Saturday morning I fell on my ass. Hard.
Since the snow/ice/sleet storm earlier in the week my routine was a bit out of whack. Because of the salted roads I’ve skipped my morning walks with my pup to spare his sensitive paws. As each day has passed he’s been a bit stir crazy (think standing in front of me, panting, whining on each out breath...) And, I just like him, I haven’t felt as grounded or level as I usually do.
For the past few years a daily walk has been part of my routine, a personal and meaningful act of self-care. My walks provide me with a time to reflect as the sun comes up, a time to feel and appreciate the movement of my body and a time to prepare for the day ahead.
So, as I woke up early Saturday morning I decided it would be the day we’d get back to it. It was still dark as I got out of bed and all was quiet except the dog pouncing down the stairs, somehow knowing that we’d be hitting the road.
It felt a bit warmer out (high temps of 38!) and it didn’t even cross my mind that there would be ice. We turned the corner, down a slight hill, and just like that, my feet were completely out from under me. I slammed down on the pavement. Yup, straight on my ass. Andddd it hurt.
Cursing the black ice, I got back up, called out to my trusty sidekick, who had quickly lost interest in my struggle to get up off the ice by the way, and carried on, limping just a bit.
“Where the hell did that come from?” I asked him. He didn’t seem to care and pranced alongside me, ready to keep it moving.
“You’re fine, shake it off” I reassured myself.
We carefully proceeded until we were on flat ground and crossed an intersection only to find that the sidewalks weren’t clear.
“Seriously!?” I said out loud, sighing and rolling my eyes at the snow.
So, we climbed up and trudged through the snowbank until we hit a clear road. As we continued on our typical loop I was planning how we could avoid sinking calf deep into the uncleared snow bank on the way back.
Well, because it’s a busy road, no such luck. We trudged back through the snowbank, crossed the intersection and stood at the bottom on the slight hill I had eaten shit on earlier.
I got my penguin walk on (you know what I’m talking about!) determined not to slip again.
As we neared the top I lost my footing, this time falling forward, catching myself with my knees and my hands. It hurt. Again.
Stupid black ice!
As I sat on the couch later that day, feeling some throbs in my tailbone and my knees, my adorable pup hopped up next to me, as content as can be and took a little nap. We sat there, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, content as can be. His energy was back to normal, I felt more grounded and regulated.
Was the walk worth it? For those reason, yup!
Did it go as planned? Nope! It made me bleed my own blood!
I got to thinking about the journey to body-acceptance, and ultimately, self-love.
It can be tricky, right?
It can be a messy, uphill climb.
Sometimes you’ll want to call it a day and retreat back to where you came from.
At times you may discover parts of yourself and your story that are painful, make you feel beyond vulnerable and hurt in a way you’re not sure you’re ready to tolerate.
It can be a slippery slope, feeling like you’re sliding back to where you started.
But you’re tired of remaining captive to your inner-critic. You’re tired of beating yourself up all the time. You’re tired of comparing yourself to other people and never feeling good-enough.
So, you do the work.
You make a plan and push yourself forward even when you’re hurting and feeling uncomfortable.
You adjust as obstacles come up and you do your damndest to learn from them and move through them.
You penguin-walk until you can really walk. You walk until you can run.
The path to healing your relationship with your mind and your body isn’t linear. Anyone who tells you that it is, is selling you a big old crock of… you know... shit.
If you’re feeling like you’ll never be able to love and accept yourself, take a moment and offer yourself some compassion. Remind yourself that you’re engaging in the process.
Give yourself a hug and take the time you need to feel grounded in your vision for your relationship with yourself and your vision for your life. Dust yourself off, stand back up, and keep moving.
You’ve got this.