What’s Good For Us

Friday night, I was blessed to attend a leadership training meeting. Elaine S. Dalton was there.

(image from lds.org)

As she was being introduced, a story was told. Elaine is the mother of 6 children. After the last of these were born, she was given a pair of running shoes for Mother’s Day. It was told that she came to really love running, and she has successfully completed 7 marathons. I can’t remember the quote exactly, but she was quoted to have said something along the lines of how fulfilling it was to teach her body how to mind.

Don’t you just love that? Incidentally, that morning -FRIDAY morning -I had taken the opportunity to get dressed and head outside for a walk. I jogged the last part of my walk.
This is monumental for one reason:
I haven’t worked out in ages.

After the birth of by first born, I worked out religiously. Hardly a day went by that I wasn’t at my Pilates, stretching. My muscles were strong. My stomach was gradually trimming. And -wonder of wonders! -I could actually touch my toes: a regular feat for a girl with long long legs.
As time went by and another pregnancy came and went, I found my workouts lagging. It was hard to workout with a crying infant in one room and a toddler koloa attached to the leg you’re trying to lift, lift, lift.
I tried, though. I can say for absolute certain that I didn’t give it my BEST, but I did try.
Life went on, as life does, and mountains were thrown in my little life path. In order to get around the mountains, I had to go through several stages. They went something like this.
1) Cry, give up any and all ideas of trying to make good choices as concerns my health (I might as well title this stage “Ice Cream”)
2) Stay in Bed
3) Get Angry
4) Refuse to deal with the situation at hand and turn to unlimited movie streaming instead
5) Cry (Ice Cream)
6) Whine
7) Realization that I’ve become someone I don’t care much for (see “whine” above)
8) Stop crying
9) Put big girl pants on
10) Face the world
11) Resume working out

Each step took about a month, by the way.
The point is: when I was at step 1, I was basically unwilling to bother with anything like working out. Would it have made a good difference? Of course it would have. But did I want to get out of bed? Of course I didn’t.
So I didn’t.

But Friday, I did. And after listening to Sister Dalton’s resolve to make her body mind, I thought how gratifying it would be. And so I rinsed and repeated my walk/jog on Saturday. Today, I did the same thing.
It hurts, you know, to be so out of shape. I’ve spent the entire YEAR out of shape.
It hurts in a good way, though.
And it feels even better to get out of bed, even if I don’t want to.
It feels even BETTER to tell my body that though it wants sleep, and though it wants PJ’s -it will NOT have them. I believe the term “over my dead body” would apply here.

In relation to all of this garb, I gave my son orange juice.
He ran a fever on Saturday. By Saturday night, he was crying when he had to swallow and complaining that the back of his mouth was “hot.” His fever broke during the night, but he’s still complaining about his mouth. It isn’t his throat, mind you… it’s his MOUTH. Hand, foot and mouth has been going around and I do believe my son has caught it. He’s taking it well, thank goodness.
Sunday night, I thought he might be feeling better. He asked for some orange juice.
I told him no. It would probably hurt his mouth.
He insisted.
I told him no.
He insisted.
I told him no.
This went on for QUITE some time, and those of you who know my son know that his STUBBORNNESS is one of his Primary traits. I want to foster it to a point because I believe stubborn people are often the kind that GET IT DONE… so I did what any bad parent would do.
I gave him the orange juice.

He wanted it, didn’t he?
He asked for it, didn’t he?

I gave him approximately 2 ounces of juice. He threw it back and immediately his face contorted… his eyes turned on me and he gave me a look of absolute PAIN and BETRAYAL. With a pained war-cry, he threw his empty paper cup at my feet and yelled at me.
“IT HOT!” He cried, tears streaming down his face, “YOU HURT ME!”
“But you wanted it,” I said, trying to hold him, “You asked for it.”
By then my husband came in the room. I explained to him what had happened.
“And you GAVE it to him?” He asked, incredulously.
“Well, he wanted it. ┬áHe asked for it” I repeated, starting to sound like a bad pop chorus.
“Alicia,” my husband spoke to me very slowly, “You don’t give him something that is going to hurt him.”

He said it sarcastically, of course.
I wanted to laugh, but the life lesson his sentence gave was too valuable to laugh at. Of course he wasn’t trying to be mean. He was just trying to make me laugh -lighten up on myself.

But how many times have I hurt myself on account of what I want?
I don’t want to get out of bed; consequently, my health has suffered for almost a year.
I don’t want to eat salad; consequently, I’ve robbed my body of vital nutrition.

What got me out of bed this morning?
The idea of treating myself with more respect.
What did I get in return?

Fresh air.
Twenty minutes of pod cast streaming.
Twenty minutes to myself.
Twenty minutes to breath.
And, oh yeah: Sunrise.

Here’s to respecting yourself today.

Here’s to respecting yourself enough to make your body mind.


  1. Amen, Alicia. You go girl.

    Can I just say, I love your blog?

  2. I needed to read this post tonight. Sigh. I’ve spent over 5 years out of shape now. (Starting with the first time I tried to go jogging after having all-day-sickness with my first pregnancy. My body just wasn’t -right- anymore after a whole 8 weeks of being pregnant!) Again, I’m trying. That’s all we can do right? (That, and try to avoid the “ice cream” phase…)

Speak Your Mind