MOVING MY BODY
Finding ways to move my body that I love has been an adventure.
I’ve given much thought to the ways moving my body was presented to me as I grew up into an adult. For the most part there was never much focus given to casual movement, daily movement or how to find movement that you love – only weightloss through exercise, and typically it was exercise in a gym setting.
Why have we allowed it to be this way?
For far too many years I thought I was doing something wrong, or that I was somehow built wrong, as the idea of going for a run or going to the gym made me want to cry, scream and rage. Which sounds dramatic, I know, but I can still remember the times I was forcing myself to go for long jogs down the winding streets because I felt like I had to – running was healthy, running would aid in me losing weight, running was an activity everyone should love… Yet I didn’t. My lungs don’t like it, I find it boring and running through rain or snow is just a big no.
So I tried going to the gym! When I started going to the gym I always felt like I stuck out. I wasn’t fit enough, I wasn’t skilled enough. The machines were intimidating and the pool was always full. I mainly went to sit on the bike as the stationary bikes had built in televisions. As someone who didn’t have cable or wifi at the time, it was exciting to watch some HGTV for an hour.
Eventually, as another pregnancy came around and a move happened, I let go of the traditional methods I hated and started to consider what I do love. I loved walking, so I started to walk daily. I love nature, so I started to explore our local trails whenever possible. I love dancing, so I make sure to work a personal dance off into my day.
I tried a variety of exercises. I pulled up Youtube videos of yoga, Zumba and dance. I explored various fitness apps and programs. What I’ve learned is there is no one way to move your body. the gym and running are not the only options.
I’ve learned that biking is a way I love to move and explore – biking saved my mental health this summer. But biking in the winter? Nah. While I hate yoga and meditation I do love stretching. Deep stretching, working on flexibility and pushing myself further? That brings joy. That makes my body feel alive. Making time for myself, amongst everything I do, comes and goes. I don’t always prioritize it the way I feel I should, but I make a point of stopping and stretching or dancing as often as I can.
Moving our body is so often pushed upon us with a goal of weight loss or changing yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be about de-stressing, moving, breathing and relaxing, too. I move my body because I love it and want to – not to change it into a form society wants it to be.
I have spent more time inside our house this winter than usual. Between a pandemic, weather that isn’t always tempting and never ending work I’m craving movement in ways I usually don’t.
Some days I move, some days I don’t and that’s okay!
But when the back starts to ache from hours of editing, or my mood is heavy, I stretch or dance it out.
The fitness industry as a whole is intimidating to many of us. I’m tired of letting that intimidation stop me.
My goal this year is to just move and only when I’m in the mood to. Walking, stretching, hiking and eventually biking. With the only goal being m o v e.
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