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  • Writer's pictureSteve Szakal

Your body tells your Story

Over the last 43 days I ran everyday, often twice a day. I ran a few hundred miles. In the rain, gusty cold wind, and snow. I also did about 50 hours of yoga in that time. I didn't set out to run that much or do that much yoga, but a feeling inside persuaded me. I never run everyday. I have taken one or two days off a week for the last few years. Most of my runs were at a small little park close to work. It's not a very interesting park. No trees, no water, just a few people walking their dogs. When its windy, its like a god damn tornado in there. The park sucks in the wind and it constantly smashes you right in the face. I ran 6 miles at lunch. Went back to work. Finished work, and went right back to the park for 5 more miles. On the days it was cold and windy, that second run really hurt. I wanted to go the fuck home. I was hungry and cold because I never dressed properly, and never brought enough food. In a way the misery is what made it so satisfying.

And every nite I would practice asana. One posture after another. It became a moving meditation. I aligned the breath with movement. I pushed the limit of my spine. I wanted every bone, ligament, vein, muscle, and joint to move in unison.

I noticed a few things during those 43 days. First I noticed that my "slow pace" or pace that you could comfortably hold a conversation went from 8:45 min/per mile to 7:45 min/per. Go slow to get faster. This took patience. Some days I just wanted to get done. I could of pushed it and called it a day, but I didn't. I kept my eyes soft and my breath easy. If you have the discipline to train slow, do it.

The most interesting thing I noticed was the way my body moved. When you tear away everything that is unnecessary from your body, you begin the notice things. Your whole past can be found in your hands, limbs, and spine.

I cannot move my shoulders. I mean I can move them, but not like they should. During the housing crash of 2008, I had to go back to delivering furniture so we could stay in our house. I worked so hard those few years, six days a week, ten hours a day. I tore both my rotator cuffs, and instead of getting them fixed I self medicated with percs and whiskey. I became addicted and it tore my insides up. My shoulders healed, but since I didn't get them fixed, they just filled up with scar tissue, and now I'm left with shoulders that don't move right.

When I was little I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It wasn't severe or they didn't think it was severe enough to treat. My left side sits lower than my right. From my ears to my toes, my right side is completely different from my left.

But it's the subtle things you notice. I notice the strange way my neck moves. The way my arms swing. These movements tell a story. My horrible low self-esteem as a kid, always feeling awkward, enduring verbal abuse, getting sent to fucking hell for 2 years when I was 19. This is my story. This is my body. People you meet everyday have battle scars. Eating disorders, death of a child, drug addiction, abuse. We bury the pain inside.

Thats why I push my physical limits. This kind of suffering turns your body into a fucking weapon. You become a warrior. Don't sell yourself short and think you can't better yourself. You can. I fight fire with fire. I will never let any mother fucker crush my shit. Thats what this whole god damn thing is about, and hopefully inspire some people. Tomorrow......

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