This Body…

I am in awe of bodies that can do amazing things.

Take for instance this week’s video of Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA gymnast, doing incredible things with her body as she tumbles across the floor defying gravity while maintaining incredible rhythm. I could spend an entire post talking about how amazing this woman is, how she has overcome injury and burnout, how she blogs about the endless body image issues athletes deal with. But the point is, she can do amazing things with her body.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my body. I can’t tumble across the floor in gravity defying flips, I can barely keep a rhythm, and I do not have the coordination to pull off the floss.

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A couple years ago when I was running consistently, crossing the line at a 15km race in Calgary.  Photo: Hung Hua – aka love of my life

As a human, and a woman, I tend to be hard on myself regarding my body. Sometimes I pick it apart, as I notice the spread of my thighs when seated, or the jiggle in my belly, the unevenness of my breasts, the roundness of my face, the protrusion of my nose. But lately, I’ve been looking at my body and considering what my body has done for me, and what I can do for it.

Recently, there has been a trend with the 10 year challenge photos. How have you changed in 10 years? So I wanted to challenge myself in a different way, what have I accomplished, with the help of my body in the past ten years.

In the past ten years my body has run two half-marathons, and countless 10 km races. In a few months I will run another 10km race. Those thighs without the gap, that spread across the chair, they are strong. They can carry my body across finish lines.

My body has walked my Sophie dog, hiked trails in places all over the world, and climbed over a death defying (I think) obstacle at a tough mudder. This body has fought off illnesses, food poisoning, and minor injuries.

This body has not only grown a human being in it, but birthed it and continues to nurture that baby. That jiggly belly used to be home to that baby, those uneven breasts provide him nutrition.

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Getting ready for the tea ceremony at our wedding. One of the only recent full body pics I have of me due to my constant desire to hide my body. Photo: Allana Sterkenberg of Absolute Photography

This body has stood next to the man of my dreams as we exchanged vows, under an arch of breathtaking flowers.

This body has felt passion and excitement, and giggled at the mere mention of a tickle, so sensitive are my nerve endings.

This body is my only one, and I’m lucky to have it, to have a body that has served me so well. So instead of lamenting my spreading thighs, or large nose, I choose to look at this body and thank it for providing these experiences for me. For moving in the way it was meant to, for growing and shrinking with the decisions I have made for it.

This body is me.

Maybe if we started considering what our bodies do for us, we would stop shaming ourselves over what we see as imperfections. 

So I challenge you… what has your body done for you in the last ten years? And what have you done for it?

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