For many years- I’d say from the age of 8 all the way up until my early 20s- I hated my legs. I mean I really hated them. In my eyes, my legs were disproportionally short, chubby, and weird. Being a runner, I remember the other kids on the track team telling me not to bother ever trying to being a jumper- just wasn’t going to happen! Finding pants could be tough because they were always too long. And given that I hated the shape of my legs, I was super self-conscious about my pants and wouldn’t wear pants that I thought made my legs stand out or that fit tightly…
I was reminded of this today in cycling class. We were doing a really tough sprint interval and the instructor was walking around. Impressed with my pace and those of others around me, she said “you have strong legs.”
I have strong legs. Yes they are kind of short and yes, I’ll probably have to hem my pants for the rest of my life. Yes, my calves are so big that its hard to find knee socks to fit. Yes, I will never be an amazing long jumper. But, damn, these legs have sure been through a lot! They’ve cycled and lifted. They’ve ran thousands of miles. They’ve gotten me across the finish line of two marathons. They’ve been to so many great places and met so many wonderful people. My fiance- before he even knew I had a history of hating my legs- has told me he thinks they’re one of my greatest features. How could I not love my legs? How could I ever mistreat them or make them only wear “certain pants” instead of whatever is most comfortable or whatever I find to be most stylish?
Think of what your body can do instead of what it looks like or what its limitations are. No matter what, no person will ever be 100% happy with how they look or how they feel. But, we can learn to appreciate what our bodies do for us and also realize that oftentimes, the parts of us we see as imperfect are the parts that others find beautiful.