“Be kind to me or treat me mean / I’ll make the most of it / I’m an extraordinary machine” – Fiona Apple
I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday. I lined up with 30,000 other runners in our nation’s capital to blaze through 26.2 miles. It was by far the coolest thing I’ve ever done.
In the days after, the most common question has been: how do you feel? Naturally I feel good. Running a marathon was something so far off my radar of ability two years ago. This is the biggest accomplishment of my life and has shown me that, truly and literally, with enough hard work, nothing is impossible.
Physically, of course, I’m pretty sore, but I’m still very mobile. Someone asked me the day after how my legs felt. Without even thinking about it, I said, “I’m good considering. I have a great body so I bounce back fast after these things.”
I stopped myself as the words I said echoed in my head. “I have a great body?” Never said that before.
Generally when people talk about having a great body, they mean thin thighs, a flat stomach, a perfect chest, and generally under a size 6. I have none of those things.
When I commented about my body, I was talking about what it could do. I like my body because it’s strong, it has incredible endurance and it heals quickly. I’ve never even broken a bone, and trust me, I’ve tried. If you discount looks and focus on just ability, then yes, I have a great body.
But we don’t do that, do we? Our poor bodies are always judged on how they look. How many times have we looked in the mirror and grimaced? Especially women, we look at our stomachs and thighs and think we always could be prettier.
Let’s give our bodies a break. The way your body looks doesn’t always correspond to what it can do. Your body is amazing! If you are sitting upright, alert and able to read this blog, your body is letting you do that. You have no idea how many intricate and complicated scientific things are going on inside of you right now. Just the fact that you woke up this morning is a miracle.
So, be kind to your body. Love it and appreciate it. It is capable of so much more than being pretty. Remember, you are an extraordinary machine.