Solidarity and Suffering

Burning, exhilarating, and painful. Blood rushes to my head as I go from a plank to a handstand. One of my favorite things to do is also my least favorite; it's a love/hate relationship. I will often sigh and become frustrated when my body will struggle to do what I tell it to do.. The splits still elude me

This relationship, one of like and dislike is what keeps me coming back for a hit. I l love the feeling of a completed workout. Moving my body just feels right and my legs begin to ache if I go a few days without it. 

The struggle to get out of the door is very real, though. My bed has never felt as comfortable as it does at 5:40am in the morning. Sometimes the hate side wins battle...and I stay comfortable and warm in my bed. Unfortunately more often than not, I am disappointed in my choice to stay between the sheets. 

But when I do stumble out of bed and sleepily make my way through the dark neighborhood to the bright and bustling land of Awaken Gymnastics, I know I have made the right choice. The mood is welcoming and the room is filled with a group of people who have actively made the choice to take a 6am workout class. They are a quiet but pleasant group, it takes a special person to wake up that early to put yourself through pain. 

As I move through the movements it is a constant mental battle. I tell myself to hold a posture even though it burns, I breath deeply through a movement, and then I try to relax but stay engaged through the core workouts. When I am in the most pain I am reminded to look up and see those around me, they are experiencing the same thing that I am experiencing.. I/we are not alone in this. Handstands and pull ups wear everyone out, I am not the exception. 

This has  been one of the most important lessons I have learned in my development. I am not alone. My suffering, though it may be specific to me, is not a novel thing in this world. This translates to so many different areas of life, as there is peace and freedom easily shared when one person takes another's hand during a trial and says, "me too". This is not to say that we can tell someone that we know their pain, it is merely a way to say you are journeying with them in solidarity. 

I hope you find a way to share a common experience or struggle with another human being today. There is power in connection and community. 


Amy Shenk4 Comments