I am so full of TMI excitement in terms of body awareness right now.2 In some ways, it's like a baby discovering she has toes--it's always been there, everyone has them, but what a wonder to herself.
The last time I really felt this way when I was trying to get pregnant with my daughter. What should have been easy was difficult, and I felt defective. After a lot of observation of many different factors, I realized that, no, my body didn't follow textbook guidelines in terms of timing. But my body has definite rhythms that can be predictable to a certain degree. My body is not defective; my body is simply ... mine. Once I figured out those rhythms, I marveled at what a wonder my body is--how unique, how amazing.
Knowing my body's rhythms means that I can work with them instead of against them. When I physically get achy or more sensitive, I know it's not a permanent thing and adjust my movement (but keep moving). When my mood darkens, I know it's a temporary cloud and try to harness the creativity that can come from being more emo. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I don't run the way others do. Sometimes I get frustrated by advice that would be good for another person, but not me. It may be textbook, but it may not be me. It doesn't mean I'm wrong or bad or a loser. It just means I'm moving the way I'm meant to be.
What I really am discovering is that running is another way to know myself, and what I'm discovering is pretty cool.
1 Yesterday I felt the gentlest ache to know that I had done some work. It was a "Hello, Sweetie!" rather than "EXTERMINATE!" And 10 points to Hufflepuff if you get that subreference.
2 Seriously, I nearly broke into my Running Mama's office at work to overshare. Instead, I sent my husband a text because it's his job to put up with me.