Strong people have pain. Weak people have pain.
The most fun (and usually most impactful moments) in my life were when I could find a bridge between two seemingly unrelated events, philosophies, or objects.
When 2 things collide: creativity, innovation, and progress just happen. But to see clearly what is unfolding and then be able to take action is a special skill.
After 15 years of physical therapy practice on 3 continents I've noticed the thing that really sets people apart is not their physical body, which exercises they do or don't do, or which pathologies they suffer from. What counts: their attitude and their actions.
They take action on what they can and don't trouble themselves with rumination on what they used to do. They take the time to be introspective don't avoid what bothers them. They practice inner calm that isn't judgemental, they experience pain, anxiety, and depression like everyone but learn to accept it and then commit to moving forward.
Mindfulness: the state of clear observation without judgement
Stoicism: taking action on what you can and not feeling harmed because of a personal decision - These 2 things, thought processes, skills, "active" philosophies, whatever you want to call them, speak to me as a "way" for my pain patients, my family, and myself to live a better, more productive life.
Stoic Attitude + Mindful Awareness = The Way.
If you've ever taught, you know analogies are a fantastic tool to help someone understand what you are teaching. The message can be delivered 1000 times before it's actually heard. I used to feel like a broken record spouting facts in the clinic to patients.
Facts don't change minds often.
Values do. Culture does. Belief follows.
Here's my attempt to help bend culture by sharing my thoughts on Stoic writings and with photos while simultaneously practicing the Stoic exercise of journaling. With a fitness theme because that is boss.
Why? Because that's what I know a little bit about and I want to surround myself with like-minded individuals who value physical arete AND have struggles on their way. When it comes easy it's not as interesting.
You could probably bend this around any pursuit; art, writing, cornhole, music, travel, etc but physical culture holds a special place in my heart, and maybe yours too.
3 ways Stoic Journaling can help forge physical fortitude:
1. Brings awareness. Memory is shiiite. Only through accurate records can you truly assess where you are at so that you can accept it fully.
2. Reflection on the things you can control and things that are outside your control. Then you can take action and focus efforts on useful training, instead of ruminating on all the things you "used to do."
3. Practice gratitude formally. Writing it down makes a huge difference. It's simple, but not easy.
Do I really have the time to worry about how fit I was in my 20's running marathons? Do stress fractures from jogging 5k at 10 min mile pace mean I'm a total wuss? Maybe, but my love of running is mostly because it's relaxing not the running.
Recover Naturally. Forge Your Outdoor Freedom.
Mountains & Sea, Please.
By Morgan Fielder from BeyondExercises.com.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is an evangelist for play and DOD civilian physical therapist living near Ramstein AFB raising two gorgeous girls, wife of a rebel, serial expat, and is actively involved in the German community through several organizations. Visit her community project at cornholeuropa.com to learn more.