It is a little less than a week since I watched Equations for a Moving Body and I just went for a run. I use the term ‘run’ loosely, because I’m new to this – I was doing a mix of running and walking but I did it. Then I went to the gym and smashed some weight training (again, gently).
As my feet hit the ground and my heart sped up it felt good. As I pushed against the weights it felt good. I felt strong. It was hard and it was hot but I feel strong.
Normally, when I work out (which varies from ‘hardly ever’ to ‘a few times a week’ throughout the course of a year), it is a chore. It’s hard. I suppose the way it made me get out and run says more about Equations for a Moving Body than anything else I could write, but what was amazing was how good it made me feel.
Hannah Nicklin did a triathlon when she turned 30. Through Equations of a Moving Body, she methodically breaks down the training and the triathlon itself, peppering it with the science that makes your body and mind work, as well as the people who supported her through it. The heart is a muscle; train it and it gets stronger. I wept through it.
Hannah has rooted a show in fact, in science and in psychology and I wept, because she has constructed something gorgeous, strong and tender.
We are storytelling animals. We create anecdotes and chapters in our own lives. Hannah set her own milestone when completing her triathlon. Hannah’s triathlon was a headline in her story, dedicated to those who helped – but for her.
I’m quite hefty. When I exercise normally it’s not for me. It’s for the people who make comments, who shout things from their car windows, who write articles about being big being wrong. It’s not for me, it’s begrudingly giving in.
After watching Equations for a Moving Body and after going for a run, I felt strong. Someone shouted something at me from their car window and I didn’t even care. Hannah’s triathlon was hers – her story to tell, her achievement. My body is mine and I want it to be strong. I want to feel good. In my story, I want to be as strong as Hannah. For me.
Northern Stage at Summerhall