Thursday, September 10, 2009

Badass vs. Bad Ass

I've spent about...20 years hating my physical self. I have very clear memories of being about 5 or so and looking in my parent's full length mirror and thinking, "Eh, nothing special. Sort of plain. Oh well." I didn't hate the way I looked, I just didn't think I was pretty. Then again, that was in 1970-something. With that hair and those clothes- how could anyone be even remotely attractive? Within 5 years, though, I realized that I was going to be too curvy, too short, too stocky, too...everything. I realized that the Barbie Body Fairy was not going to visit my house and I hated my body and everything that it stood for. My teenage and young adult years were spent in a binge-and-purge-athon that wasn't even effective. (Leave it to me to have an eating disorder that didn't even make me skinny.) Clothes didn't fit- particularly junior sizes- and so I ended up dressing like a housewife. My pervading world view was "I'm too fat for _______________." Didn't matter what it was, my size 10-12 behind was too fat for it. I sentenced myself to a constant stream of internal nattering about how awful I was because I had a Bad Ass.

Not to be confused with my current Badass self. I'm at the gym loving that I can make my muscles shake with exhaustion by doing 6 more reps than last week. I can sweat and grunt and stink to my hearts content because that's me getting really, really strong. My dad (a former coach) used to say that pain is weakness leaving the body. I like to think that this pain- the deep muscle ache, the sharp pull of a stretch, the I-can't-take-one-more-step exhaustion is labor pain. I'm giving birth to a whole new vision of myself- and what numbers end up associated (weight, size, measurements) just. don't. matter. I'm loving my curves and I'm showing them off in whatever makes me think, "Oh...yeah."

Badass recognizes that the physical body is a tool, a means to an end. It needs to be strong and healthy and it needs to function well, but it doesn't need to be beautiful to do any of those things. In fact, fixating on making it beautiful will actually get in the way.

1 comment:

  1. You have found out my secret little sister! You have found the path to Badass glory! Keep it going!