I’m going to write today about a topic that I find very sensitive but is also one I find looming more and more on my horizons as part of my practice with/for Brigid. The topic is, as the title of this post suggests, fitness.
Now fitness can be defined in several ways, but two of them are linked here today 1) physical fitness, cardiovascular fitness and 2) appropriateness for a role or job. I will freely admit that due to issues with an ingrown toenail and other foot related pain, my physical fitness has dropped dramatically in recent years. To the point where physical movement is for the most part painful for me now. This is further complicated by a history of eating and exercise disorders, me being fat ( don’t bother, I don’t see it as an insult) and a few decades of trying to explain that yes, both of those things are possible.
But my physical fitness does tie into my fitness to do my job and my work for/with Brigid. As part of my role, I need to be able to walk around, stand for long periods, point, move, stretch, lift, carry, etc. And that’s just the day job. Endurance and strength are also needed for my work with/for Brigid, in terms of continuing work past usual working hours, maintaining health so that illness doesn’t distract me from this work (I had a cold the week before last and I won’t hear the end of it for a while cos it knocked me back on a few projects!)
But when I’m at the point where I am now, it can be really easy to say , “I give up, this is just the way things are now!”. From this point on, I need to underscore all I’m about to write with an understanding of the privilege I have here: I have a position in a company where I didn’t lose my job due to physical infirmity; I have spending money; I have space and room in my home; I have a stable relationship; I am educated and have spent time researching and reading up on the topics that will support what I’m embarking on. Not everyone has these challenges. I’m also a stubborn bitch when it suits me and I think it’s going to suit me on this one.
From this week, I’m starting a journey back to where I feel physically fit. It started with a ten min walk on a treadmill (arrived last week) that I completed in my jammies before starting my day. I felt hot and sweaty and uncomfortable after this walk, but I did it. Now as far as targets go – my goal right now is to make a habit of walking every day Monday to Friday. I know that if I do this, the walking will become more enjoyable and this will make sitting at a desk all day more comfortable/ tolerable.
With regard to Brigid on this, well she’s mainly concerned with me being able to do the work she wants me to do. She also wants to make sure I’m able to keep myself safe, and that includes removing myself from danger if need be. I don’t think it likely that will involve running from an animal predator, but certainly running from a human one (ok, walking quickly) might be something I need to do. Plus, she’s really a “holistic health” person and while emotionally and mentally I’m not doing to badly right now, she knows that physically I’m suffering from a few different things that regular movement will help with.
It’s not impossible to work for/with Brigid if you’re physically unfit, or if you measure fitness differently than I have here. How you measure fitness, how you prioritise this, is entirely up to you. And even working with Brigid, you may decide this is a lower priority than something else – seriously, you know you better than anyone else! This isn’t really about the fitness. It’s just the example of what she might push you to do.
To that end, while I can surmise, suppose, imagine why this is important right now, I don’t really know, but I do trust that she asks this for a reason. It’s not more important than writing my Brigid book, it’s not more important than my day job, but it’s up there. And it will lead to a more enjoyable next summer for me, so y’know, good all round.
Here’s the thing. We may have our own ideas about what makes us fit or not to work with this or that deity, but frankly, they have their ideas as well. And it’s when our ideas and their ideas overlap, that things get very efficient. So, I know that ten mins of walking once off won’t make a huge difference to me, but I also know that starting off with ten mins of walking a day and continuing to do that day after day, will lead to 15mins of walking, maybe even an hour of walking. That will strengthen my body, ease out my muscles stiff from day after day of desk work, improve my thinking, improve my energy levels…. And I know that making this 10mins a devotional act means I’m more likely to continue with it in the longer term.
The sacred and the profane don’t have to be as separate in our lives as we think. Something can be useful to us and also an act of devotion. And fitness isn’t always what we imagine it to be either. What is your deity asking of you right now that will probably make you more “fit” in one way or another? And what are you going to do about it?