advice · holiday fitness · self care

Making Space 2023: Day 3

I felt like Making Space for fun today so I thought I’d bring you along with me.

When things feel busy, we often ditch the fun things from our to do lists so we’ll have more time to do other stuff.

I understand that impulse (and I often unconsciously do the same thing) but it’s not a good idea.

It’s hard on your brain when everything is all drudgery, duty, and obligation -especially when it goes on for too many days in a row.

So, to prevent things from getting even harder on your brain, I dare you to add a bit of fun to your day.

And I hope these videos help you get into a fun frame of mind:

In this video from The Fitness Marshall, the team is dancing to Barbie Girl by Aqua. The still image shows 4 people in brightly coloured clothing making exaggerated dance gestures.

This video is designed for kids but the advice is good and the video is fun so I think adults can use it, too.

This video from GoNoodle is a destressing ‘melting’ exercise to help people cope with that frozen feeling many of us get when we’re tense. The still image is mostly blue and shows a blue cartoon person who is leaning to one side.

For a little bonus fun, here’s a relaxing drawing exercise.

A drawing video from Lilytopia Garden. The still image shows a drawing of a square filled with wavy shapes filled in with lines that repeat the outline shape. The artist is holding a pencil toward the middle of the shape.

About Making Space 2023:

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. 

In 2021, I started doing daily December reminders with a post called Give Yourself Some Space,  and that’s how the ‘Making Space‘ December tradition began. Throughout December 2021 and 2022, I wrote a short post that included two videos – one for exercise and one for meditation – and a bit of encouragement for you to make space for yourself at this busy time of year. 

These posts are not about cramming more things into your month, they reminding you that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and that you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need at the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day. Just do whatever you can to give yourself a little more breathing room.

Personally, I am trying to Finish 2023 Soft so I am putting conscious effort into resting whenever I can. My overjangled nervous system needs a chance to unjangle and that process may look different every day. 

So, some of these posts may be long and some may be short but please know that every single one of them is written with the hope that you can find a little ease in your day, whatever that looks like for you.

advice · habits · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · self care

Making Space 2023: Day 2

Hey Team,

I hope you found a way to make a little space for yourself in your day yesterday but, if not, give it a try today.

Please make sure you aren’t hard on yourself about trying to make space. Some days will be easier than others, just do what you can with the resources you have on any given day.

And remember that giving yourself space can involve something besides exercise and meditation. It might be taking time for a second cup of tea or another chapter of your book. It might look like deciding NOT to do something that is usually on your list this time of year. It might involve choosing a simpler version of a regular task or asking for help with some part of that task.

No matter what ‘Making Space’ looks like for you today, I hope you find some ease.

Now, on to the videos:

Since we are still warming up for the month of December, I thought this easy warm-up video from the mother and daughter team of Aiko and April with the Yes2Next YouTube channel was a good choice for today.

I really like the friendly way they talk to each other.

The still image from this embedded video shows two seniors, a mother and daughter. The mother is seated and reaching her right arm overhead and to the left. She is wearing dark pants and a purple sweatshirt. The daughter is standing with both arms overhead and she is wearing dark pants and vivid pink tshirt.

And here’s a restful meditation called ‘Floating in the Clouds’ from the Great Meditation YouTube channel

The still image on this embedded video is a cartoon drawing of a person in loose clothing looking very peaceful as they sit cross-legged on a cloud. The background is light blue and there is text on the right side that reads ‘Floating in the Clouds.’

About Making Space 2023:

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. 

In 2021, I started doing daily December reminders with a post called Give Yourself Some Space,  and that’s how the ‘Making Space‘ December tradition began. Throughout December 2021 and 2022, I wrote a short post that included two videos – one for exercise and one for meditation – and a bit of encouragement for you to make space for yourself at this busy time of year. 

These posts are not about cramming more things into your month, they reminding you that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and that you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need at the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day. Just do whatever you can to give yourself a little more breathing room.

Personally, I am trying to Finish 2023 Soft so I am putting conscious effort into resting whenever I can. My overjangled nervous system needs a chance to unjangle and that process may look different every day. 

So, some of these posts may be long and some may be short but please know that every single one of them is written with the hope that you can find a little ease in your day, whatever that looks like for you.

advice · holidays · meditation

Making Space 2023: Day 1

It’s December 1 and you know what that means?

Time to give yourself some space, my friends!

Yes, I know that may feel impossible right now. Yes, I know you may have a lot to do. 

But, you know what?

You don’t have to wear yourself out in order to get that stuff done. 

You deserve time to yourself, time to take care of yourself, time to do something that makes you feel more like you. 

You deserve to have space in your own life.

A photo of some trees and a fence covered in snow on a sunny day. There is a house in the background.
I took this on my walk with Khalee on Thursday morning. I felt really happy and restful as I was strolling along and I wanted to capture an image that would conjure up those feelings for me again. Image description: a photo taken from the sidewalk facing towards the back of someone’s house. There are a lot of snow-covered trees and a stretch of snow-covered ground between me and their fence and the sun is shining between the trees onto the snow. The photo has a crisp feeling to it.

Whether you are finishing up stuff for the end of the year, preparing for a holiday or just slogging through a bunch of regular stuff, this time of year feels busy and the busy-ness will try to creep into every spare second.

If you wait for free time to appear before you do things for yourself, you’ll be waiting a long time. 

But if you create some space – even just by pausing for an extra long breath, by doing one less thing, by looking for places where things can be dialed back a little – you can have a little time for yourself much sooner. 

Now, to be clear, I know there are difficult situations in which there is literally no way for someone to create space for themselves and I am truly sorry if you are in one of those times right now. I wish you ease and peace of mind as you make your way through your challenges. 

However, for most of us, this rushed and busy season can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact that it feels busy adds to the busy-ness. The ambient stress adds to our stress. Our crowded schedules make our brains feel even more crowded than they need to be.

Now, I’m NOT saying that finding a little space for yourself will make life easy.

And I’m NOT saying that meditation and exercise will clear your schedule.

What I’m saying is that making space for yourself in your own life will make all it easier to handle everything else.

Making space for yourself will help you feel a little better, even if nothing else changes.

BUT

This isn’t a group challenge. 

This isn’t another to do list item.

These posts are an offering – two small ways that you can find a little space each day in December. 

You can take them, you can leave them, or you can do something else.

No matter what you choose or don’t choose, I am here to cheer you on and remind you that your needs matter – especially at this busy time of year. 

I have a bit more explanation and a few useful links in the ‘About Making Space 2023’ section below but let’s get started with our meditation and exercise, shall we?

First up, a 3 minute meditation exercise for beginners from the Flow Neuroscience YouTube channel.

A 3-minute meditation exercise for beginners. Still image is of a yellow circle hovering above a green wavy horizon.

And while most of you are probably already out of bed, maybe you could manage a little bit of a lie-down while you give these stretches from Ask Dr Jo a try?

A video entitled ‘Stop Morning Back Pain: 3 Simple Stretches You Can Do In Bed.’ Still image shows the instructor Dr. Jo wearing grey track pants and blue shirt, lying on her back on a bed. She has one knee bent with her foot flat on the bed and the other knee lifted toward her chest with her foot in the air and her toes pointing upward.

About Making Space 2023:

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. 

In 2021, I started doing daily December reminders with a post called Give Yourself Some Space,  and that’s how the ‘Making Space‘ December tradition began. Throughout December 2021 and 2022, I wrote a short post that included two videos – one for exercise and one for meditation – and a bit of encouragement for you to make space for yourself at this busy time of year. 

These posts are not about cramming more things into your month, they reminding you that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and that you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need at the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day. Just do whatever you can to give yourself a little more breathing room.

Personally, I am trying to Finish 2023 Soft so I am putting conscious effort into resting whenever I can. My overjangled nervous system needs a chance to unjangle and that process may look different every day. 

So, some of these posts may be long and some may be short but please know that every single one of them is written with the hope that you can find a little ease in your day, whatever that looks like for you.

PS – If you are already feeling overwhelmed by the thought of the month ahead, you might find this old article of mine helpful. December is like a messy closet, here’s how to get it back on track. I’m not actually too concerned with you being ‘on track’ but I do want you to have peace of mind and I hope the suggestions in that piece can help you move in that direction.

advice · fitness · habits · self care

Go Team 2023: Just inching forward

Hey Team,

Is anyone else feeling kind of stuck lately?

I’m not stuck on one particular task or in one area of life. I’m not frozen in place.

I’m just kind of metaphorically walking through mud in the various things I’m trying to do, even the routine stuff

This isn’t a crisis situation. I am not in any particular despair. I’m just moving reaaaaaaaaaallllllllyyy slowly.

And I’m trying to just let myself move that way.

I’m trying to avoid the temptation to just push harder.

I’m trying to take it easy on myself, to just keep inching forward, sticking to whatever version of my routines feels do-able on a given day, and trying my okayest for everything I have to do.

We don’t have to push ourselves in every area of our lives every day.

Sometimes, we can just move a little bit at a time.

So, Team, if you’re feeling a bit stuck, a bit slow, if you’re not seeing any progress, I invite you to join me being kind to yourself about it while you just inch forward.

In fact, it’s okay if you centimetre forward or millimetre forward or just wait for a minute while you catch your metaphorical breath.

And I’m offering you this gold star in recognition of your hard work – whatever that work looks like today, or tomorrow, or whenever.

a drawing of a gold star on a white piece of paper.
A drawing of a star outlined in black and filled with concentric circles of gold. Speckles of gold decorate the paper around the star and the whole drawing is resting on a dark blue surface with blue shapes in a slightly lighter blue.
ADHD · advice · fitness · habits · mindfulness · motivation · self care

Go Team 2023: Today’s Best

Hey Team,

Last week was incredibly busy and stressful.

I was organizing/running an arts festival for a community arts festival and, at the same time, every project I’m part of that had been on hiatus for the summer was suddenly revived.

(Seriously,. Last Tuesday, I had four different groups write me to try and set a meeting between Oct 3 & 5…a time when I already had several things scheduled.)

And this is all my volunteer work so it doesn’t include regular work nor does it include household or family-related stuff.

I was getting overwhelmed and frustrated and I kept feeling those annoying, pointless thoughts creeping up on me.

You know the ones, I mean? They gang up on you when things get stressful – even if that stress was impossible to prevent. They start with ‘You should have…’ and they go downhill from there.

I was trying to just ignore them but that seemed to make them fight harder to be heard.

So, I decided to take a few minutes to review.

Was there any truth in those annoying thoughts?

Maybe a little bit here and there (I wrote those things down to journal about later) but mostly no.

I think my brain was looking for a reason why I was so overwhelmed and figured that I must be the cause.

So, I decided to set some boundaries with those thoughts and try to keep them at bay.

I made the little card below – well, ok, it’s two little cards next to each other- and said it aloud every time I looked at it. And, obviously, the gold star was for my hard work – both my work on the festival and my work to stand up to those thoughts.

And it really helped.*

Since I had decided that I was doing the best I could with the resources I had, the only thing to do was keep at it.

I had to do today’s best, whatever that was, with the resources I had at that moment.

I tried not to think about how things could have gone differently with different preparation or different resources, I focused on what I could do right now.

So, I don’t know about your stress level right now.

I don’t know what you have ahead of you, behind you, or around you.

I don’t know what you are trying to deal with.

I don’t know what your brain is annoying you with.

But what I do know is that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have.

I wish you ease and I wish you self-kindness.

And I offer you this gold star for your hard work – your work on all of the things, your work to focus on today’s best (or today’s okayest!), and your work to find ease and to be kind to yourself.

Go Team!

Image description: a drawing of a gold star next to black text that reads ‘You are doing the best that you can with the resources you have.’​
Image description: a drawing of a gold star next to black text that reads ‘You are doing the best that you can with the resources you have.’

*I’m sure that having some clear exercise goals that I could see on my wrist-spy without having to choose to track them also helped with my stress levels. Without my wrist spy on the case, I probably would have subconsciously put my exercise aside for the week. However, having this little phrase reminder close at hand helped on a completely different level. I guess the exercise did the heavy lifting and the little card cleaned up whatever stress was left over.

advice · goals · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team 2023: You can choose the bare minimum

Hey Team,

As we roll toward the end of August, we’re into/getting into one of the pressure points in the year.

You know what I mean, that feeling that you *should* (shudder. Yes, I still hate that word!) jump back into a regular schedule or that you *should* (shudder, again) be gearing up for fall, that it’s time to put the ‘laziness’ of summer behind you.

NOTE: In addition to my hatred for the word ‘should’, I am also not a fan of the word ‘lazy.’ Sure, sometimes we’re using it in a positive, indulgent, way, celebrating our lack of activity, but mostly it seems to be used as a way of chastising someone for resting or for not being actively busy at this exact moment. AND it’s used as a weapon against people with ADHD which makes me dislike it even more.

And, as always, I vote no on all of that.

Yes, most of us are back to (or getting back to) regular schedules and if that inspires you to go a bit harder with your exercise or with your work, that’s totally cool. Forge ahead.

But if you are like me and all of this messaging leaves you feeling tense and overwhelmed before you even get started then let me offer a counter-message:

It’s OK to do the bare minimum.

You don’t have to ‘go big’ with every single part of your life all the time.

And this is especially true if it feels like everything is gearing up all at once.

Sure, you may not have control over the pacing of some parts of your life right now – particularly if you follow an academic schedule – but you can give yourself a break on the parts that you do control.

You can ditch things that aren’t urgent.

You can scale back in some areas.

You can do the bare minimum in others.

And these things are just as true in your exercise/self-care/wellness plans as they are in every other part of your life.

Maybe you don’t need to jump back into your fall routine/plans just yet. You can reevaluate your plans and choose a graduated schedule for adding things back to your day-to-day.

You can choose a scaled-down version of whatever your past self planned for right now. If your original idea feels overwhelming, then doing something once or twice a week and building up to your plans for three to four times a week is probably more sustainable anyway.

And, of course, you can always choose a bare minimum version of your plans. Even a bare minimum gives you a placeholder, a sense of accomplishment, a stepping-stone for the path ahead. Lots of people need to make space in their life for their habit before they start building the habit itself.

If you are starting out or just getting back into things, the bare minimum might be a 1 minute walk in the living room or a one line journal or a meditation practice of 10 focused breaths.

If you have well-established fitness practices that you usually jump into but you can’t find the energy for at this pressure point right now, your bare minimum may look different than a beginner’s does. It’s up to you what constitutes the bare minimum but choose the smallest or shortest routine that you feel ‘counts’ as your practice.

Whether you are excited and enthused about jumping back in or whether you are feeling tense and overwhelmed by everything gearing back up again, I wish you ease and I hope that you can be kind to yourself about the process.

And, as always, I offer you a gold star (I think it will show up above!) for your efforts to find the way that works best for you with as little stress as possible.

Go Team Us!

advice · fitness · goals · motivation · self care

Go Team! June 2023: Do Your Own Thing

Hey Team,

If, like me, you are getting worn out by all the ‘Go, go, go!’ fitness and wellness messages that are all over social media right now*, I want to remind you that it is ok to do your own thing.

If you are keen on ramping up your exercise level right now, have at it!

If you are trying to slow things down, that’s good too!

If you are trying something new, that’s great!

If you are sticking with the tried and true, that’s marvellous!

No one else has your body, your brain, your schedule, your experiences, your emotions, your idea.

You can choose what works for you right now.

If you don’t know what might work, you can get some advice, try something different, or get some help but you only have to keep the parts that work for you.

Yes, you may hear a bit of nonsense from people who think they know best but feel free to let that noise fade into the background.

You can do your own thing, move your own way, find your own path, and be content.

As long as you are responding to the needs of your body, your brain, and your heart (literally and metaphorically) then you are doing the right thing.

And if you keep your efforts and your expectations aligned**, you’ll probably feel quite good while you do it.

It takes a bit of work to do your own thing, whatever that might be, so you know that you get a gold star for those efforts.

Here’s a very friendly gold star for you.

Have fun out there!

a drawing of a gold star with a happy expression surrounded by small blue dots and teeny black dots.
Image description: a drawing of a gold star with a happy expression surrounded by small blue dots and teeny black dots.

*Yes, I know they are always there but sometimes there seems to be even more of them than usual and right now is one of them.

** What do I mean by this? Well, I’m advising you to ensure that your expectations reflect the effort that feels right to you right now. So if this is a season for slow walks and meditation, please don’t demand that your body be ready for extreme sports by September. After a season of slow walks and meditation, you’ll probably feel more relaxed and introspective so perhaps your expectations could be that it will be easier to sit in meditation or that your slow walks will be longer or that your legs enjoy the feeling of walking or that you will be more mindful of the changes in nature. Not that you have to aim for ‘more’ of anything, I’m trying to convey a sense of noticeable change rather than trying to make you go bigger.

advice · cycling · fitness · fun · holiday fitness

Tourism and e-bikes

I’m in Charlottetown, PEI, for a week! With a day to myself I could do a self-guided tour with a rental car, walking, public transit, or e-bike. By my title, I think you know which I chose.

Probably inspired by other FIFI e-bike posts, I rented an e-bike for the first time in hilly, windy Wellington, New Zealand a few years ago. Here in PEI, where it is flat and the weather has been warm, the electronic motor was more of a luxury!

Elan with an e-bike
Elan is on her way. Rental from Rising Tide eBikes in Charlottetown, PEI, which I recommend!

It’s been long enough between rental e-bike day tours that it was good for me to plan ahead and review some self-reminders, which I’ll share:

  • Read some research/reviews on the e-bike rental store first, and read the waivers before you rent.
  • Pack hydration, some money, and a layer, as you would when you’re out on your own bike.
  • Take the time to ask questions about the e-bike. I reminded myself that although I ride this bike wasn’t mine. The store staff want renter safety and they love to answer questions about e-bikes.
  • Find the bell in the store. I yelled “on your left” at people for hours. The staff showed me where the little bell was hiding when I got back.
  • Pay for add-ons that will make your trip comfortable, if affordable. In my vanity, I didn’t want a basket at first, but it turned out to be incredibly convenient.
  • Resist the urge to leave right away for familiarization and to ensure the e-bike works properly. I used the gears and brake in front of the store first before I would need them on my journey.
  • Always helmet. Always lock.
  • Have an idea of where you want to go as well as where you shouldn’t go. There was a fun downtown boardwalk on the map, but e-bikes aren’t allowed on it. There were also some busier streets I was warned about by staff. I stuffed a print map in my sports bra for quick review en route.
  • People can be surprised by the speed of approaching e-bikes. I tried to be extra sure folks knew I was coming.
  • Keep safe. Ride during the day and on recognizable roads. Bring a charged phone. But skip the trip if you are solo and worried about your personal safety.
Bolt trail cordoned off for tree removal
A small detour riding the Island Trail!

It’s always good to follow traffic rules and ride defensively. But compared to my hometown, I noticed here drivers were much more courteous to cyclists. Nearly every driver gave me the right of way, even when it wasn’t my turn. So, be aware of the vibe of your touring area when you e-bike.

Overall, if you have the time the weather is decent, I highly recommend renting an e-bike while traveling and touring! You can go further than on two legs, get some outside time, and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.

Island Walk sign and map
The entire PEI Island Walk trail. Great signage here!

FIFI readers, what would you add to my list? Where in the world do you recommend e-biking?

advice · fitness · health · motivation

Is it bad being negatively motivated to exercise?

The other day I was listening to American businessperson Carla Harris being interviewed on Adam Grant’s podcast about her successful career in the finance industry. My ears perked up when Harris described herself as “negatively motivated”:

but i am negatively motivated. you should know that about me. so when you tell me i can't do something, I'm all over it like a bad smell.

Harris suggests in the podcast that she took the underestimation of her as a black women in the white-male dominated finance industry as a challenge to overcome.

There are other, slightly different definitions of negative motivation, such as this one from Google:

Google defines negative motivation as behaviour that is motivated by anticipation or fear that an undesirable outcome will result from not performing. Fear is a powerful motivator, especially when that fear relates to your survival or, in the case of employees, their income and growth.

Negative motivation here is less about seeing adversity as a challenge and more about acting out of fear given the negative consequences of not acting. This definition aligns with how I often find myself motivated to exercise: not out of pleasure or reward but out of what I know will happen if I don’t exercise–namely stiffness, reduced flexibility, low mood, and inability to keep up with my friends.

Is it bad or wrong to be motivated by adversity, worries, or fears?

One fitness and wellness blog site suggests that positive motivation and reinforcement is more effective. The author uses an analogy of a gazelle being hunted by a cheetah to describe how “negative reinforcement works great temporarily, but falls short on long-term lifestyle changes” (p.18). Once the cheetah stops chasing the gazelle, the gazelle is no longer motivated to run at top speed.

However, positive reinforcements have been found to be effective only when they continue to be applied. According to one meta-analysis study, positive reinforcements improved exercise behaviours to a greater degree than negative reinforements, but once the positive reinforcements were removed there were mixed results in sustaining exercise behaviours.

Even if they are equally effective, I believe it is probably more difficult in the long to live among negative motivation and reinforcements all the time. A few years ago Kim Solga wrote about the underestimation of women cyclists. Even if female athletes are motivated to blow up gender assumptions and limiting stereotypes in their sport, Solga rightly points out that being on the receiving end of the negativity—the mansplaining, showing off, and the excessive complimenting—is exhausting!

Cheetah lying down. Photo by ray rui on Unsplash

I think I’d prefer not to be negatively motivated. I don’t want only hardship or fears to be what spurs me on. (And, of course, sex and race prejudice in sport needs to go away entirely.) Yet, when I’ve tried to be positive, set happy goals, and reward myself with bubble baths, they don’t always work.

Maybe it’s okay to be negatively motivated so long as I cut myself some slack occasionally, especially when I start to exhaust myself with all the worries. Some days, even the cheetahs and the gazelles hang around in the desert sunshine, watching each other but taking a break from the chase.

ADHD · advice · fitness · motivation · self care

Christine takes advice from her past self

I have been feeling a little frustrated with my six week fitness plan.

The first two weeks of 10 minutes a day was great and I was enjoying the second two weeks even though it was harder to fit in 20 minutes per day.

And then the side of my knee started hurting.

And then I got a cold.

And then I had a migraine.

And then my back got cranky with me.

Basically, things went awry as things tend to do.

And my two weeks of 20 minutes is going to be three or three and a half weeks of 20 minutes with some days off here and there.

It was annoying.

I wasn’t being hard on myself. I knew taking the days off was the right thing to do and I didn’t think poorly of myself because of it.

But I was ANNOYED.

And FRUSTRATED.

I wanted to stick with my plan. I wanted to be able to keep going. I wanted to stay on schedule.

I wanted it to be straightforward.

I had been doing so well adapting the exercises and being kind to myself and working really hard during each session.

And I was afraid I was going to get frustrated enough to lose momentum.

Then, this past weekend, Facebook offered up some advice from my 2016 self that helped me shake off both the annoyance and the frustration and tell myself a better story.

Here’s what past me wrote in a type of post I used to do before my Hey Team! advice:

Your challenge today is to take the easy way.

That sounds like bad advice, I know, but I find that I often take the hard way without thinking about it and I end up working way harder than I need to in order to reach the same place.

See the pics below? That’s the hill behind my kid’s school. I was all set to walk up that steeper, slippery slope when I realized that

A photo of a steep hill mostly covered in ice and snow but with a few muddy/grassy patches.
Image description: a photo of a steep snow/ice covered hill with a few muddy/grassy patches. There are bare trees at the top and a building can be seen in the distance. It’s a sunny day with a cloudy blue sky.

ten feet to my left there was a much more gradual slope that would be much easier to walk up.

A photo of a gentle hill covered in ice and snow with a few muddy patches.
Image description: a photo of a gradually sloping snow/ice covered hill one route is much steeper than the other. There are evergreen trees and a cloudy blue sky at the top. Some red and blue poles from playground equipment are at the top left.

I still got where I was going, but the trip was much more pleasant.

Sure, taking a challenging route is good sometimes, if the challenge is the point but sometimes, you just need to be at the top of the hill.

So, take a look at the point of what you are doing today. Are you looking for a challenge, looking to test yourself, or is the point to get to the top of the hill so you can move on?

If you just need to get up there, then you have my official permission as a life coach, as someone’s Mom and as a kindness ambassador to just stroll up the easy way.

Or, to put it in storytelling terms, is this the story of how you climbed a hill and persevered or is the story about what came next? Choose your path accordingly.

May your easy path be clear today. 💚

And then that’s when I realized that this is NOT the story of how I did these specific workouts in this specific time frame.

This is the story of how I can feel better and be more focused by getting more exercise.

It’s the story of how I can be stronger.

It’s the story of how I can build and maintain sustainable fitness habits.