The mind games of Exercise

There are many articles regarding the benefits of mental health and fitness. Search it up on the internet, read a book…. The information is out there.

Truthfully, I am not sure how much that resonates with people. How much the textbook information actually sinks in?  A lot of important information can become very technical for people and your eyes begin to gloss over before you get halfway through a paragraph.

I am hoping this isn’t one of those articles.

I have always encouraged a lifestyle that can be maintained throughout the entire year with bumps along the way. Who gives a crap as long as you get back on the ride and keep going.  Learn to love your body and everything it has to offer you.

I can say that the past couple months I am so thankful to myself for leading a lifestyle I encourage as honestly, right now, that is one of the main factors that has kept me going. I am struggling to motivate myself to find a “new normal”.  I am trying to pull myself out and around a level of sadness I never imagined.  I have fear, I have apprehension of the unknown and of missing someone I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.  The sadness for all the years he is missing.  He should be here!

I truly believe that training, fitness, exercise… whatever you want to call it, has allowed me to cope through all of this. I cannot scream it loud enough on how important it is to move your body!  Breathe in fresh air, strengthen your heart by training hard enough to feel your heart pound plus move freely and less intense so you enjoy the moment and want to keep going.

I must respect myself on an entirely deeper level than I ever have. I have always made training a priority in my day but now it has a stronger mental focus.  Not only do I need to stay physically strong for my children, I must stay mentally strong for them.

What about you? Are you maintaining a balance between work and you!?


Fitness and movement has allowed me to have a stronger grasp on the positive. It is very easy to sit alone and cry so uncontrollably that you think things will never get better.  The sadness is so excruciating that you cannot imagine feeling happy again.  BUT, the mental game of how amazing you feel after a run or training session pushed me through that.  I KNEW how much I loved training, how much I love to run.  I knew I couldn’t allow myself to ignore that.

My first goal was to get back to my routine of activity. I remember my first run after my husband passed away.  I swear I looked like Phoebe on the episode of “Friends” where she is running with Rachel in the park.  I cried the deepest tears during every step. But I never stopped.  I ran and felt absolutely amazing!  I know Peter pushed me along that day.  I came home and knew that if I didn’t keep going and stay active I would dive deep down to a place so sad it would be hell to pull myself out.

That moment was when I had a new appreciation of movement and exercise simply for mental clarity.

From deep, dark sadness and loneliness to the strongest feeling of “I can do this, I got this” could only be achieved right now by moving my body. Every bead of sweat, every breath and every step has given me more and more courage to keep going.

No, I am not the same person. I am learning to deal with the rollercoaster of grief and emotions, anxiety and fear, and so many thoughts and concerns of how to cope and deal with a new identity of who I am.  But, I know deep inside that I need to be back to the person I was, someone who wanted to help others and encourage and teach.

I can honestly share with you that I feel I am proof of healing because of fitness, movement and exercise.

And then I received an amazing message.

“I have to thank you so much for your strength and words. With everything you were going through at the time (and still), your message was very powerful and I shared it with my husband.  He hadn’t been feeling well since early fall and his doctor had him on medication that didn’t seem to be working.  His doctor ordered some more tests.  We’ve since found out he has a genetic aortic aneurysm and will be having heart surgery very soon in the coming weeks.  He is currently going through pre-op procedures and we are keeping positive thoughts.  He has a chance at life and I want to thank you for bringing health and heart awareness to everyone in your life.  I will always be grateful”

Holy Shit!  This…. Right there….that message blew me away! Peter is changing lives and saving lives!

I realize for many, the first steps of starting an active lifestyle are the hardest. Muscles “burn”, you can’t breathe because you are “out of shape”, the effort is so intense that is it really worth it?  Sometimes just sitting on the couch watching TV seems so much more enjoyable!

TRUST ME! You need to give yourself just enough time to crave it.  Just enough time to love it and want more of it!! (yup, I say that on a regular basis 🙂

This. Time. Will. Come.

Soon you will be on a path that will push you so strongly you cannot imagine it any other way. Start focusing on the mental benefits of each walk, each training session, each breath.  Stop focusing on the physical…. Just allow yourself to feel the mental exhilaration you experience afterwards.  It’s so rewarding!

I only know my own grief and sadness but I do know how great I feel after I move my body. If I can experience the small steps back to happiness from where I fell, I believe it can happen for you.