Better late than never is my credo. I am more in tune with my body this year out of sheer necessity. So, this prompt speaks to me in a supportive-coach kind of way. Someone in the background, cheering me on through all my little efforts to improve my health.
December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)
It wasn't until late this year that I made a commitment to start moving my body. I actually set aside a time each day to make an effort to walk. I recruited a walking buddy. We set aside an agreeable time. I warned her that I would need to start very slowly because I haven't moved my body in so long. Having a tumor that exacerbates and elevates adrenaline and my blood pressure has intimidated me and made me wary of how much my body could handle. I had visions of me walking down the block, having a heart attack, and not being able to make it home. I've made it a habit to carry some water and a cell phone with me.
Yes, I started very slowly. As I ascended the hill I was definitely out of breath. I had to take a break. Through my heavy breathing and trying to catch my breath I took a sip of water. I pushed my body to walk to the next block. I did it, walked down the hill (much easier) and recovered at home. It was only a half hour walk but it was a start. Every day I tried to push myself a little farther. We even took different routes to break up the monotony and offer a little more challenge with different course difficulties with more or less hills depending on the route. We did this for about a month at least three times a week. I felt my endurance improving.
When the weather got so cold at 7:30 a.m. in the morning that my chest hurt when I walked we put our commitment on hold until the weather improved. My body felt the difference. It actually wanted to go for a walk. I recruited my son to accompany me one Sunday afternoon. With the onset of the holiday and shopping season I've been able to move my body throughout the stores and to extend my shopping experience. This time, last year, I could probably only make my way through one store and then I was exhausted.
This past weekend I pushed my body to the limits. It was out of necessity. While I was pushing my body up the hill I reflected on how grateful I was to myself that I had at least started an exercise regimen this year. If I hadn't started moving my body even the little bit that I had, I wouldn't have made it through Saturday. I was able to ascend a huge hill three times and stand on my feet while freezing my butt off for three hours.
Yes, there is so much more work to do. No, I'm not read for my first 5k, half marathon, or triathlon. I am listening to my body, fueling it with healthy food, and moving it on a frequent basis. During 2011 I hope to venture out and begin pilates, yoga, and dancing.