The other day a good friend of mine got me thinking about body image. She is a beautiful fit woman who is finding herself struggling with the little jiggles here and there. Jiggles that the rest of us would be hard pressed to even see. For sure, they would not register on the Richter scale. But to her it feels like a massive quake each time she jumps up and down or waves her arm. I know that we all look at ourselves and see what we have decided is 'wrong' with our shape. I know that I do. I could make the list for you, but I really don't want to draw anymore attention to those areas. I do know that now that I am not swimming, (shocking, but last I checked there was no swimming in the Leadman competitions- unless the creek going to the base of Hopes Pass is huge) that I am at risk for bingo arms. So, every couple of days, I do some tricep dips, push ups and various other arm thingies. Otherwise when I hit a bump on the trail the flopping could cause such a shake that I lose my balance. There is a time in my life I would have thought getting arm flaps was a positive thing, when did the shift occur.
You see, when I was little my gramma had the greatest arms ever! They would envelope me in a huge comforting hug. When I would sit next to her on the sofa I would find myself snuggling into those doughy warm arms. Not only was she soft and pliable but she smelt like fresh baked bread. There was a time, that being near those big wings made me feeler safer and happier than any other place. I would stroke her arms as I sat with her and tell her how much I loved her arms. Perhaps, my gramma was horrified but sometimes it is the thing that we hate most about our bodies that makes us unique. Those that love us, may love us even more for what we perceive as our flaws. At some point I stopped aspiring to develop arms like these of my own. But years after my gramma has left the earth I still smile when I think about her bingo arms and how much love I felt in them.
So, don't let the world tell you what is good and what isn't about your body. Focus on what makes you unique. Go out and experience life and love and try to change your perception on your own body. You never know that thing you hate the most could be someones favorite part of you. It's your body, celebrate it and all that it does for you. I'm not saying I'm going to stop doing tricep dips but I am saying that I am going to remember to also celebrate the positives. I have a strong heart and lungs. I can choose to do crazy endurance activities and my body transports me. I am able to get out and see the world and play with my friends and whether or not my arms jiggle I can have fun. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and it doesn't seem to bother them. They aren't trying to change the look of their ears, or wishing that they looked like another dog. We could all learn from the dogs and just be the breed we are.