Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Love In A Slot Canyon

My step-sister, Melissa, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Sports Massage Therapist, Certified Health Coach, and Behavior Change Specialist.  She works with a lot of competitive athletes but also with kids and other clients seeking one-on-one training and massage. In addition to all of that, she's written articles for several health and wellness publications.

She is the owner of Raise The Bar Wellness.

Last year she had the opportunity to travel through France for a month to work as part of the health support staff for a cycling team in the Tour de France.  She was what's called a soigneur - in cycling, that's a person who gives training, massages, and other assistance to a team, especially during a race.

She recently posted the following words with the photo above, on her Instagram account. I think it's spectacular.  Have a read:

Life itself wants us to expand

It is always seeking our soft places

Pushing us there to see if we will stretch

Or break and become new

It seeks our hard places too

The walls we built when we didn't know we were building them

Life itself comes across like a monster

With gnashing teeth and long nails


But once we make friends with it

We realize

That sometimes love

Breaks us down

To build us up better

I could not love myself the way I do today

If I had not broken open dozens of times

I could not love my kids, my partner, this world

The way I do

If I had not fallen to my knees so many times

And begged life

To give me something better

Now isn't that fantastic?

She is so inspiring.  And wise.  Thoughtful and insightful.  Her words have the power to evoke deep emotion.  She says things out loud that most people keep inside.  She pulls feelings out of the deepest spots of your mind and heart.  And she makes people feel as if it's okay for them to have those feelings.

In addition to words like these that she writes, I love that she has such a dedication to physical fitness - for herself, her children, other children, friends, clients, etc.  She provided me with some really great exercises for back and sciatica pain that helped.  And when I watch her videos I REALLY want (in my head) to get off my ass and do exercise-like things. 

I can't always complete that thought with action, but I think it's building.  I've never been one to do, enjoy, or look forward to physical exertion so it's a big stretch to think I'll ever be anywhere near her fitness level. That's just crazy thinking.  But if I can reach just one planck length of her fitness level, I'd rule the world.

The closest I've ever come to daily physical activity of any significant level was my six-mile-a-day walking average in Europe, during a vacation in 2018.  That was over the top. Six miles a day! I can't believe I even did that. I was in Europe for a month and when I got home I weighed 13 pounds less.  Even after eating cheese and croissants and lattes and decadent breakfasts and dessert every night.  I was shocked!  I guess there is something to that exercise stuff.  

So I will just keep reading her words and watching her videos and maybe someday, like my grandfather used to say, if enough shit hits the fan, some is bound to stick.  

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