Verbalizing Gratitude: An Able Body

Today I am thankful that I have a body that allows me to do pretty much what I want to.

My body and I have not always been friends. I used to scrutinize what was wrong with me and lament my bad coordination.

Then, I began to notice how many people can’t do as much as I can. My mother has had numerous surgeries, including a spinal fusion. My dad is about to have a hip replaced. One of the people I used to take care of has lost her ability to walk and is slowly losing her ability to speak.

What the hell do I have to complain about, exactly?

About four years ago, I lost some weight due to an unidentified illness that we suspect was stress-induced. I was fairly weak because it was hard to eat. When I got my strength back, my friend Erika had her birthday party at a local pole dancing studio. I tried it out and got hooked.

Over the next year, I grew amazed at the realizations of all my body could do. What once seemed to be uncoordinated and unable grew into astonishing (to me, at least) and capable. I realized I have everything I need, I just need to use it.

Earlier this year, my commute was getting to me. At the end of the day I sometimes couldn’t get out of the car. My hips would lock up and it would feel like I couldn’t walk.

Mr. B and I joined a gym and the exercise physiologist showed me some stretches and exercises to do to help. Three weeks later, my pain was gone.

This morning I stood up and almost fell down. My hip had locked up again, and I knew why. I hadn’t been to the gym in over a week.

For myself, and for all the people out there who can’t, I’ll be at the gym tomorrow. I’ve got an able body, and I should use it just as much as I can. I should lift weights, walk, run, perform aerial dance, and flip upside down on a pole — because I can.

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