Why do I work out?
Here’s a clue. It’s not to look good.
Nope. It actually has very little to do with it. That’s right. It’s for my sanity. Straight up. My happiness, my health, my life. Now yes, the by product is something that is important for me and I strive for maximum physical ability, I cannot lie to you about this, but the thing that gets me up and out the door, is my health. The knowing that I am a better and all encompassing me when this is a part of my life.Knowing that it helped save me, teach me, and continues to do so makes me fully believe in the power of full body wellness and what we can both overcome and achieve.
Why am I telling you this? Well I think a couple or reasons. Most of which probably don’t matter with the exception of triggering a response from you to do the same. But my real goal is that if you find a reason why it is important enough in your life, you do it. What it gives you, you then care. You really fucking care. There is no backing out. You get up, you move, because you are a better person because of it and this, this can change everything.
As you know, I am a believer in whole body wellness. I think for a while you can get away with picking apart the pieces… the mind, the body, the food etc. You do what your can. You dissect your plate, your life. But there comes a point when if you focus in, you realize that all of these parts, the sum altogether, is what makes meaningful and lasting change. This can take months, years, or maybe a decision overnight. Whatever the case, whenever the case, there is no time like the present to begin, move forward and find it for yourself.
Although an incredibly physical person before illness, finding physicality after is where I have found peace, comfort, and growth, ability and achievement. Yes, clenching my teeth dripping with sweat inner peace. Believe me, its a thing.
I never realized how many people were interested in what I did as far as exercise. It’s flattering, yes. We all want to look our best. But it’s worth nothing if we don’t want to dig deeper, give you that motivation or drive to believe in the healthier you in an organic way.What if we could make peace with exercise? This is a whole ‘notha topic…so lets just pull back, and start with the beginning. The rest will come in time.
Let’s go back. Sometimes it takes going back, peeling back, to find out where it all started.
Before I was sick I exercised. Like crazy. Literally…again, I will do a whole different post on this too, but I pounded the pavement. I burnt myself out. My tissues were literally eating themselves as I sweated myself away. Away. Dripping away to the beat. This wasn’t exercise. This was exorcise. I was in so much pain, head so full, that spinning, running, jumping were the only way my brain could find some kind of homeostasis. I wasted away on my muscles. I hated it and it kept me going. Safe. But the reason,the reason was different then. I needed to exercise in order to take away the life. Any life that was being fed, was being burned in those minutes, those hours exercising. I did this to bare myself to tolerate and eliminate.
If I asked you how your body liked to move when you were 6, what would you say? No. Really think back. If your mom opened the door and said just be home in 2 hours in time for dinner, what would you do? Would you bolt out of the house running. Did you go swimming? Were you on the trampoline. Yes. These are the things we did for “fun” that we now tell ourselves are a chore. I bring this up because when I started from the ground up, you know…all the shit I’ve talked about before, yeah well I found myself exploring this thought very naturally during this time. You see I remember one day, when I was far too ill probably to be doing much of anything, but I still did, I called a dance center and booked studio space. The idea dawned on me just previously that if my body, from such a young age, 3 to be exact, expressed itself through movement, then where has that expression gone now that for many years I haven’t. The few people that knew what I was doing were either intrigued, concerned or both. But the truth is I knew there was something in my body that was stuck. That needed to get out, and I wondered too if I was either unlocking pandoras box, or opening the gates to something really powerful.
This happened. That first day, I kind of had the no fucks given attitude. I had nothing to lose, and to be honest was far too numb still to really fully feel the magnitude of what I was about to do. But instinctually, that intuition guiding me, I trusted it. Keep in mid this was pretty much the first time stepping back in a studio after 10 years, maybe even 15 in a professional capacity. An interesting thing happened. I arrived early, and the class that was previously in session was funnelling out. As it was, the teacher on her way out looked at me and smiled. She did this a few times as I slowly settled my belongings to the floor. She finally spoke up. She said… “are you from here?” I said, yeah. She was trying to put something together, I saw her wheels moving, but I knew I was not the answer. She pressed again, “did you train here?” me, “yeah, I did, but so long ago. But I lived away for a lot of my training” I moved on. She looked like she was going to give up, then she said… “I know you”. I thought k, clearly this girl is mistaken. There’s no way I could know her. She insisted, “No, I know you. You’re Katharine Horsman” I stopped my prepping and looked to her. She then told me that I was one of the most beautiful dancers she had seen. My jaw dropped, my heart beat, and I was still. She went on to say how she may have seen me or knew me, but that her and her friends had often wondered about me.
I felt like she was an angel. Not because she was telling me something that was beautiful to hear, but because she was inviting me to dance. She was basically giving me the hand to grab open handed and pulled me to the floor to start this dance. She was there for the reassurance that I was somewhere I needed to be. And like that, she was gone. She was real. This was exactly how it happened. Nothing imagined. And so I walked over to the stereo, pressed play and put myself in the middle. Mirror front on. Raw, exposed, not technical. Just beat on heartbeat, and then I moved.
I’m telling you this because that was the day that I fully experienced why the body is supposed to move. It is not only supposed to move for mobility, flexibility, all of that stuff we already know. But for the anxiety, the stress, the buildup, the expression. The release. The stored up shit that lives within our cells, fists clenched tight trillions of them floating around. Thats why. Inhale Exhale, thats why.
It is part of my life now. The expression, the movement. In fact it never left me, it just sat still. No matter how hard I peddled, it stood still. Do I still struggle with doing too much? Pushing myself? Yes, abso fucking lutely. Was my body born to move in exceptional ways? I believe so. I trained 8 hours a day as of 12 years old. My body has learned to be different.. But regardless, so I push on. I nourish, eat, sleep, sweat and repeat. I find the glory in working through, the achievement, but mostly and more importantly in the still that it creates in my mind. The health it brings to light. It is so much more than my body.
There is so much to talk about exercise. It is such a thing of our culture, good bad and the ugly, but I wanted to begin at the starting line. Meet me there.
In future we will explore different topics of exercise. My personal workouts, training, tips, motivation, psychology of training and yes, the physical aspects of exercise that do help to make us feel and look our best. That is the reward in the end, but hopefully not the beginning motivation.
Exercise is vulnerable. Let’s keep it real. This is not glamourizing fitness, this is about making the priority of our lives the most important.
I just read this beautiful article of yours. So much truth and such wonderful words. Exercise can be oh so therapeutic when we find our true calling. xx