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Conversations with my body

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Our relationship with our bodies impact on so much else in our lives, because physical heath is key to achievement of any goal.

LOCAL DRUMMER LOCAL DRUMMER with Thembe Khumalo

Yet we tend to only pay attention to our bodies when they are malfunctioning.

Perhaps it’s time you took a good look at the relationship you have with your body; you might even want to have a little chat with it. Your chat might go something like this:

“Over the years, we have lived together in what seems like relative peace on the outside, but only you and I know what has been happening on the inside. We both know that I owe you an apology

I can see that it hasn’t been easy being a body to me over the years, and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for the times I have abused, mistreated, manhandled, neglected and exploited you.

My daily abuse of you in what seems small ways, but over the years must have amounted to heinous criminality cannot be excused.

Looking back, I can hardly believe that every day for more than a decade, I sent you out to work with no fuel in your system.

And then when I did fuel you, it was with foods that were as useless as morning dew in a drought.

And then there were the diets — the 6am to 6pm fasts, the high fibre low fat, the cabbage soup, the Atkins, the modified Atkins, and on and on and on.

For someone who spent every day of my life with you and went everywhere with you, anyone would think we would have become friends after a
few years.

But for 30 years I never spoke well of you — not to other people and not even to myself.

I was so blind to all your many many assets, talents and advantages.

I cringe when I think of how I have rejected you — with my thoughts and words and deeds. Forgive me.

I realise that after all this rejection, and so many broken promises, you may not trust me anymore.

But look, we’re in this together, and I have realised the error of my ways.

I value you, not only as an attractive container for my soul, but also as an exceptional, exquisite machine capable of generating a mind-blowing range of sensations.

I regret the time I spent abusing you, both verbally and physically. So here’s my promise to you:

  • I will keep you moving daily so that you maintain high-energy levels
  • I will give you the right fuel for the activities I expect you to accomplish
  • I will not pour empty calories into you
  • I will not force you to carry unnecessary baggage everywhere we go
  • I will care for you, respect you and appreciate you daily
  • I will stop speaking hatefully about you or towards you
  • I will give you more attention, even to the aesthetics
  • I will listen when you tell me things about my behaviour and how its affecting our relationship
  • I will work hard to give you everything you need to serve me well.

I am looking forward to many more years with your. Years filled with strength, and energy. Years filled with lots and lots
of running.

We will run. We will run in the morning and sometimes in the evenings.

We will usher in many new days on the road, sometimes in silence, where the only sound will be the steady thump of tackies eating tarmac, and other times we will run to the rhythms on our ipod.

We will run to delight in the possibilities of new days at sunrise and to shed the worries of the world at dusk.

We will run because we are happy, and run because we are sad. We will run with friends and with family and even with enemies.

Running is one thing that we will do — for sure.

We will eat. Not as if there will be no food tomorrow.

And not in ridiculous birdlike proportions that are an insult to the wonders of our equipment.

We will eat to fuel this magnificent machine, and we will also eat for pleasure.

We will enjoy our food and our drink without compromising our health (or our happiness).

This is my commitment to our relationship. I hope it shows you that I am serious about treating you better and giving you more love.”
Go on — talk to that body.

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