Since I lost twenty pounds and completed two half triathlons, this has happened: I’ve stopped running (last time was around the 3rd week in August and I could barely do a mile), I’ve stopped swimming, I’ve stopped biking, stopped going to the gym where I paid someone to make me workout. I’ve stopped doing even my super easy stretching routine. In short, I’ve let myself become lazy again; I’ve allowed the chaos of everyday life get in the way of scheduling in this time for myself, my body, my wellbeing. You know, the whole mind, body, spirit thing.
My belly that, granted, still had a bit of a paunch even at it’s flattest and tautest, is expanding back to soft and doughy. The fat’s not in my face again, and it hasn’t worked its way back up to my arms (not they ever became svelte - but they were gaining a hint of definition). It’s thighs first, stomach second, then arms, then face; that’s how fat sprawls against my body. Where did my motivation and discipline disappear? Because, when the workouts are gone, so is the charge of adrenalin, the sacred feeling of greater sanity, and a fear mollified – that I will not become sickest, saddest parts of my mother. Diabetes. Triple-bypass surgery. Exhausted. Occasionally depressed. Massive stroke. Mini strokes. Chronic shortness of breath. All these things I never want associated with me.
The body is a kind of mystery. Sure it’s been studied, experimented upon, medically examined. But it is a kind of mystery to me. This morning c. and I went on a bike ride. I was like the big bad wolf, but less powerful - huffing and puffing and blowing my own lungs out. This body – how is it that only last July, riding my bike with c. from home to downtown Baton Rouge for the fourth of July, he commented that I was leaving him in the dust – that I could ride faster, more easily? Four months later, and five miles riding, I huff and I puff and I blow my own air, heaving to get it back, to regain what healthy felt like. Because, really, strangely, healthy isn’t the way a body looks so much as it’s what a body can do. At least, this is what I think - what it felt like is still so clear to me.
I’ve dreamt about running lately. I’ll let you know when I wake from a dream and put on my running shoes and make my way around Town Lake.