Thursday, 19 January 2012

Exercise for Life

As a Masters student in Nanjing, China I find that exercise is an essential part of my daily routine. Without that one hour of hardcore stretching, sweating, and just a slight ounce of pain, I feel as though something terribly important is missing from my life. If I go for more than a few days or more without exercise or stretching and I can slowly feel my muscles and mine going slack. If I wait a week or more, then I become a nervous wreck. So one could definitely say that I am an exercise addict.

For Siew Lian, however, exercise is something even more essential. From watching a clip of her physiotherapy, one can see that Siew Lian's physical therapy is the difference between life and deterioration. From her other videos, I have been able to gather Siew Lian enjoys being busy. I can relate to this type of mentality, because when I am not busy I either feel useless or guilty. To avoid those feelings, I fill my free time with work, study, volunteering, and anything else I can think of. One of those things that I use is exercise. Yet in Siew Lian's case, exercise can be a means for her to continue her life's work and to be the busy, active, and proactive Siew Lian that her friends and family know her as.

Watching Siew Lian go through physiotherapy connects me to her in a way that I feel could not happen in any other way. Siew Lian may battle her debilitating disease in more than one way, but she battles her obstacles in the same way that I do! I use exercise to fight off the demons of laziness and depression, and she uses it to fight off the effects of her Lupus. Exercise, no matter in what form can be therapeutic, but it also is something that is essential for the healthy and the sick, the strong and the weak, and the active and the passive. Movement, in any form, not only binds us together but acts as a form of communication. It can communicate strength, love, security, and more.

Watching Siew Lian through her physiotherapy to me communicates a sense of endurance, security, and normality. I believe it takes a lot of courage to share the intimacies of your life on the internet for the whole world to see, and while Siew Lian is not the first or the last, she is certainly one of the few whose message has actual substance and something important to communicate to the world.

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