Dumbells for Sale by Andy Wagstaffe

Dumbells for Sale by Andy Wagstaffe


In 2002 I received the gift of 30 extra pounds. After a year of brownies and beer with little physical activity, my body sent me a message. I recognized I wasn’t going to be fit forever, and that it was going to take work. So, I started running again.

Yes, I needed to lose weight. But the gift was the telegram that I needed to be more embodied.

Committing to exercise was an important decision. First, I started feeling better. Not only could I walk up stairs without being fatigued, I felt my musculature. I become more attuned to aches, pains, and thus, other signals that my body is sending.

Second, weight training, running, and stretching offer me a chance to live between being goal-oriented and being process-oriented. As anyone who exercises knows, there are days when the body does not want to perform in the way the body thinks it should. Every repetition, stride, and hold of a stretch offer me the chance to ask the questions:

  • Am I listening to my body?
  • Am I pressing too hard?
  • Am I challenging myself?

These are not just questions for exercise, they are questions for life. When I press too hard, I risk injury and am apt to lose form. When I press too hard in other areas of my life the same is true. I risk sickness and fatigue, as well as becoming less effective and present.

But I also love the challenge. So, every trip to the gym lets me be in dialogue with this tension. I have the opportunity to feel embodied, strong, enduring, flexible, and alive. And I have the opportunity to listen to myself and learn when to retreat.

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