Tuesday, April 7, 2015

When Imperfect is Perfectly Fine

Several weeks ago I hurt my foot while hiking in the beautiful green hills. I was in good shape at the time and had been eating really well. I was off sugar and gluten, and was feeling great. Then I twisted my foot, and the good times came to a screeching halt.

Today, then, after eating a sizable caramel-filled chocolate Easter egg and a handful of (stolen) jelly beans, I decided it was time to make my way back to healthy living. This would include a different, more foot-friendly way to exercise, so I went on Youtube to find some workout videos that took my injury into account.

To my surprise, the videos were inspiring. The first one featured a lovely personal trainer who was in a boot-style brace. Not at all gracefully, she demonstrated a few good exercises that would help her audience get back in shape, even while staying off a hurt foot. She mentioned that she loved hardwood floors, especially because of their character and imperfections. She encouraged us not to get down about being imperfect or experiencing a setback. I appreciated that.

The next video featured a second fitness guru, who told the story of injuring her ankle and not being able to exercise on it for six months. She said she'd been depressed and angry, and had gained weight, but then a physical therapist helped her get back on track using upper body exercises. This, apparently had the effect of opening a new world of possibilities for the young woman, who was now encouraging us to embrace our issue as an opportunity for a personal and physical renaissance.

I tried out all the exercises, felt a happy rush, and decided that if these ladies could make peace with their temporary disability, so could I. If they were able to see the beauty in setbacks and human trials and imperfections, I could too. There was a split second there when I saw my impaired body and imperfect self as being more wonderfully unique and beautiful because of it. It was just a flash of insight, but one I hope to not soon forget.

This week, I ask you to embrace your humanness, and accept (if only for a moment) that thing that bugs you the most about yourself. And if you're doing okay with yourself, go ahead and extend that acceptance out toward somebody else in your life. It'll feel great.