So I’ve mentioned that I work in theatre, and so I work with actors. The type of work I do and that I enjoy seeing falls under the moniker “physical theatre”. It is not dance, but rather theatre where the body takes precedence over the words and text. As I was working on shows I realized that I felt hypocritical to ask my actors to do things with their body that I couldn’t even begin to attempt.
Now, yes, they are trained differently than I am and use their bodies as their primary mode of communication on stage, but still. It just didn’t sit right with me. When I was overweight I tried to take a 2-day workshop and after the first day that I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t comfortable playing with my body and using it. Now I don’t have to do this on stage in front of an audience, but I thought I should be able to do it in the comfortable setting of a workshop. It felt horrible. I felt like a hypocrite. By no means should a director necessarily be able to do what an actor does, I felt like I couldn’t even come close. Like I didn’t know what was possible for the human body to do or what its limits were because my own limits were so much more due to my size.
And I have changed that – I feel like I can take a workshop now and move and not be afraid to move. I don’t get out of breath as easily and I can actually do the movements – perhaps not as well as an actor can, but I no longer feel like a hypocrite.
That is what I mean by my body being a machine – human bodies are remarkable things and when our muscles and bones etc all work together it can create beautiful pictures. I wanted my body to be able to move and to respond. I wanted a body that I could work and with work it could do new and exciting things. I want a body that is not encumbered by fat, but rather can be used to its full potential. I think that’s why I like training for my races so much. After each training session or race I can do new and wonderful things with my body. My body changes, gets better, faster, more limber. My body does what I believe it was meant to do – it moves.