As you might know I had an eating disorder and I am slowly but surely recovering from it. I recently wrote about the part that sports have played on this journey. And, last week, running my first real long run as part of my marathon training plan, I understood a few things.
I have always hated my legs: they bulk up, I have “big” thighs and so on. I remember that when I was anorexic I would still look at the mirror and think my thighs were huge. It was a fixation.
But, last Sunday, while I ventured for 150 minutes of non-stop running, I though: “I am so lucky to have strong legs”. And I thought that because I didn’t feel pain or anything – I FULLY TRUSTED that my legs could take me for as long as I needed.
That sounds silly but it was a revelation to me.
As an asthmatic, I strugle with sprints. I always feel like there is a hippo sitting on my chest, while my legs could totally go for it. Its frustrating, but I try my best anyway (even though I dread these sprinting days).
Which is why, I think, I have been more prone to long distance runs. I am fascinated with ultra-marathons, read all books about endurance sports and I LOVE going out for a long gentle run.
So, my guess is, that my body KNOWS that I might have asthma but easy gentle long runs work for me, since I do have strong legs. Of course I think I could become better at sprinting if I wanted to. But I don’t enjoy it. I enjoy long runs. And it suits my body better.
When you go out to run you see people of all sizes and ages doing it. Some heavier people are fast runners and some really skinny ones are super slow. There is no one runners body, and that is so comforting. It is SOOOO hard to trust your body when you have battled all your life with eating disorders; but running sure makes it easier.
You can’t run if you don’t have energy. You can’t run if your mind is not in it. And you can’t run if you don’t respect your body, stretch, take it easy when it needs, and recover.
So just try to trust your body and find the movement that agrees with you!
Have you ever felt anything like this?