I’ll just say it…I’m totally one of those annoying people who check-in at the gym on Facebook. I also work out to the memory of chocolate shakes and french fries past, and I’d be lying if I told you that I’d never envisioned myself with a hot bikini body while panting on the treadmill. Alright, so I go to the gym so that I can indulge at In-n-Out and Baskin Robbins. And yes, I absolutely workout to justify spending entire days in yoga pants as a badge of honor. And while I wholeheartedly believe that food, drink, and bragging rights are as noble fitness motivators as any, I’ve come to learn that working out is about more than skinny jeans, wine, and checking-in at the gym on Facebook. Working out is also about training for life’s tough stuff.
Let me explain…
Two years ago, on this very day, my dad was admitted to the hospital, where we would learn that he had only a year left to live.
**CUE: TOUGH STUFF**
For lack of more eloquent phrasing…it sucked. But in some strange way I was prepared. I was prepared to spend that final, bittersweet year with him. I was prepared to learn the sad, terrible realities of cancer. And while I never could have been entirely prepared to lose my dad, I was prepared to face the heap of tough stuff that was barreling directly toward us. Because, without knowing it, when I was sweating through spin class or breathing through yoga, not only was my body getting stronger, my mind was also toughening up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we workout, we’re preparing ourselves to dig deep and endure all of life’s tough stuff with grace and grit. And tough stuff doesn’t have to be terminal cancer. Tough stuff (much like Baskin Robbins milkshakes) comes in small, medium and large.
Tough stuff is carrying a big load of laundry up the stairs (or, if you’re like me, carrying it over to your parents’ house) or lugging a week’s worth of groceries in from the car. Tough stuff is parenting and hustling through a busy day after a night of like zero sleep. Tough stuff is taxes and car trouble. Tough stuff is the loss of a pet and the end of a marriage.
Tough stuff is mental and physical, emotional and spiritual, but regardless what form tough stuff takes, when we’ve trained for it, we can conquer it. We can find strength and stamina during times of chaos and stress. In loss, we can find peace. And with each test of our toughness, we can adapt, evolve, and grow stronger.
Tough stuff is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be catastrophic — and that’s why I workout.
I workout to look and feel my best. I workout to eat pizza and chocolate. I workout to make friends. I workout to keep up with my family — and my dog. I workout to maintain a decent level of sanity. But most of all, I workout to challenge and prepare myself for the all the tough stuff that lies ahead.
5 thoughts on “I Workout”
Yes, Hannah, I whole-heartedly concur with your thoughts. None of us was guaranteed “a bowl of cherries Life” and I’ve been experiencing MORE than my share of “tough stuff from Life” in the past couple of years. So, I’m via my dog-walking service, going to work toward a “work-out regime”, having an enjoyable facial + an excellent massage (by a gifted, credentialed couple of Carlsbad ladies at their salon) during 2015! All the very best to you, beautiful Susie, handsome Graham, adorable Britta + a big hug & kiss for dear, sweet Layla!
Thank you!!! Good medicine for the soul! You have such a gift for the written word.
Judy Slack Willis Allen Real Estate 619 921-5937 BRE# 00614707
I am never too busy for your referrals!
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Thanks for reminding me of the tough stuff I have been dealt–divorce, cancer, pain, and loneliness as my senior years are here. I went through that stuff like I was suppose to, assuming many othesr had as well, and it is just a part of life. I don’t ever think that it was tough, or that I was tough. But now, as I look back, I realize I was much stronger than I realize, and my faith was always there to pull me through. So as a 22 year survivor next month, I am ever so grateful for being tough.
LIFE IN GENERAL IS TOUGH> But the daily problems help to make us stronger to be able to handle the tougher problems that are thrown at us. We are usually always stronger than we think. And it is said that God never gives us anything we can’t handle. We may disagree with this but we forge on anyway. Thank you Hannah for your wonderful insights to life in general.
Hannah, always a pleasure to catch your uplifting messages. This is my favorite so far because we are challenged by life and coming from a more centered spot makes you a little more able to respond in kind.