kicking ass.

This week I totally kicked ass- too bad it was my own. On Thursday I took my first fitness class in over six months, and I was shocked to find out how quickly my body had changed. About ten years ago my aunt amused me with stories of sagging bodies and flabby muscles. “Just wait until your knees droop,” she warned. I laughed as I denied my fate. Now I don’t find it funny at all.

In class the instructor shouted to kick higher. HIGHER! Now, I’ve never been able to kick very high. I’ve always had power in my kick but my secret is to stay low and focused, not high and wild. As I struggled to kick the pad he held at shoulder height, my body was suddenly flooded with memories of being confined to bed in childhood as a result of a muscle disorder. For years I visited specialists every three months for x-rays, blood tests, eye exams- anything and everything doctors recommended- with no results. No one knew what was wrong with me, so they did what they could to relieve my pain. I spent hours with my legs in traction, or soaking in a hot bath, or sometimes just crying into my pillow because nothing stopped the pain. I was trapped.  

Suddenly, I snapped back into the present and remembered that it doesn’t happen anymore- I haven’t had any symptoms of this disorder for nearly ten years now. My body isn’t trapped in the pain, I’m not confined to bed. As I type these words, it seems silly to even think these things. I’m tempted to erase this entire post and write about something else. It all just seems so obvious.

But as I stood in that class, tempted to wallow in My Story, I realized that the instructor doesn’t know any of it and surely doesn’t care. “It’s over now. It isn’t happening anymore,” I gently whispered to myself. So I struggled to kick higher, thinking to myself that I am one step closer to being free.

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February 2008
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