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I knew every muscle in my body...

A Body Story #2

"In the brief period of my life when I wasn’t preoccupied by how other people viewed my body, it achieved some great things.

When I was maybe 8 or 9 I got into long distance running. It was my first time training for anything athletic. I was blown away by how my stamina increased with each day. My legs were so strong! I took such joy in holding back enough energy for the last 100 metres of the race, then I'd surge forward to the finish line. I was wearing shorts and not thinking about the hairs on my legs. My face was red and blotchy, but I didn’t care.

Then there was gymnastics. I trained and trained one summer. I worked so hard on my routine that I wore a track in the garden lawn. My legs were firm and tight and I knew every muscle in my body intimately. I was the underdog in the competition, but I won and it could not have felt better. I wore a leotard and the broadest smile.

And Irish dancing - I bounced, kicked and glided across the stage, and proudly stacked my dancing trophies in the living room cabinets. I straightened my dancing socks and laced up my shoes, thinking about nothing but the movement and the music.

These were really good days for me and my body!

Unfortunately things changed soon after and it would be many years before I got pride or confidence in my body back."

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