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Following YOUR Next Big Step

April 28, 2011

Yesterday, post-emotional-breakdown, I saw a link to an article that Kristin Armstrong wrote a few years ago about healing from her divorce from Lance Armstrong and subsequently finding the athlete in herself. As I was trying to put my own thoughts together, I really enjoyed reading Kristin’s story of redemption through running.

And it got me thinking about healing power of exercise. For most of us, working out is something we have to do, we hate to do, we dread to do. But what if we flipped that switch in our heads and instead viewed it as medicine for our bodies and souls? That with each step on the treadmill or each rep of the dumbbells, we’d be curing our body and soul of what ails it.

I loved the line in Kristin’s story about her first marathon where she wondered if Lance was thinking of her as she  was “hauling my tired body and toting my invisible pack of sadness over all those miles.” Invisible pack of sadness. We don our workout clothes, buy the best shoes we can afford, keep water close by to stay hydrated, but what else are we hauling around as we work out?

What if each step you took in your workout chipped away at the emotional baggage you are carrying with you each day? Would we view these workouts as the chore we typically do, or would we suddenly view them as a cleansing of our souls?

Chew on that, my dear readers. Where will your Next Big Step take you?

And in the meantime, I think I’m going to start reading Ms. Armstrong’s Mile Markers blog on RunnersWorld.com. In a more recent post, “Wingspan,” she wrote about failure. (Hmm, and I read this yesterday as I was contemplating my own Epic FAIL of this week.) I like the way this woman thinks!

Failure is not defeat until you stop trying.

How awesome is the idea that we are never defeated if we never stop trying. We may stop and start again. We may change our goal midway and soldier on. We may retire and later re-enter the ring. We may fail miserably and muster up the courage for a do-over. We may let one dream go in order to make room for another, better dream. Or we may realize that the dream we’ve held close all along matters now more than ever–and we approach it with renewed vigor. We may take time to heal and then laugh again, trust again, love again, run again, start again.

If defeat is for quitters, then the victory remains in the try.

Big Thanks to NordicTrak, by the way. It’s because I’m a Facebook fan of their page that I found Kristin’s article in the first place. Seriously, you never know around which corner you are going to stumble across inspiration.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 28, 2011 10:27 am

    Exercise is sooooo healing! In fact, it’s typically the mental/emotional “stuff” that gets me moving. My most active chapters are always around life changes – divorce, work stress, empty nest. When I’m feeling powerless about life and stuff, I try to focus on what I do have power over – which is my health and own actions. Mood & Action —- Action & Mood — I trick myself into self-care and then it builds on itself. Thank you for sharing!

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