On Sunday, I climbed a mountain. There are some people who make a habit/hobby/career out of doing such things, and I am not one of them. This hike-climb was more of a testament to how much my body can do for me. I used to have such a tormented relationship with the bodily representation of myself. When I was underweight and going through anorexia/orthorexia (read: 84 lbs at 5’5), my body didn’t have the fuel or energy to do something like this. When I was overweight (read: 208 lbs at 5’5), my body couldn’t support its own weight in an endeavor like this.
As I was huffing and puffing up the slopes, I wasn’t thinking about my sprinkling of cellulite on my inner thighs. I wasn’t thinking about how my tummy isn’t fat or how my collarbones aren’t uber-defined or how I wish my shoulders were more toned. I was thinking about where I was going to put my next step and what was around me that my hands could grasp and how I could use some upper body strength to pull myself up and how much my butt BURNED.
I was only thinking about how I could make my strong and capable body accomplish amazing things for me. I’m not at my “ideal” weight or physical fitness level yet by any means. But I am able. I am strong, and my legs carried me miles upward, and my heart worked overtime pumping blood to all parts of me to keep me going, and my lungs were not pleased with the elevation but they kept on breathing and good LORD did my feet hurt after but they DID IT.
I highly highly highly recommend that if you’re struggling with how you see your body (as we all do), or you’re feeling not so great about yourself (as we all do), or you need a mental and physical reset (seriously, we all do), take a hike. Take a hike somewhere where you think you won’t be able to make it to the top. You might not, and that’s ok. But pushing yourself and testing those limits is the best therapy I can think of. Proving to yourself that you are strong and perseverance is beyond powerful. Also, take lots of pics and brag everywhere, just like me! The validation of the “wow!” comments is the icing on the cake.