Maina C - I am a body
I wanted to share this text that I wrote 6 months ago in the summer, because I thought it could somehow be helpful.
Lots of love and thousands of thank yous to all the warriors in this community.
I am a body
I began running a few months ago, because Ana was yelling at me, because I couldn't deal with the overwhelming guilt. Little did Ana know that making me run would kill her, instead of me.
The very beginning, the first minutes, it's always hard and unpleasant. In order to get out of the town, I have to run in front of all the houses, gardens, children and barbecues – the stares. I can't find my breathe, I want to quit, my throat and my lungs are burning as if the quick and non-stopping air was able to warm them. Those first minutes sometimes last almost the whole run. In fact, until yesterday, it worked this way. But recently, something new – which I was only able to guess before – has awaken.
Some people say that the human body is naturally made for running, but that our lifestyle brought us so far from that point that finding this state again would need long, tough and complex, training. I don't know if it's true, since my knowledge concerning this subject is way too poor and I have no aim in changing myself into an apocalyptic goddess, whom repeats to everyone that the day will come when the world will start running again.
I often meet joggers. Some were walking and, because they saw me, started running again. Others listen to music with a very focused look. In my opinion they don't understand what running is really about. They probably run because they pulled their bathing suits out of their closets for the first time since last year or because they saw one of the numerous advertisements that touts the merits of a useless diet and exercise routine. Or because they think they're fat, or because they believe they need to get fit. I am not running for any of these reasons.
Of course, there is something animal. The steady impact of the feet against the ground, interrupted every two stride by the expiration, the mechanics of the gesture that confounds moments. No regrets, no desires, just muscles playing, short contacts with the soil, moving arms, warmth, oblivion, the so-restricted – since particular – sensation of effort, that annihilate the world. The constant noise of the breathe, the shoes, the wind, the whole sound fills the head and a little rock party begins. I drown in a sort of rest that cars break carelessly, I start running faster because a dog barked, because there are, asleep, fears that have crossed time and that, since they were resting on the same level as this type of run, surface with it. However, this mindset never exist more than a few seconds. Once the body gets used to the rhythm, the run stops keeping the mind busy, and everything opens.
Anorexia was the one that made me run in the first place, but she gets trapped in her own game.
I start watching. As a lucky person, I live in the countryside and I have the opportunity to run almost in the middle of the fields, on the narrow and dirty roads. I can watch and perceive everything from that place. The flight of the dragonflies next too the ditches, the surface of the countless flax plants that seems both inconsistent and solid, the run of the haze on my left, the ears of wheat covered with pollen. The sky, obviously, the wind, the beetle that I always meet in the same place, the snapping of the wings of birds that have just escaped. I listen, I watch, I feel, and the feelings from the run meet the feelings from the outside, a part of this world hugs me. I think about it, so I am part of it.
That’s when Ana gets trapped. While I was running, trying to burn calories, I understood that : I don't have a body. I am a body.
Most of the time, the body is perceived as a limit, an assembly of flesh, bones, muscles that we must learn to handle and improve – as we would drive a car, use a tool, ride a bicycle – but that stays the place where the soul dies. Everyone has always told me that sport was a way to push, thanks to your willpower, the body a little higher, to make me a little more capable. Thinking ‘body’ is what diverts us from the real aims, it is only an intermedium, an instrument, a jail.
Anorexia just makes visible what our society silently promotes, one more splitting, one of the most dangerous ones. The body is the meeting point between world and us, hating the body is putting the world apart.
Separating those two inseparable parts of the person is dreadful. How can we live with others if living means exposing what we want to change and escape from? Now appears the necessity to seem, to choose to change this body that we have, or to destroy it in an attempt to make the mind – the only loveable part of us – viewable.
When I run, and when I reach this particular state of mind, nothing blocks me because my mind is so deeply tied to my body that splitting to the world is unthinkable. I run because there's no splitting between my willpower and my body, because me is beyond this contradiction. I am aware, every time my feet meet the ground, of all the movements that end, begin or go on. I understand the way my bones, muscles, arms and legs are tied together, and the way I am tied to the world.
I am one, and not two things tied together because of a strange and unpleasant fate : I am a body.