Friday, April 29, 2011

Letter to Kate

Dear Kate,

I greatly appreciated your recent letter and agree that communication between us becomes more and more important as the decades click by.

It seems like only yesterday when our simultaneous existence required almost no thought or planning. You always seemed to have a natural ability and inclination to take care of me. In fact, during some periods of our life together, you were quite timid to do anything that may have even remotely affected my safety. Ironically, however, as you grew older, you began to trust me more and more, and tested my abilities to move beyond what you previously believed was safe.

It is in those times that you trust me most, that I feel the most alive.

I remember that you never considered yourself to be an athlete until you began to run. It was apparently the simplicity of putting one foot in front of the other in a regular rhythm, that seemed easy enough for even a non-athlete to master, that you first actually tested me.

Your stint of canoe racing was the next step in learning how well I could function. This time, it was my upper extremities that were pushed and used to the point that muscle grew almost instantly . . . almost as fast as your confidence in me.

Little by little you introduced me to many forms of exercise, from belly dancing (which was so much more fun than those abdominal crunches) to Judo, Tae Bo and Yoga. You always paid attention to what I liked and continued those, while giving up the things that didn't seem to match me. I was particularly grateful when that step aerobics class ended.

As more years went by, your confidence in me grew. It was the skydive from
12, 000 feet, a few years ago that was the ultimate test of surrender and trust in me, although I know in my bones, it was really more about you wanting to experience trust when you and I weren't in control that inspired that activity.

The pattern I've noticed in you, Kate, is that the more you experience the possibilities that life holds, the more chances you take.

As long as you keep my health and maintenance in mind, please know I will do my best to maneuver you through all that you desire to experience.

So, it is my turn to say thank you. Being your body for all these years, or as some may put it, the garage for your soul, has been a fun ride and I look forward to safely and comfortably carrying you through many more adventures.

With love and appreciation,
Your Body

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Letter to My Body

Dear Body,

Since we have had a long history of open communication and understanding, and certainly one of mutual respect, I thought it would be wise to put my observations and requests for this next stage of life in writing. From what I understand, at this point in time, relationships like ours can suffer. Communication breaks down, trust is loss and all that was once beautiful and healthy can deteriorate. I want to avoid as many issues as possible between us, so consider this letter as a means to serve us both.

First of all, I want to thank you for holding up so well over all these years. With only a few exceptions, you certainly have functioned at a very high level and with very little discomfort.

That incident with the fractured little finger on my left hand from fourth grade that healed crooked, was obviously you just showing your sense of humor. I'm grateful it has never hurt, so I have joined you in finding amusement in it's lack of perfection. It has always been a reminder that I need not look perfect to feel good.

The pain and deformities that have occurred in my feet, which I understand were due (at least in part) to many of my chosen activities and use of shoe wear are regrettable, although I am exceedingly grateful that they are still able to carry me on long treks and allow me to dance with complete abandon.

That bout of cancer a few years ago was a surprise, but I must say you rallied beautifully on that one. Yes, I know, my mindset and attitude had much to do with my recovery and lack of fear, yet kudos are well deserved for your amazing rebound.

I also appreciate the notice you gave me that it was time to take off that 25 pounds a few years ago. Looking back, I can now see, you had tried to warn me for some time that it wasn't healthy, but I didn't listen. Once your quiet reminders became more pronounced and impossible to ignore, I heeded your call and made the needed changes. I loved how quickly you responded when I took responsibility. You don't need to thank me, your daily messages of lightness and increased energy speak volumes.

Yes, I know my state of well being is partly due to my paying close attention to your messages when there is something awry, or if you are needing something specific, yet I also truly appreciate the innate genetic disposition that supports all of your cells.

With the understanding of that genetic make up, it is quite likely I will be living in you, dear body, for many years to come... so what do you say we make the most of it?

My request of you is that you stay open and willing to be challenged. I promise I will do my best to give you challenges that will serve you and make you stronger, rather than wear you down and destroy your beautiful cells.

On my part, I will stay open to your messages:

  • I hear you loud and clear that you love the yoga we do together, so that will continue.
  • Those monthly massages you've been getting can count on those to be part of your regular routine too.
  • I promise to move you often and take you for beautiful long walks.
  • I will take care of your skin and will protect you with sunscreen.
  • I will continue to nourish you with healthy food and at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  • I will make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep at night, plus naps when you need them.
  • I hear you loud and clear on how much you enjoy those long baths, so fear not, as long as you work well enough to fold me into that deep tub, I'm there for you.

So, is it a deal? Can I count on you to be there for me in the strongest and best way possible?

In return I will do my best to listen to you. I know in order to hear you, I must be quiet and tune in since it is at those times, you give me the direction I need to serve us both.

In closing, please know that I look forward to the remainder of the time we have together. May we always move with ease and flexibility; may all of the internal organs work like tops; and may we never forget to say thank you.

With love and appreciation,