This I Believe

Valerie - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Entered on April 4, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Goat Becomes Mountain

My mother’s earthly womb bore me New Year’s Day. Arriving as an honest goat, my earliest memories recall moving and playing. Mother said I repeatedly scaled door frames as a toddler. My father’s gymnast frame was a welcomed scaffold for climbing and balancing. We lived as animals together; his strong gorilla frame supported and tumbled me in early play.

The Love Bottling Company has been producing soft drinks for 88 years. By age four, I accompanied my father to his business where the landscape was rich with sand piles and truck beds for climbing. Tire bins were hiding places; plains of concrete parking were my bicycle’s frontier. My body and senses revealed the foundation of my belief.

I believe my body – its movement, mind, strength and flexibility – is the only manifest object I can trust. It houses my soul, my psychology, my divinity. Aging now, this body reveals wisdom and offers me opportunity to work, love, and cultivate compassion. When lost or hurt, my body has protected me and held me in truth. My vocation has emerged from its trust and wisdom.

When my aunt told me Satan would possess me if I practiced yoga, it was my body that led me to my primal divinity through yoga posture. Thirty-five years later, the same yoga poses tether me to my center, keeping me stronger than in my teens.

The day my grandfather said things might have been different had I been born a boy, my body was present to this injury. The ease with which he proclaimed my defectiveness usurped my right to be here. My throat tightened. I was breathless and frozen.

Wrongly as I may have been made, my body rightly served and protected me. Exercising as often as five hours daily, it became stronger. My shoulders broadened. My waist and hips narrowed. My arms and legs became muscular, manly. My body became the mountain to protect the wounded young woman inside.

Physically strong and protected, I found the mental resolve to complete two university degrees in the preventive and rehabilitative sciences. Intuitive and personal strength matched with scientific knowledge now contributes to my flourishing fitness and rehabilitation business. Through it, I have the opportunity to facilitate and witness others gaining trust and empowerment through their own body’s consciousness.

This goat has climbed and become the mountain. The mountain of my body is wearing down and will one day vanish. Until then, I will continue to breathe, move, cherish, and honor its structure and essence. It is my only real responsibility. It is my truest friend.