Health has always been something I have had to work on. I struggled with my weight from childhood. There was always a lot of focus around my body shape. I was not entirely aware of it and didn’t think anything was wrong with me. I remember my first dance teacher who I admired sat me down when I was only 10 years old and told me that I had to lose weight. I remember breaking on the inside. Sitting there ashamed of myself, like I had done something wrong. I remember the relentless bullying on the playground. I had a weakness and they exploited it.
Then, as probably many dancers experience I went on for years trying to perfect myself - technically and physically. When I was on a high, getting great results, being the shining star life was great. But then there was the other side. When you’re not performing well. When you start to get injuries. When your body goes through changes. My passion was my greatest strength and greatest weakness.
I went on a journey mentally, physically and emotionally that through necessity forced me to find a peaceful, loving relationship with myself, my body and my health. One that is totally defined by myself based on how I am feeling and performing within different areas in my life that are important to me.
An enormous shift that has redefined my perspective of health in the last 12 months was experiencing a miscarriage. This event alone completely redefined my relationship with my body. It first shattered our relationship and then it has been a process of healing and recreating. For most part I felt like I had control over my body. I was the master. I take the action and get the result. But this time I was completely out of control and my body didn’t respond in the way I had expected. It was an enormous, soul crushing shock that still hurts to think about.
My baby died inside me and there is nothing I can do about it.
What is going on? Why me? I am healthy? I have had two healthy pregnancies? This is not suppose to happen?
Apparently, the statics of how common a miscarriage is is suppose to be comforting. But I found no solace in it whatsoever. If anything it insulted me. In the midst of this lonely grief the only way I know how to respond is to look for the silver lining.
What do I need to learn from this? How can what I am going through make me a better person? How can what I am going through help others?
One lesson I get from all these experiences is that our body is fragile and needs to be nurtured. We live in a world that encourages us to push and to keep pushing. No pain, no gain. However, I feel there needs to be a shift. A shift that embraces the strength that comes from nurturing. The strength that comes with the wisdom of knowing how much is enough. The strength that comes from understanding that everything has its breaking point and that once broken it is never the same again. A strength that focuses on prevention.
This strength comes from wisdom and acceptance. Accepting that we are not in control. Accepting our fragility.
I am now on this path of acceptance. It doesn’t come easily. There is plenty of resistance as I tend to be the type of person who would try to find a way to influence my outcomes. And muscle my way through. But I always end up where I started or worse.
So on this nurturing journey I am now taking heed in my own advice. Part of that is working with my healthcare team to help restore my body to function at its best. Part of this is structuring my routine to incorporate more yin activities to balance my natural yang. A few weeks in and I can feel the benefits. Although, I am aware this is a lifestyle change that constantly needs to be worked on.
Often, when I speak with my personal clients I ask them what are you training for? Why are you doing this? Health and fitness is to enhance the quality of your life. How will this improve your life?
So, I ask myself the same questions. Here are my answers:
Now that I have shared some of my most personal insights with you why not join the conversation. What do you want? What have you learnt? What do you need to overcome?
Maybe your experience will help others. Maybe your story needs to be heard.
Share it with me in the comments and let's start the conversation.