Gratitude Week: Fitness makes us flexible.

On this Thanksgiving Day, a few thoughts about another of the many benefits of fitness. It makes us flexible when things don’t always go perfectly.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday! (Image courtesy of nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday! (Image courtesy of nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

In life, things don’t always go perfectly. (Sometimes, they even go nuts.) What have you learned by working to maintain a consistent exercise program? What I’ve learned is that it doesn’t always go perfectly – but it always goes pretty well. Even when “pretty well” means you don’t quite get out there for your workout every single time you plan to, you’re out there often enough to make a difference. And our bodies and minds know the score.

Today I’m thankful for the discipline of staying active as often as I can – and yes, it hasn’t always been perfect. (You can probably tell that it’s not “perfect” right now as I haven’t been posting daily workouts…I’m still dealing with the aftereffects of that shoulder injury – most interestingly, the fear that I could fall again if I run. Yuck. Working through it.)

But fitness has always been there. I can count on my fitness now, no matter what else is going on in my life. It’s been a neat and nifty journey watching this almost-43-year-old body follow directions. That’s the fun thing about fitness. When we exercise, our bodies follow directions. They get – and stay – strong. They recover fairly quickly from bumps and bruises and life’s little issues (or life’s big issues). And sometimes, we surprise ourselves: we find out that our bodies can do things we weren’t sure they could do. A few weeks ago I went out for a long run with a friend and I knew I wasn’t quite “up to it” by my regular training standards. But, there with a friend who needed to rack up some miles in preparation for an upcoming race, my body said “Oh, you want me to run more? Well…okay. Sure.” And we completed the distance.

Flexibility. One of many, many things I’m grateful for in this holiday season.

And with that, on this Thanksgiving Day 2014, I wish you and your family and friends the happiest of holidays. And a great workout after dinner!

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