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free-time

  • Struggle

    I got one of those “inspirational” emails from a friend today.  You know the kind...the ones you are usually too busy to open. The email that arrives in your inbox right at the same time your boss emails you two new projects (with deadlines due in three days);  your best friend sends you a text telling you she has to cancel your trip to Cabo (because her mother-in-law is coming to town that same weekend); and your hairstylist leaves a voicemail telling you not to worry (that the orange will eventually come out of your hair and she will graciously give you 20% off the next time you come in for color correction!). Aggghhhh...it’s been one of those days and you REALLY don’t have time for another message.

     

    Well, stop and read this slowly: I believe in gifts from the universe. Five minutes before I read the email I was on my way to pick up Benadryl for my poor little Basset Parker (who kept me up all night) and in the most sleep-deprived manner I kept asking myself why I had to struggle so much over the past few years. I closed my business, lost my savings, dealt with stress fracture #12, and my family unit crumbled. Basically, I started with a clean slate in all areas of my life at the age of 36.

     

    I got home and decided to check my email while I contemplated how I was going to hide the medication in Parker’s food.  It was then that I received an unsolicited email from Victoria that was delivered in perfect timing:

     

    “For those days when we wonder why we have to struggle.....

     

    A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it seemed to halt in making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go on.

     

    The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

     

    The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand, able to support the body, which would contract in time.

     

    Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

     

    What the man—in  his kindness and haste—did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

     

    Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

     

     

    And we could never fly...

     

    boom”

     

     

    Easily put...there is beauty in struggle and strength in vulnerability.  Enjoy your run!

  • Energy Zapped?

    I don’t know about you, but after dragging myself to spin class or forcing myself to run as the sun comes up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I am always pooped come Thursday and Friday! I love working out in the morning and it is always worth it to know that I don’t have my workout looming ahead of me all day at work, but I start to lose my momentum toward the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your energy up throughout the week:

    ·         Get moving! This is a given, but the more active you are, the more energy you will have. If you sit at a desk all day like I do, try to take frequent breaks to walk around and boost your circulation. Also, make sure to sit up straight to increase your oxygen intake.

    ·         This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but regular workouts help keep energy high.

    ·        Dehydration is an instant energy-zapper and gives this Vita Girl an instant headache.

    ·         Try something new! New experiences give you a rush of adrenaline. Have you always wanted to try kayaking? Rent one and hit the water. I usually spin and run but when I want to mix things up I try a yoga or Pilates class.

    ·         Speaking of yoga, a few deep breaths can give you a boost when you’re feeling zapped and need a pick me up.

    ·         Make sure your blood-sugar never dips too low. I eat small meals throughout the day and always keep Vitalyte Sticks in my bag to jazz up water when I am short on time.

    ·          Spend time outdoors! There’s a reason you feel relaxed when at the beach or in the woods, spending time outside lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones.

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