So about a month ago, a few days before I left for ALT NYC, I was barefoot in my kitchen, moving too quickly and making Harry some cereal, when I slipped and (because my hands were holding a ceramic bowl full of milk and cereal) landed flat on my ass. Down fast and hard, cereal and milk everywhere. It hurt. Super hurt. In fact, the whole thing was so surprisingly unexpected and uncharacteristic, I started crying…which is also uncharacteristic and really should have been my first clue. But, because I’m not 80, I thought, whatever, I fell down, no big deal.
However, it kept hurting, only kind of even more. And three weeks later, after conferring with an orthopedic surgeon friend, I realized that I had broken my tailbone.
So my tailbone is broken. But there’s nothing anyone can really do for that, except just sort of wait for it to heal. (People keep asking me if I’m sitting on a donut. Um no. Too much trouble.) But it has made me think more about my body and how I’m caring for it, or not caring for it really. Instead I’m just moving too fast through my day, silently obsessing about the fact that my jeans don’t fit the same way they used to, or that I often see weird things on my neck (like a variety of chins) in photos…instead of seeing the gigantic laugh and awesome memory. It’s nuts.
And it’s all been coming together for me over the last few weeks. I think I’m understanding some of the sources of my problem.
I was talking to Sara Urquhart last weekend, and she told me this excellent story about how she went to a consultation with a trainer, where the trainer asked a variety of questions including “How would you rate your body on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest?” Sara thought about it. She was up at 6 am, got her kids off to school, spent some time with her husband, got 27 other things done in the next five hours before her appointment. Her body was rocking it out before noon. So she answered directly: “Oh, probably an 8 or a 9.” The trainer, who was probably more used to women answering, “Um, I don’t know, three?,” was clearly and visibly surprised and even, for a moment, speechless. Immediately, Sara knew she was done with this appointment and with this trainer. Sara is one of my heros.
And hearing her story, and laughing, I realized how right her thinking is and how much I want to think like her. My body is awesome. It takes me where I need to go. And it reminds me that getting out of balance can result in a giant pain in the ass.
As I mentioned last week, Brene’ Brown’s new book (Daring Greatly) has challenged me with the phrase, What would you be glad that you did, even if you failed? Trying to be active in any way always ends in total failure for me. I start running and pull things. I buy a yoga class package and then never go. Hell, I make cereal and break my tailbone. So. I stop being active. Because it’s a reminder how I fail at things, and then, I fail at being active at all. And that’s not good.
Because I’m not 80 (And thank God for that, because if I were, that fall would have killed me dead. In my kitchen. Awesome.) And I need to stop acting like it. I need to get up and get going and keep my body active. I need to swim. I need to run in one of those color 5Ks. I need to find a pair of jeans that I love. I need to feel better about myself. And I’ll be glad I tried to do that, even if I fail. (I’m not actually sure what failing at that means anyway, because I can’t fail more than I am right now.)
Also, I really hope someone asks me how I feel about my body…because I want to say, even with the broken tailbone, “A solid 8.” I’ll take it up to a 9 after I do that color run.
I should probably eat less sugar on a stick too. I’ll work on that next. Or, eventually.