A Thank You Note

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I was at a pre-race event this past weekend where one of the speakers told us about a tradition she has.  She writes a post-race thank you note after every race.  At first we all thought she meant to her husband, her family, friends, all of those who helped her get to the finish line.  We were wrong.  Her thank you notes are to her body.

This may sound strange but this is not the first time I have heard this.  I used to work for a hypno-therapist that ran weight loss seminars.  Part of the session included a time where you visualized stepping away from your current body and turned around and thank it.  You were thank it for getting you to where you were at that time.  Your body had not gotten itself overweight and did not deserve the harsh insults and anger that we would aim towards it.  Sounds odd at first but it makes so much sense once you stop and think about it.  My body has been through hell in these 36 years.  Broken toes, fingers, vertebrae, surgeries, falls, even got it struck by lightning once.  And yet it has never given up on me.  Therefore…

Dear Body,

Well, you did it again.  You carried us across the finish line of another 1/2 marathon.  And this one was not easy.  Your left foot is throbbing from a strained arch and your right knee is crunching and popping more than ever.  I didn’t realize how steep the hills really were until we cam up on them yesterday.  And you did not give up.  I did not take you for nearly enough training this time around and we are both feeling it today.  

Thank you for getting stronger.  Thank you for not breaking down as you probably should.  As you have the right to.  Thank you for crossing the starting line after too little sleep.  Thank you for pushing past the foot pain in mile 3.  Thank you for the second wind at mile 8.  Thank you for getting me up the Sand Key Bridge when my knee was throbbing.  Thank you for pushing through as the rain poured down during miles 11 and 12 and as the headwinds blew sand at us as we fought to the finish line.  

Today is a new day.  Today you get the day off.  Cool bath, ibuprofen, and some light stretching.  How does that sound?  And in a few days we start training for the next one.  Expedition Everest, here we come!

Have you ever thought about it?  Thought about what we put our bodies through when we train, eat junk, or stress ourselves?  What have you done to take care of your body recently?  Maybe a little thank you is a great start.