I want to build confidence in my body.
A few days ago, I tripped and fell while walking in Central. There’s something dangerous about those loose bricks in Central Square. I was basically alright, just a skimmed knee. But I was totally shocked by how much it hurt; I almost never hurt myself due to clumsiness so the pain was a total surprise. Feeling this throughout my body but also having control over how I reacted – getting back up and walking: There was a certain confidence in that control.
There’s confidence in seeing and feeling my body knit itself back together. Skin is just amazing – tough but also flexible. Scabs are pretty neat too: they manage to turn into healthy scar tissue or skin in just a few short days where there had been a terrible openness. Life struggles on! I don’t even have to think about it, but my body designs a brand new part of me.
What am I getting at though?
I am confident in how my body appears, even how I can change my appearance.
I’m even confident in how my body will labor to keep living.
I want to build confidence in my strength.
I want to learn how to be strong, moving solidly and fearlessly. I like being able to carry the things I need to carry, walk however far I set my mind to. I can feel my feet shift when I stand on the moving train, shifting and responding to the vibrations.
Building the body
But I want to build confidence in my ability to lift things over my head, to run, to scream. I want to feel life in my whole body, bones and all. Some of that confidence is feeling my lungs fill up and stretch as my muscles fatigue. So too is the confidence of learning a routine of readiness. Already I love to etch out worlds with my fingers; I want to learn how to build three dimensional objects.
Part of the building of the body is recreating an idea of what the body can be. When reading about capoeira for class, I was surprised to learn how adaptable the strength of the body can be. While we view the neck as a weak vulnerable point, masters of capoeira view the body from the lens of a different culture. Carrying heavy loads on their heads, people can view the neck as another strong functional limb. With this view, capoeira techniques utilize the neck to support weight during defense and attack.
Therefore confidence in my body is about being able to envision and then enact an action, a relationship between a goal and my body making that happen.