An Open Letter to My Body

Monday, October 19, 2015

I should have seen this coming.

For weeks I pushed you to the brink, getting an average of 4 hours a sleep each night, not making time for exercise, eating whatever was most convenient.

I should have seen this coming.

I shouldn't have been surprised at all when you decided to rebel to get my attention. I ignored you at first. Yes, my skin hurt. Yes, my joints felt as if they were on fire, but I shrugged it off. This is just a flare up of my connective tissue disease, I said. I can handle this, I thought.

And so I kept working.

But you kept fighting back. Dizziness, a blinding headache, and -- your trump card -- a 102-degree fever. Eventually, I could barely hold myself upright.

You win.

But what am I saying?! You didn't win. You lost. We both lost. And you only did this so that we wouldn't both lose later in even bigger ways.

I'm so sorry I forced your hand. I'm so sorry I did this to us.

I had to miss work Friday and all the social events on my calendar for the weekend. I mourned the memories I didn't get to make, but knew better than to be angry with you.

Instead I am grateful. And I'm taking the next 40 days to show you just how grateful I am.

On Sunday I committed to GirlTrek's 40-Day Gratitude Trek challenge. We are going for a 30-minute walk every day for the next 40 days come hell or high water. I will not allow my to-do list to get in the way of our time together. This will be our time to relax and recharge. Maybe some days we'll walk with a friend. Maybe some days we'll walk and pray. Maybe some days we'll walk and cry. Maybe some days we'll run.

And I'll make a daily #GratitudeConfession on social media about you, about us, about life.

We need this.

A GirlTrek challenge is perfect for us, don't you think? GirlTrek is all about empowering black women and girls to be healthy and was created in the spirit of the civil rights movement. During the civil rights movement women and girls walked to make a difference whether they were a part of marches and demonstrations or walking to work and school during the bus boycott. As a GirlTrek organizer said to me once, "When black women walk, things change."

We need a change.

Revolution begins within.