The flood of acid to your stomach, the short, shallow breaths, the giant, all-encompassing contraction of your heart that thumps and thuds, seemingly, against the hollow cage of your ribs, reverberating throughout your body, and landing on the tympani drum in your ears. The audible ‘whoosh’ of blood moving from organ to organ. The acute focus of your eyes; ready to respond to the slightest movement. The hyper vigilant twitch in your body; ready to fight or take flight. Fear.
Many say that ‘our bodies betray us’ when in the talons of fear. From the dry throat and jitters before reading in front of the class in primary school, to the full-blown nausea and profuse sweating before giving a presentation in front of the entire company, or walking onto the court or field of your dreams.
But that is not a betrayal.
Mental acuity, hyper vigilance, heightened senses and adrenaline...that isn’t your body copping out, that is your body preparing you. That is your body infusing everything that you need in the blink of an eye to fight, flight or light it up. Hell, Bruce Springsteen won’t even go on stage until he feels like he is about to throw up. Celtics great, Bill Russell, used to puke before every game, and wouldn’t trust his performance unless his body hyped him up enough to spew the proof.
Our fear keeps us alive. It prevents us from getting into a stranger’s car, it gives us super strength in the face of physical peril, and it charges our talent to be able to give to our audiences with a larger-than-life generosity; our body’s beautiful response to fear.
Our bodies never betray us. Our bodies communicate to us. They are our only vehicle for this life experience, and are passionately, viscerally, cellularly on our side until we part ways.
So, instead of condemning your body, next time you feel your shoulders twitch, the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention, or your stomach start to churn...listen to it.
Honor the molecular SWAT team that has your six, the one that knows on a primal level that something is off, and you should move.
Or perhaps you just might be feeling every single atom excitedly jumping, bumping, moshing into one another in the molecular crowd awaiting your walk out onto the main stage.
Whichever the message, trust your body’s intel, and lead the charge. The world is here for you. And your body wants to experience the best of it with you.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]