for persevering with me for so long, for being stronger than I often realize. I criticize it. I put it down. I constantly tell it where it should be better, smaller, darker, firmer, and stronger. We all know what I am talking about. But today, I will say none of those things. Today, I say “THANK YOU”.
So here it is: a post in appreciation of all the things my body has done.
My body has survived a lifetime of athletics – ice-skating, track, cheerleading, swimming, and most of all – gymnastics. It has suffered sprained ankles, hyper-extended knees, random bruises, rope burns, and ripped hands. It has endured ice packs, heat packs, trips to walk-in clinics, and cold tubs. It has withstood all this with only the slightest of scars to show for it and a few tears (well, maybe more than a few). My body shows no signs of its well-intentioned childhood abuse.
My body has survived my battles with body image and food. Times in which I deprived it of the nutrients it needed. My body often cried out to me then, protesting in the form of fatigue, dizzy spells, and headaches, but I didn’t listen. It weathered the storm.
My body has survived the indignity of my dissatisfaction with it for quite some time. It has withstood hours in the sun without protection as I wait to see it darken. It has, in fact, withstood the harsh, false ultraviolet light of tanning beds to the same end. It has suffered ointments that dry it out, layered with lotions that rehydrate it in my continuous quest for an unblemished complexion. It forgives me of my disloyalty; it is not offended by my discontent.
This morning, I thought of all these things that my body has endured. It is resilient. And I wanted to thank my body. Thank you for being a vessel to the person I am inside. Thank you for being a vehicle for my soul. Today, I love you a little bit extra. Today, you are exactly enough and I thank you.
And in the case that I forget, this is here as a reminder. 🙂