I went skating today for the first time since last winter. Last winter I went skating for the first time since I was a kid. Not only is it all a little wobbly, but I got a blister this afternoon from my new skates and I fell hard on my knee once. Ow, right? But that’s how I expect I’ll get stronger and more steady (not to mention break in the skates), even if right now I feel a bit silly for my re-found desire to ice skate.
The timing of all this worked well for today’s prompt which is about body integration – as in when in the last year have I felt the most integrated, at-one with my body. Which is a rare situation for me, I have to admit, except when I’m physically stretched to my limit or in pain. Like today, in the moment of falling and — ow, fuck —- I really was only in my body and not at all in my head. Likewise when I was going to step-class regularly in the spring and almost killing myself doing mid-air kicks off the step in between gulping lungfuls of air. At these times my body is all momentum because if any logical thought was to creep in, I’d be getting myself out of the aerobics studio pretty damned quick.
My real truth is that I rarely get there because I live so much in my head. So much of reality for me is not what I see or feel or touch, but the backdrop of inner chatter, and it divorces me from myself and the physicality I crave. I’m not one of those people who can go to Yoga and feel at one with anything, because the whole time my mind is telling me that I’m not good enough or not doing it right. Hiking up the side of a mountain involves some noticing of my environment, and a laundry list of tasks running through my mind as I guilt myself for taking time off to go outside and play. This is at the root of so much of what I need to overcome in order to feel more at peace – and yet I never stick with working on it for long.
Besides learning to focus my mind through meditation practices and cognitive behaviour techniques – my integration of my body is total when I am experiencing real challenge. Whether that is just intensity level or learning a brand new set of skills, my internal voice and critic is shut up when I am working on that plane of physical pain/struggle. Hm.
Body integration or no, I am going to start skating lessons in the new year at Trout Lake rink, and I’ve returned to the gym lately after a four-month hiatus. I am reconnecting with my body after a few stressful months in which I had drifted further and further away – and even if I rarely get to the holistic state we are all “supposed” to achieve – at least I’m working on my skills and state of health.