Don’t forget to be kind to yourself

Editors note: I wrote this in a private facebook group, but thought that this is very relevant to my aikido practice as well as how I need to face life in general.  I am including this post without edit for this blog entry. 

As promised I will be posting my daily check-in privately . But as I am an overweight man that’s struggling with my weight and fitness, and see that there are others struggling, I wanted to reach out and offer some thoughts.

I’ve seen a few people recently post that they can’t get through even the beginners work out and they are getting discouraged. I would like to offer what works for me. The thing that works most for me is kindness to myself and permission to fail.

Everyday is a new day. Everyday brings new opportunities, new hopes, new accomplishments. Everyday also brings us new fears and new anxieties. “What if I fail this program?” “I can’t even get through the third work out!”

If you work out consistently you will gain strength and endurance but you may also hurt yourself. If you do, be kind to yourself, heal and come back. If you need to start from day one, then that’s where you will need to start.

If you find that you were not able to do a particular exercise, modify it. If you can’t modify it, get up and jog in place. If you can’t jog in place , walk in place. Commit to coming back tomorrow or the next day and trying it again.

Keep a journal and note the things that are hard so you can examine them and try to modify them on your own. Ask questions to the group, other friends to see how you can work out or stretch the same muscle groups with an easier exercise.

Be grateful for the things you have in your life. The loving relationships, doing a good job at work, sometimes just being able to get out of bed and face the day all contribute to your well being. Your health contributes to your well being too, as your well. being contributes to your health.

I was in a really bad place about a week into quarantine. Small things would make me melt down. I was (and still am) scared for my health, the health of my mom, my loved ones. Taking things one day, one hour, one minute at a time has helped greatly.

When working out, I sometimes fall into “man, am i going to be able to keep this up tomorrow, in a week?” And I gently have to remind myself that what happens tomorrow is not important. I need to simply concentrate and get through the exercise that is right in front of me right now. Then, I will worry about the next exercise, and so on.

I am you. I have my fears and doubts. I have my days where I am discouraged. But this is how I’ve been trying to address these things: Being kind to myself, giving myself permission to fail, and coming back the next day to start over again. I write this with the hope that we all can be well together.

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