The past year or so has seen me go from being really really physically active to, well, kind of lazy actually. OK, so not exactly lazy, but my life is far from being as physically dynamic and exciting as it used to be.
My physical life used to revolve around surfing and Hapkido, both of which I love and cherish and find hard to separate in terms of how I use my body to perform them. Both challenge me in a variety of ways and have taught me that I can be physically strong, capable, flexible and independent.
And both caused me lots of superficial pains and bruises!!
Hapkido would leave me with a variety of pains including wrists wrapped in bands of black, blue and yellow, broken toes and fingers, and aching leg, stomach and chest muscles. Surfing would see me wearing fin cuts, bruises, red eyes, sore shoulders and weird sun-etched skin markings from the time I spent in the sun and the water.
And I loved them all.
I connected them with the ways I pushed myself and try new things and didn't sit comfortably doing things that I already knew I can pull off. They sat on my body - muscles, bones and skin - reminding me that I can do anything I want.
So I miss my aches and pains. I miss my cuts and bruises. I miss knowing what I can do. I miss finding out what I can't. I miss falling and jumping and turning and kicking and swimming and pulling and pushing and flowing and gliding. I miss moving and bending and stretching and fighting and scaring myself and feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I miss challenging myself through my body.
Last weekend I went down the coast and the surf was mush so I spent a fair bit of time on a SUP, paddling up and down a river. It was so much fun. And now I ache. My arms, shoulders, back and core are dully reminding me of every stroke I made, every inch of river we covered, every tumble into the water, every bough we ducked (tree barrels!), every log we avoided and I revel in the way it hurts to pick things up, to turn my head, to shake someones hand, to sit still.
It is good to feel my body ache again.