Expressing My Gratitude
It is Thanksgiving morning, so it seems especially fitting to start my day with gratitude. I do this by getting to the gym, just like I do every morning.
I am grateful to my body for everything it allows me to do: the crazy long hours, swimming, trapeze, trampoline, getting up in the morning, walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing.
I am grateful to my body for giving me the ability to get out of bed and get to the gym every day for the past 97 days. I am grateful to my head for mostly getting joy of the way of that process. I am grateful to my body for the times when it pushes my head out of the way and says “Not so fast. Me first. Everything else comes later.”
Nothingis more important first thing in the morning than my need to care for myself and my body. Any pain I feel, any stiffness that runs through my bones and joints, any fatigue, goes away when I start moving my body. I have learned that static stretching and meditation only serve to make me more tired.
My energy force comes from moving. No intellectual stimulation or anything else to stimulate my thoughts serves me as well as pumping up the music and moving, even if it is for only 10 minutes. No podcasts or audio books during this time. Just music with a good beat. The music gets me moving. The movement ignites my thoughts.
Emotion is created by motion.
Physiology ignites psychology.
YOU MEET YOUR MUSTS
Starting every day with physical movement and exercise is not merely something I think I should do for my health and well-being. It is not merely something I want to do.
For me, this is a MUST — like breathing air or drinking water. And this is why I am here this morning in the gym:
You meet your musts.
This is the reason why I leave the party a little early even if I otherwise want to stay. It is the reason I stop before “just one more cocktail.” It is the reason why I drag myself out of bed even when I am tired and the temperature outside is below freezing. It is the reason why even if I made a disempowering choice the night before with what I ate or how late I stayed up, I still get up and do some type of exercise or movement.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
My body allows me to do a lot. My mind races all day long and sometimes also through the night. Both deserve my gratitude.
Actions speak louder than words.
Exercise is the way I thank my body for all it allows me to do.
So I wake up and get myself out of bed, sometimes with energy and other times dragging myself. I take one step at a time to get dressed, get my contact lenses in, and get my earphones in. I start the music and I get out the door.
Some days I swim. Some days I take a class. Some days I jump on a rebounder. Some days I walk around the neighborhood. Some days I get on a cardio machine. Some days, I do get on the floor and just move and stretch. I listen to my body and I give it what it needs. I try my best to shut off my brain so I can listen to my body, and not to the self-sabotaging part of me that wants to be lazy.
Some days I work out and maintain full presence. Other days I may be in a trance, journaling my thoughts while my body moves.
Whatever I do, I meet my minimum outcome: move my body and clear my mind.
I thank my body for all it does for me, and I do this for my body. I do this for my mind. No email. No social networks. Just me and my body moving. And whatever thoughts come in and need to come out.
Thank you body for letting me play full-out today and every day.
You meet your musts.
It’s that simple.