The body

I didn’t really know my body at all until my 30s, when I hired a personal trainer. My body was something I relied on to get me from point A to point B, to house a brain, to enjoy a drink or five. I can’t speak for others, but I wonder if this attitude might be the case for lots of people even today.

The trainer (thanks Martin!) taught me that if I focus on (“isolate”) one muscle group, I could get to know it, help it flourish. I’m blessed with some robust DNA, so expanding those muscles was easy for me, once I stopped protesting about how much it hurt and how I couldn’t possibly do it.

Fast forward decades later. My body is no longer a 25-year-old machine that can take any amount of abuse. I have to watch what I put in it, and move it around to keep those muscles from seizing up. But I’ve come to honour my body and listen to it, because it’s my temple. It’s the thing that lets me function in this world.

Our bodies are incredible machines. The muscles and sinews perfectly align to propel us, perform our will. All those sensing organs work seamlessly for us to engage in the cosmos around us. The DNA at the base of it all replicates, heals, advances, cheers us on with a happy feeling when we accomplish things.

The body’s magic is that it just does this stuff without our even needing to be aware of what it’s doing. Most of us just ignore our body. Put whatever into it, deprive it of sleep, muddle along. For some unfortunate people their body rebels, but for the majority their body just goes on and on without much more protest than the occasional hurt and pain. Until one day it stops.

It’s so hard here not to give glib advice. Get to know your body! Watch what you eat! Get moving! You’re bombarded with this advice I’m sure. Problem is, for humans the mind games sabotage the body. In my view, it starts by working on the mind …