With everything going on in the world right now, and how emotionally drained I sometimes find myself, I can certainly use some stress relief. A year ago, I made the lifestyle change to consistently include purposeful workouts. Today, the thought of my treadmill literally depletes my motivational battery. Recently picked up biking to relieve my knees from my frequent runs. So I decided to just Nike-up for a quick four-mile bike ride.
On the road, the wind blowing on me automatically relaxes my body. I am attentive to what I am doing now. Stretch one is about a mile uphill. Going steady, maintaining the rhythm on gear 6. Halfway up, my legs are burning, and I self-criticize as thoughts of giving up consume me. Why am I being so hard on myself? Growth is not an easy journey, why feel defeated? No work, no gain. It doesn’t matter if it’s running or biking, let it go, Nettie. That’s all it took. Almost felt surreal, as my motivational battery instantly recharged, determination set in, I’m more positive, engaged and purposeful with my strides. All this, just from one positive affirmation.
I’m turning the corner for the next stretch, I’m pumped, and the universe works to assist me. Listening to Ella Mai’s ‘Easy’, while going downhill, how perfect the synchrony. She sings ‘love is easy, easy, easy, so don’t you make it hard’ but I’m fully owning the moment, all I hear is LIFE “is easy, easy, easy, so don’t you make it hard“. I scream along without a care, in unison to express the message in my heart for all those hurting today from all the injustices in this world. The same wind that created resistance going uphill, relaxes me almost as if to thank me for experiencing multiple reasons for its creation. How sweet the duality of life. My motivational battery is fully charged. I feel connected to everything around me, and start to appreciate just how every home, church, tree, garden, fence, and school I pass helps to build a beautiful neighborhood, and along with it, afford this pavement I’m graced to be riding on. I ride past a lifeless bird on the grass, and the first thing that comes to my mind is the loss of a spirit. Not a bird, but a soul.
Stretch three. I’m going uphill again, the load is a lot lighter than in the beginning. Is it because my muscles are now conditioned, or that my current aura affords me full control? I always pick up speed here, almost to remind myself that life will suck , but only to help us work for the greater times ahead on the horizon. Adrenaline-high, HR pumping but going uphill is much easier this time, simply because my affirmation kept me going.
Stretch four. I assess the journey realizing just how much life I lived during this ride. I experienced a vast array of emotions, and in many ways than I can express. My ride started with a mix of emotional trauma, stress, moodiness, pre-workout school teacher exhaustion, and then journeyed through doubt, pain, perseverance, resilience, kindness, empathy, affirmation, motivation, peace, joy, awareness, connection, gratitude, assurance, relaxation, and finally, clarity. If it took just one positive affirmation to start a chain reaction that led to such energy balance, imagine what many would do.
We are human and emotion is our unspoken language. Without it, we are not whole. Every emotion is purposeful, the goal is to use them to grow, even the unpleasant ones. Let the lessons from your circumstances be the very reason you do. It can be the difference between a mediocre day, and an impactful one. Find something that will serve to rebalance you, and when you do, remember that a positive attitude is a choice, and most importantly it is free, you do not need permission from any person to be positive. And just like everything else, If you cultivate it, it becomes your fall-back when things are difficult. Cultivate the skill of choosing to stay positive in your daily routines, make it your fall back.