Oh, I totally did, and I’m not being metaphorical–I burst into great big ol’ sobbing tears on the treadmill this morning. It sounds horrifying, but it was actually a really amazing experience. Let me see if I can explain why.
If you know me at all personally, you know that the year and a half of my life has been a special kind of personal hell. In some ways, it’s something I put myself through–I signed up for it, and the fallout is what it is. All things considered, life is going fairly well these days, and I am grateful.
However, I still have some battles I’m still fighting, and the one that sneaked up on me, quietly and in small pieces, is a battle with my sense of self-worth. There’s something about having the focus of your life in the wrong place that can mean you see yourself as smaller, somehow–less important, more in need of approval, and more likely to feel discouraged and incapable when that approval disappears.
It took me a long time to figure out that I’d even developed a self-worth issue in the first place, and it’s been a process to let go of some of the thought patterns that caused it and recenter my focus where it should always have been. Meanwhile, life goes on. I’ve tried to keep going with the things that I know have kept me healthy: eating right and working out. Some weeks, I’ve felt really motivated. Other weeks, I’ve been struggling with bigger battles, and those things fell by the wayside for a few days. And I decided that was going to have to be OK. Getting wholly healthy–body and spirit–was the most important thing to me, and if I gained a couple of pounds, oh well.
It’s taken work, but slowly, I’ve started to understand again who I am and Whose I am, and to know that I am loved and important, just as I am. It’s so crazy that it’s something I had to teach myself, because I would happily have lectured any woman I know on the subject, and I would have told you I believed it applied to me too…but I’d have been lying. I think sometimes we are really good at fooling ourselves about the things we hide deep down.
Anyway, the last few weeks or so at our house have been complete crap. We had influenza and a week of quarantine, I had a nasty cold for weeks that turned into a sinus infection, and then the kids passed around pinkeye and then shared it with me (so nice!). In all, I spent week after week off my routine, resting and taking care of kids or myself and starting to feel SO FRUSTRATED by my lack of ability to move or cook or DO ANYTHING. I started feeling fat and gross and then started mentally poking at my own flaws. Last night I spent most of the evening feeling miserable and disgusting and being mad at my husband for wanting to touch me (hahaha poor man!) and vowing that this morning I would get up and WORK OUT ALREADY and put an end to all this revolting fat.
So I did. I got up. I lifted. It was hard. I felt pretty good and pretty exhausted. I didn’t really want to do treadmill intervals afterward, but it’s just what I do, so I got on.
And I started running.
And I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
I started to go faster than I usually do, and I realized I felt so at peace. I was really enjoying running, the feeling of the rhythm, and the way my limbs moved so perfectly together. I marveled at the way everything in my body moved without my thinking about it, and how quickly I was able to go, these days. And suddenly, I was so grateful for my body. For everything it’s able to do. For the strength it has. For every kind of weight it carries. For the way it has changed: from a body that could barely move at all on a treadmill, to one that can run faster and faster every time I ask it to. I realized how unkind I have been lately toward myself, and how ungrateful I have been for the ways my body has healed, borne illness, and for all of the amazing things it does that I’m not even aware of. I was so completely overwhelmed that I even had a body, and that it functioned so miraculously well.
It sounds silly, but by the time I was finished running, I was sobbing! I was completely overcome with gratefulness for this body I have. It may not be perfect, but all things considered, it’s pretty close. And it’s mine.
Random crying: I guess it’s one more reason to be grateful I work out at home?!?