grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

Reclaiming Me :: Body

{Throughout 2015, one of the ways I’m going to overcome my Writing Laryngitis is to post about ways I’m Reclaiming Me :: Body, Mind, and Soul. This is the first in a series of posts that will record that Reclamation.}

midlifereclaim

<< Livestrong @ the Y // Week One >>

Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe I lost touch with my body when it decided to play host to breast cancer almost five years ago.

Then I thought that being pregnant FOUR TIMES (most of the decade of the ‘90s) may have been the genesis of it.

My breath caught as I recently realized that there has never been a time in my life when I have felt in full, sole-possession of my own body.

Uninvited, inappropriate comments from those whose job it was to protect.
Unwanted, improper advances from neighbors.
Unfathomable, indecent impositions by boyfriends.
Unbelievable, immodest interactions with too many nameless, faceless boys.
Unimaginable, impure marriage relations with a sex-addict husband.
Unthinkable, inordinate numbers of health issues.

Now, after all this time, on the precipice of Midlife (okay, so maybe just on the other side of that precipice?), I’ve decided to reclaim my body.
Make it my own.
Own it in all it’s glorious, lumpy, pieces-missing, scar-marked glory.
To step into full and complete ownership of this miraculous creation.
Embrace it as the amazing, resilient, succulent fantastic-ness that it truly is.
Thank it for all it’s done for me .
Live in a state of gratitude for it’s bounce-back-ability and strength.
And honor it by treating it with kindness, grace, really healthy food and movement.

One way I’ve decided to reclaim me, to make my body my own is to enroll in my local Livestrong @ the Y program. It started this week. Early on Tuesday and Thursday morning. ‘Early’ as in the sun was STILL NOT UP when class was done. I’m good with that. Really, I am. What I’m not so good with is the mild case of social anxiety that accompanies me every time I step out of the sanctuary that is my home.

You see, Tuesday morning’s session was of an informational nature and there. were. icebreakers. *gasp*

It’s not enough that people scare me.
And new people downright terrify me.
Ice breakers had to be thrown in for good measure.

It was that always-a-blast classic ‘Two Truths & a Lie’.
And when it was my turn, I could not think of a lie!
It was not super-smooth or ‘hardly noticeable’...it was a train wreck.
To top it off, in trying to make everyone laugh about my not being able to lie, I said TWO SWEAR WORDS.
Not the ones that garner movies their R ratings, but is that really what’s important here?
I was doing my socially-angsty, sweaty-because-I’m-scared-of-you best to make a decent first impression.
And. I. Swore.
I was so mortified that my glasses actually steamed up from the increase in body temperature brought on by Flop Sweat.

But I stuck it out and did my best to talk myself down on the way home.
You know, that thing where you have to repeatedly tell yourself, ‘Let it go. It’s not as bad as you think it was. No one thought anything of it. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.’

I thought I was doing pretty well in relation to this reclaiming/honoring my body deal.

Then I had a meltdown on Wednesday night because I had *nothing to wear* to Thursday’s class.
And that meltdown carried over into the very early hours of the morning when I realized that the pants I was planning to wear wouldn’t accommodate the knee brace I’m forced to wear after bilateral knee surgery several years ago.

Yelling, pouting, passive-agressiving ensued, and some tears even fell..
It was not pretty.

But, I was on time.
And rest assured, I didn’t go naked.
I put together something that was okay to look at and accommodated that darn knee brace.

Then, my body – that thing I haven’t trusted for…well, forever…decided it was going to show up.
And impress.

I aced the flexibility test.
(The trainer said my result was the ‘best [she’d] seen.’)
I cleaned up in the 6-minute walk test.
(Another trainer said she could tell I was ‘an athlete’ and that I am ‘going to be fun to work with.’)
I leg-pressed more weight than I thought I would.
(210 pounds.)
And I chest-pressed enough to impress myself.
(90 pounds.)

So, my body – that thing I’ve been bemoaning and ashamed of and not trusting – made me proud.

That’s how I plan to keep Reclaiming Me in regards to my body.
I’m going to give it permission to show up.
Maybe not dressed to the nines.
Maybe not as one of those cutie patootie, looking-younger-than-is-natural chicas. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)
Maybe not all put-together and set-the-world-on-fire confident.

But I’m going to show up.
And let myself be strong.
Even if I swear a time or two.

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