TOOLS FOR LIFE
AGILITY The ability to move in any direction anytime, anywhere
ENDURANCE The ability to remain active for a long period of time
BALANCE The ability to support yourself when and how you want
COORDINATION The ability to move in a harmonious way
STRENGTH The ability to overcome resistance
My continuing education materials arrived!!! American Council on Exercise sent a box filled with all my study materials, and on the side of the box, in big red letters is the above, “TOOLS FOR LIFE”. It caught my attention and had me thinking about these as LIFE tools.
I have been a member and supporter of the American Council on Exercise ever since I can remember. This organization got my attention when I was just thinking about what it would be like to lead an exercise class. That was 1985. I was also thinking about losing a bunch of baby weight and was wrapping myself around the notion that smoking cigarettes might be getting in the way of the picture of health I had of myself. Today that seems so long ago. Much has happened from those days and to where I am today. As I was expanding my interest in exercise and holistic fitness, my life experience was keeping up at a similar pace. I have had some wonderful highlights to smile about; weddings, babies, new houses, great jobs and amazing friendships. I have also weathered some storms; heart-break, divorces, debt, uncertainty, death of my son and mother and cherished friends.
Most of my career and life philosophy has been connected with Balance, Endurance and Agility – easier tools when I read the above. The ability to support yourself, remaining active for periods of time and to move in any direction needed….But there were times that I struggled with the Strength and Coordination component. I thought I was strong until….I thought I was able to move in harmonious ways until…..
To receive the benefits of wisdom without the practice of showing up, falling, getting back up…reflecting…falling again, showing up, turning toward something that is bigger than yourself and repeating the process….is not going to happen. For years (I mean “years”), I would be a wreck before I took the mic and put on my music for my fitness classes. The inner critic would remind me of all that I lacked. It would try to compare me with others, point out my missteps and my shortcomings. The heart broken woman in me was wanting to stay hidden in the land of loss. Certainly the world would understand if I didn’t get up; there would certainly be the understanding that “this life storm” was an epic event and any response would be supported. But there was that stronger voice that hasn’t always been the loudest, but it has always been constant, “You are stronger than this. Trust that this is not for you, but for others. They need you to teach from experience”.
The practice of showing up after adversity takes the cooperative efforts of all of it: balance, endurance, strength, coordination and agility – each tool holds it’s own set of empowerment gifts. Equally, the practice of continuing to show up during successful ventures requires the same qualities. Yes, you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it. Yes, indeed.