As I observed an elderly man shuffling across a room and struggling just to successfully sit down, I contemplated the idea of "hope. It made me think of the widower who struggles each day with the loss of his wife; I pondered the amazing blessing of living in America and our right to pursue happiness — giving us hope for prosperity; I thought about hope within Christianity and how we are at peace with the certain hope of eternal life; I reflected back on how just two short years ago I found that my health had collapsed and my hope was dwindling; and as I look around Redding I see so many men and women who have lost hope and succumbed to the unfortunate downward spiral of drugs, alcohol, and violence. Hope is a huge part of the human experience and having it or losing it can change everything.
When I look at what I do for a living — owning a gym, teaching classes, personal training, I realize that, at the core, what I represent and offer is hope. We all need it; it breathes life into our spirits. Prisoners of war sometimes survive years of torture and imprisonment because they somehow dig deep into their soul and find a reason for hope. A life without hope is a tragedy, while a life with hope is joyful and fulfilled and touches others with its contagious zeal. A hopeful person wakes up each day with thankfulness and an eager anticipation of what a new day will bring!
I'm sure many folks have discontinued exercise because they thought becoming fit was hopeless. Press on, people, 'cuz if you think you can't, you're right but if you think you can, you will! Physical movement is a blessing that should be nurtured, exercised, and fully appreciated and while it certainly isn't always easy, if we get our heads right (be filled with hopeful expectation) great thing will happen and moving our bodies gets a whole lot easier. After my struggle with illness, I can truly attest to this one.
So when it comes to exercise (and life in general, really) here are my musts for you: 1) get your head right; 2) if hope starts caving in, get help. Talk to God, to a friend, to a trainer, to a medical professional. We've all felt hope slipping at one time or another! 3) When hope is threatened, take a small step forward. Action has a way of busting hopelessness right in the chops — even something as simple as going for a walk! 4) Lastly, look back every so often and observe how far you've come, be thankful for where you are today, and expectantly hope for a brighter, fitter tomorrow.
Enjoy the 4th, fill your spirit with hope, and may God bless America!