I have been thinking lately that so much of who we are and how we define ourselves is based on our physical ability. For example growing up I was defined as an athlete I did ever sport, swimming, softball, volleyball, basketball, track. I swam competitively for 11 years, this is who I was, I was an athlete. In college I worked at a gym I was a trainer, aerobics and spin instructor I was active to say the least. Throughout my entire adult life I have been focused on fitness and health, some of my friends would venture to say I was "obsessed" with it. I grew up this way. My mother, as long as I can remember, has been a fitness freak, aerobics instructor, personal trainer, body builder, Pilate's instructor and so on. It's in my blood, it's who I was, it's how I defined myself. I was proud of it.
Most of my adventures around the world have been defined by physical ability. I backpacked and hitch hiked my way through New Zealand carrying a bag that was way to heavy, I built houses in Africa with my hands, I cycled my way through Thailand and Cambodia, I have swam in numerous oceans, climbed countless mountains, looked for adventure everywhere I went. I snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, went white water rafting and jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet all in my 25th year. This is who I am, this is how I define myself.
I have always been fiercely independent and prided myself on the strength of my body the things it could do. I was always the strongest, the one who could open that horribly tight lid, the one who could lift just about anything. I loved having a firm hand shake. This was me these were my abilities.
I am struggling with who I am becoming and letting go of who I was for so many years. I hate needing help, I hate being reminded everyday of the things I can no longer do by the lack of my ability. I hate that I can't read my favorite magazine "Shape" because it reminds me of all the things I can't do. I hate that when I watch a movie all I can think is how is that woman able to walk in those heels, get that outfit on, carry that baby? It is hard for me to fathom I have run my last race, or lifted my last weight. Will I ever be able to write properly again or cut my own nails, will I ever do another jumping jack, will I ever get to be a mom? These are my struggles and at the moment they feel very heavy.
I know I have other attributes and that in time the pain of my loss will ease but how do you change who you are or rather who you were?
This too shall pass~