Taking time to appreciate our physical bodies

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

I’ve generally been pretty fortunate when it’s come to injuries. I’ve generally not had anything particularly inhibiting or life threatening.

The one exception was when I needed surgery for a finger on my dominant hand. I’ll spare you the gory details, but it essentially meant that I could not use one of my hands properly for months. Inconveniently, this was at the same time as me needing to finish typing up my master thesis. It added an extra level of pain in an already painful process.

Otherwise, my injuries have been relatively minor. This has meant that I somewhat forgot how frustrating and painful it can be when we have an injury. Yet getting one also is a reminder of how well our bodies function – most of the time we use them without even thinking much about how much they do.

On Tuesday, I rolled my ankle whilst walking down Brussels’ infamous pavements with a random hole in the middle of it.

Ironically, I was just walking back from doing an exercise class. I was feeling pretty good about it too, my body was holding up well and I didn’t feel particularly sore.

I’ve had quite a few ankle twists before, so I figured this one would be alright. I did some icing and elevation as is recommended, figuring that would do the trick.

What got me particularly worried was when the pain swelled during the night. It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep at all. In my wakened, painful state I ended up looking up how bad the injury might actually be on my phone.

Luckily, the pain was more the inflammation than the twist itself, and within a day I was back to being able to walk around without too much issue.

Yet, I can’t help but think how different things would have been if it was a worse injury. I probably would have needed to stay home and recover, with little outside contact. It made me realise how reliant I am on my physical body to move around with, and do the things I do everyday.

When such incidents happen, we have a choice of how we look at them. The temptation can be to see them as a period of misfortune. I can curse the pavements of Brussels for bringing me unnecessary misery.

Or, I can choose to be grateful that the injury was actually pretty minor. Furthermore, I can also use it as a reminder about how much I need my body, and how easily it is to take it for granted.

In recent times, we’ve heard a lot more about loving our bodies. Whilst this is often talking about it aesthetically, it also holds true mechanically too. The amount our bodies do for us is incredible. In fact, it is so good that we can forget it’s even doing anything.

Appreciating our bodies is important. After all, we only have one of them.

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