Saturday, April 29, 2023

My Very Strong Body

 This morning, I ran, almost literally ran, a 5k. I walked a little on the hills and I also wanted to stay with Genevieve. Phoebe started out with us but switched to walking with a friend (tiny brag: last year Phoebe ran the entire thing at age 6 with a patient kindergarten teacher as her buddy, even placing 6th in her age group!). 

This is the farthest I have ever run; I usually run a little over a mile in about 10 minutes, usually about twice a week. I am extremely proud of my strong body and mind for accomplishing this personal best! I kept checking in with myself as I ran, and I felt good and strong the whole way - not even that ragged breath, painful lung feeling that I loathe and try to avoid with running. 

My husband pointed out that in cycling, you can add up your weekly miles, double that, and be confident that you can ride that for a longer ride. So I see now how my dogged jogs for the last five years, really not increasing in speed or distance, have created this strength in me. 

Another thing: when I had my first baby, I went down into post-partum depression. I was blindsided and confused. By the time I figured out what was going on and started to climb out of the hole, I felt terribly betrayed by my body. One of my big healing steps was saying this out loud to a therapist, who gently led me to talk to my body, speaking truth and love. 

I have continued to grow in my love for my body beyond what she looks like - is she well-rested, well-fed, and strong? Today was a milestone in that radical self-love. I am definitely in perimenopause now with a whole cluster of symptoms a few months back: hot flashes, mood swings, dry mouth, achy joints, flesh blanket descending on my middle, and my period a skittish, random guest. So I am even more astonished and grateful for my body's endurance today.  I will continue to jog in astonishment and self-love!

A thrifty note: the tee shirt I am wearing is from 2019. I always decline a new one with the registration. Too many branded, logo, advertising tee shirts in the thrift stores for me to contribute to that waste. So I keep wearing my race tee on repeat, even mending the holes that the bunny nibbled in it when someone who shall not be named borrowed my shirt.  


Jennifer Jo said...

Yes!!! I was just thinking today, while out on my morning run (jog), that I'm nearing 50, and WOW. My body is still strong enough to carry me up and down hills at a merry clip. How amazing is she?!

rachel said...

Brilliant!! Thank you for voicing this. Three weeks ago I started a weight training program for people over 40. I am amazed at how much stronger I already am. I, too, am trying to feel comfortable in my body, strong and feeling good. Love this :)

Nancy In Boise said...

Good for you congratulations !!!

Margo said...

Jennifer and Rachel, love that we can be grateful for our bodies and I hope that the women after us continue to get better and better at this!

e said...

Chiming in late here, but love the topic.
It makes me happy to read all of you wonderful women appreciating the strength of your bodies. For the past several years I have taken care of a friend of mine who needed a kidney transplant. She's had a terrible health journey but with a new kidney last year she has turned the corner and can start really living again. One lesson I took from the experience of care-giving is to be mindful of and appreciate my good health and functional body. I may not run a 5k but I am strong and healthy and I don't take that for granted!
We would be better served by recognizing our health than fretting about our shape.
Congrats on your run! That's an achievement! (Love the t-shirt recycle!)

BLD in MT said...

Margo!!! Heck yeah! Look at you go!

Our bodies are amazing. They do so much and are so often treated or thought about poorly. Thanks for this inspring dose of positivity. Excellent thrifty note, too! That's so smart.
You are absolutely right about the waste in all those unneccessary event shirts.

Yesterday was the kick off for a commuter challenge in my community. I've participated the last few years, but Matt asked if he could join me "team" this year. I hope it inspries him to see what his body can do, too! He's the reason I started cycling 15 years ago...and I'd be thrilled to see him remember all that he loved about it. We went to a community party in the park as part of the launch and learned lots (like how to use the bike racks mounted on the city buses) and had a great time while we were at it!

Congrats on your endurance, strength, and self-love!

Nancy In Boise said...

Good for you, congrats!!!