As Valentine's Day approaches, we tend to think about roses. These beautiful flowers are often given as gifts to our loved ones, friends, and even strangers. However, as the famous song by Poison suggests, "Every Rose has its Thorn, just like every night has its dawn." While many people adore roses, others may be allergic to them. We all have different preferences. But one thing is certain, nothing in life is perfect, and with every like or love, there are bound to be some difficulties, challenges, or "thorns," so to speak.
The same goes with fitness. There will be some exercises that we love, our roses. And some that we find difficult or challenging, our thorns. Our rose exercises come easy, feel good on our bodies, and make us feel successful. Our thorn exercises are difficult, challenge us physically and sometimes make us feel frustrated or ready to give up. What I have learned over my 35+ years as a fitness professional is that many times our thorn exercise is the one our bodies AND our minds need most. Your thorn exercise might include cardio work or possibly strength work or maybe even flexibility work (if you even do include this in your fitness regimen). You may be the high energy person who loves to jump and move or the more mindful person who loves breathing in stillness. No matter which person you are, it is important to include all areas of fitness in your weekly workouts. Cardio, strength training, and flexibility training are imperative to have a functional, healthy body.
Do you also include emotional fitness in your workouts? Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical health. Emotional fitness can be integrated into any of your physical workouts. Affirmations, mantras, and empowering music can add an incredible element you may be missing. At Get emPowered Fitness we pride ourselves in adding emotional fitness in all our workouts. You get the whole package when you train with us. Just a warning, emotional fitness may be your thorn. It may feel uncomfortable at first, stir up some emotions you weren’t expecting or trigger some unfamiliar feelings. As we need all aspects of physical fitness, emotional fitness is an area we need to incorporate as well. You may find eventually this becomes your rose.
Have you noticed that your thorn exercises tend to be the ones you NEED the most? I find the moves that challenge me or rub me like sandpaper are the ones my mind and body need most. When I started taking yoga classes, the savasana at the end of class where we were asked to be still, look inside and breathe, was SO uncomfortable for me. But I found after working on it for a while, I now find it to be one of my rose exercises. I look forward to being still and taking those moments to be with myself.
I find this in life as well. What may start out as a thorn, a challenge, a difficult situation, ends up becoming an opportunity for growth, a rose, giving me what I needed all along. The biggest obstacle tends to be me. I stand in my way with my mindset, my frustration, and my fear of failure when my thorn appears. Maybe you do the same. I try to remind myself that I am on a journey of exploration and discovery. My thorns can become opportunities, even roses, if I allow them to.
I invite you to evaluate what thorns are presenting themselves to you in your life. Whether it be a fitness thorn, an emotional thorn, or a life thorn. Can you look at it differently? Could it possibly be a rose in the works? Just something to ponder this Valentine’s Day and beyond.