Thursday, June 14, 2012

kissing thighs

I went running today in some blue basketball shorts that I acquired from a teenage boy at a dude ranch.  

Did I ever tell you about the time I worked at a dude ranch?  I worked at a dude ranch--totally outnumbered by dudes.  The little dudes were aged 12-15 (and a few 11 year olds in the mix)  There were slightly bigger dudes, 16-20, three 21 year old dudes fresh from their LDS missions, one dude in his latter-20's who volunteered with hikes, and the two head-dudes.  I was the only female counselor and there were two lady-cooks.

We had plentiful fun, did a ton of farm work, and went on weekend hikes.  In planning for our three-day hikes, we discussed conditions.  All three groups had hikes that would be along rivers and we would frequently pass through water.  I spoke with the lady-cooks about their choice of wardrobe, and they told me they would be wearing swimsuits most of the way.  I decided I would wear my skirted swimsuit as well, not taking into account their slender and well-spaced legs.  

It didn't take long to realize that the swimsuit thing wasn't going to work out for my legs.  At all.  My thighs rubbed and chaffed.  Each step screamed "bad idea."  I remembered the words of a lady on my mission telling us why she had to wear spandex while running. 

"I just have to!  My thighs kiss!  Oh, my husband HATES it when I say that."

My thighs kissed.  It hurt.  Where was my spandex?  

There were no other females in my group.  No point in beating around the bush.  I told my teen dudes that my thighs were chaffing and I wondered if any of them had an extra pair of shorts.  17 year old Matt gave me his blue basketball ones.

"Underwear?" I kind of whispered, nose scrunched up.  Was I really asking this?

"Sure.  I have these clean boxers."

"Thanks." I blushed.

"Keep them."  He smiled.   

So I finished our three day hike in periwinkle Joe Boxers and carolina blue shorts.  They got pretty wet so I was chaffing in different places now.  Needless to say, these days I never forget to plan for my kissing thighs.

* * * * *

Last night I got out of the shower and opened up my blinds.  Light poured in from street lamps.  I hung my towel on the door knob.  Sara challenged me years ago to spend 15 minutes of naked time each day.  I sat on my bed and lingered a bit before getting dressed. 

I looked at my thighs.  I usually sit, while examining them, with my feet forward, knees bent and up, thighs raised--gravity pulling their fat down so from my angle, they look smaller.  They can't kiss at this angle.  

But last night I inched my feet down, heels flat, and let my knees fall.  I pressed my thighs against the bed and let their bulk--muscle and fat--spread, ooze, take up space.  I looked down at them and smiled at the symbolism of being a woman who is not afraid to take up space--physically, intellectually, emotionally.

"I'm not afraid," I whisper in the face of my fear.  

I hold them, their size.  I cry.  We have a long history, my body and I.  The intensity of hatred feels so distant in some ways...but all too close in others.

I stare intently at them--skin, fat, muscle, bone.  I see them in that moment, not as sexual objects, commodities, or enemies, but as friends.  Friends who have taken me over mountains and through marathons.  Friends who permit me to pull weeds, lift boxes, go to work, climb fences, and dance.  Friends whose loss I would mourn deeply.  I massage them with my thumbs.  

I run my fingers from my hips down to my ankles.  and back up.  I look at my stretch marks near the top.  Battle scars, indicative of deep wounds.  They remain as reminders of a war we fought, my body and I.  

She won.

I'm still alive.  

My thighs are strong and soft and big and good.  They kiss.  They are like the rest of my body.  They are like me.  Full, present, not lacking, and not starving.  They are living.

We are thriving.

Such a good body.  

7 comments:

  1. Thanks. I've never loved my legs, but for a few minutes at one time, I thought I might lose one of them. I would have really missed it if it was gone. I guess I really do love my legs and all of the scars and stretch marks too. Also I hate running but I love spandex.

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  2. I love your legs, Catey. Also, you most DEFINITELY need to write about your experience for this blog.

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  3. I like the 15 minutes of naked time a day. I also have a deep connection to my legs devloped over years of running and they were some of the first parts of my body that I really came to accept as they really were the first parts of my body really to get pushed to their physical limit on a daily basis.

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  4. "take up space" gave me chills, because it's so central to dancing. Raise your head, extend your fingertips, take up a whole stage. You are here, with absolute certainty and without hesitation, and this space is filled by you, because you have something to accomplish and something to share.

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  5. This was absolutely, sincerely beautiful. Goosebumps. What an inspiration you are, Dana.

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  6. Awesome. Two memories come to mind: one friend who said she and her best friend liked to joke about how "these thighs will get me through the apocalypse," as in they're strong and powerful; and then the song "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC has a line I've always loved about how song's subject was "Knockin' me out with those American thighs," an image I've always loved. Thighs are beautiful.

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  7. I love this post. It is just....beautiful. No other words to describe it. And p.s. my thighs have been kissing since I was a little girl. :)

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