If you could choose between having a perfect-looking body, but with limited ability to move; or a body that could do anything, but with a few extra pounds and visible flaws, which would you choose?
Or, to rephrase the question: Would you rather be an injured Barbie doll or a superhero with cellulite?
This is a no-brainer for me.
Many people don’t know it, but I have a lot of movement baggage: unhealthy fascia thanks to running injuries, nerve damage from excessive foam rolling (before I knew better), a weakened pelvic floor due to pregnancy, and plenty of imbalances just from living my life. There have been points in my life when I have been in chronic pain and unable to move much at all. My “baggage” weighs me down far more often than I’d like. While I wouldn’t consider myself injured, I’m far from bulletproof.
I’d love to be able to run with no limitations. To know that if I wanted to train for a marathon, nothing would get in my way. I’d also love to be a sturdy, badass chick who could lift at my 1-rep max and jump rope a bazillion times without any concern as to whether my pelvic floor could handle it. Sure, I can run, lift and jump pretty well, but I’d be asking for problems if I did any of these things to my max capacity.
I’m OK with these limitations. I’ve accepted them (though I’m constantly trying to improve and move better) and I’m grateful for the things my body can do, which are quite a lot.
But if a genie came along, offering me the chance to move without limitations if I put on 30 pounds of body fat, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
The thing is, I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority. I’d bet plenty of people would instead opt to have a perfect body and never have to exercise again for the rest of their lives.
And that’s kind of a problem. Because what I’m realizing is that while most of the fitness industry is selling an image (whether it’s skinny, strong or a little of each), I’m “selling” movement.
Can you imagine if Women’s Health magazine replaced the cover lines, “Get a flat belly,” and “Look great naked” with, “Learn how to breathe,” and “Move like a champ”?
Movement doesn’t really sell, does it?
But it SHOULD! It absolutely should! This is what quality of life all comes down to, you guys. Not how we look or how much stuff we have, but how we move and how we feel when we move.
If you’re an athlete, if you’re injured or ever have been, or if you’re getting older and aging less gracefully than you’d like, you probably agree. When movement is part of your career, when it relates to pain or discomfort, or when it limits your ability to do everyday activities, you stop taking movement for granted.
But what about moms? What do you guys think?
Does it matter to you whether you can squat down to your toddler’s height and dance with him during his music class? Would you like to carry your entire Costco loot from the car to the house in one trip? Do you want your kids to grow up seeing you be strong and active?
Would you rather be a “trophy mom,” and sit on the bench, looking sexy in your activewear? Or would you rather chase your kids around the playground and experience their joy?
Would you suck in your stomach all day to look good, even if you knew you were creating problems for your pelvic floor (which is, in fact, what “sucking it in” will do)?
Would you jump on the latest diet craze and spend money on weight loss shakes and cleanses, or would you invest in learning your body to move at its very best?