I often find myself comparing myself to the latest super model, 15-year-old pre-maternal baby-sitter’s body or the celebrity of the day that just got out of rehab or that the papers are commenting on “her weight.”
While I know the futility of this exercise, indulging in it seems sometimes beyond my control.
The conversations that take place in my head are ridiculous and go something like the following:
“They can’t airbrush all of her; she really must look like that.”
“I am sure that my hips were never that small when I was 15 and that I would give anything for my breasts to be that perky again and my stomach that flat again.”
“Maybe she did not really need to go to rehab and that maybe she just has great self-control. Why can’t I have that kind of self control?”
It’s the Truth
So while working out I began to ponder this situation. I wondered why and how I have forgotten the truth. I may not have pre-pubescent hips or breasts, and at age 36, that would be ridiculous.
I do not need to have an “airbrushed body” and why do I revere that?
How did I come to believe that the kind of “self control” that causes loved ones to seek medical help is attractive and a sign of beauty?
Learn to Love
The truth is that I have an athlete’s body.
I have received my second degree Black Belt and have done countless martial arts classes replete with the pushups and drills required.
I have finished seven marathons and run numerous other races.
I have logged thousands of miles on my legs and hundreds of miles on my bike. I have discovered swimming and the many meters that were necessary to learn to love it.
I have begun a love affair with triathlons that will be with me for some time.
Scars of Life
My arms show the strength in my biceps that come from the pushups in a martial arts class.
My shoulders have the scars from falling off my bike.
My back shows the muscles needed to move this body in all the ways I demand it to carry me.
My thighs shows the muscles necessary to carry this body over the miles required for training and marital arts. They also show the scars from training.
My feet have well nursed calluses that have long passed the point of looking good in a strappy pair of Jimmy Cho sandals.
It’s All I need
The truth is my body is beautiful and strong. I have landed more punches and kicks than some and taken more than most.
I have run more miles than most and much less than some. On my bike I have found wonderful country roads and chased cement trucks.
I have swum with the fishes and came out strong enough to ride and then run.
I have run with dogs, bunnies, butterflies, baby strollers, bikes and friends. I have seen the sun come up while running or riding and seen the sun set while doing countless martial arts combinations.
What more is there that I need?
Remember the Truth
The truth is that no number on a scale will tell me the truth. No number on a pair of jeans will make me feel more of me. No compliment on my body will give me lasting love.
The truth is that I do what I do to remember the truth.
The truth is that every mile logged is the best of me. The truth is that every time the burning in my lungs from climbing a hill resides as I reach the crest I am more of me. The truth is every time I line up in martial arts class I am more of me. The truth is that every time I start the first and finish the last lap I am more of me.
The truth is I am strong in mind body and spirit.
I am resilient. I am powerful. I am beautiful. I am determined.
Every time I decide to tie my black belt, lace up my shoes, mount my bike, put on my goggles, cross a finish line, bow in and finish strong I have decided to remember the truth.
USAT Certified Coach
Natural Running Coach