A Love Letter to Exercise



Those first years were passion and agony. You were utterly enchanting, promising me escape from an existence I despised. I leant on you when times were hard; I brandished you as a weapon in a war on my body. That wasn’t fair on either of us.  When things were good we were in ecstasy, we stared into each other’s eyes and wondered how we had dared to exist before. When things were bad, there was hysteria, our souls wrenched open by confrontation, a vicious aggression consuming us both. I know others wondered if we were any good for each other. I don’t blame them. It was wonderful, it was terrible, it reminded me I was alive.

Eventually we reached a breaking point and suddenly, it was over. I have never felt such pain. A part of me was rent asunder, I couldn’t breathe. I existed underwater.

Separation was agony but separation was also growth. I sought help, I tried to get better, I fell down, I tried again. The turmoil of trying to be with you had covered a deep, buried sorrow. Now I had to confront it before I was swallowed whole. Gradually, a warmth spread from the horizon. Some days it would touch my skin and I would turn to face it. I began to breathe again, tentatively at first but with growing confidence.

I found a rhythm, and with that rhythm I rediscovered you. We barely knew each other anymore, we started with fresh foundations. We had lost each other in the tumult that first time around, but here we were, re-awoken to the world and to each other. Rediscovering each other was enchantment and childish delight. You grew my sense of self, taught me how to deal with adversity and tethered me when I was floating away.

You bring me laughter, tears, comfort and solace. You are with me every splash, cycle and step of my journey. Through our relationship I have found new motivation, new meaning. Now when the darkness descends I can see a hand offered towards me and I know that if I can just hold on, I will find the light.

I will always reach for that outstretched hand. I know we have so many more adventures to come.



A Love Letter to Exercise