When you are fit, you can pause, stand still. You can feel the weight of your bones, gravity, the pull to earth.
Life is stressful sometimes. If we are fit, we can take refuge in our bodies, rely on our senses to guide us through.
Life is stressful sometimes. Our minds only enhance that stress sometimes. We imagine worst-case scenarios, we play worries on repeat, we create epics about our hurts, we hold tightly, we make it all worse.
Being fit is not only about being strong, fast, agile, capable of dazzling athletic feats. Being fit is about knowing how to reside inside your body.
When you are fit, you know when it’s time to stop. You take a deep breath. And then another. And another. You feel your ribcage fill and shrink. You feel your heartbeat and sense blood flow.
You are alive. It cannot be denied.
When you are fit, you can allow life to fall apart a little. There is bravery in doing so, in coming face to face with the ultimate truth: You cannot hold on forever, you cannot run forever. Eventually we all stop, we slip away, we fall apart, we end. It’s what bodies do.
In the meantime, though, you are here, and there is life to tend to.
So you move with your breath, completely and steadily. When your mind spins, you catch it. “Come home,” you say. You return your attention to your body, the soles of your feet on the ground. You tend to the things you have influence over without drama or despair. You feel your flesh, your goosebumps. You tell your shoulders to relax, your jaw to let go.