The Weekly Word: October 23rd, 2022
On the Road Again
Greetings from Cape Cod!
This year, the family has been pretty fortunate as weddings have taken us on some wonderful trips. From Florida, to New York City, to the beauty of Chatham, Massachusetts. These mini-vacations have given us an opportunity to spend time as a family, have a little fun, and hopefully create some lifelong memories for Emilia. In Florida, it was safari's and the beach, in New York it was taxi's and tourism, and in Cape Cod, it is flying in a Cessna Skyhawk and the natural beauty of fall.
Coming into this wedding Marisa and I were prepared to not really know anyone. After getting our seating arrangement, we went to our table. The bride and groom came over and told us we were sitting at the "Baxter Table". This is referring to her horse who spent years at our house while the bride was attending Lehigh. We then started chatting with others and the realization of how small the world is hit us. One of our tablemates is a teacher at Saucon Valley, where I previously coached and also attended, and others grew up 30 minutes from where Marisa grew up. It was nice meeting everyone at our table so kudos to Baxter (and the bride and groom of course) for bringing us together!
What I've Been Thinking About...
A day after what would have been my brothers 39th birthday, Emilia and myself drove by a cemetery. She mentioned that people go to that church when they die and I told her that families can visit the graves there to help remember those no longer with us. I mentioned that Uncle Ryan has a place in a cemetery and that I went there the other day to visit. She then said, "I didn't want Uncle Ryan to die". "I said me either sweetie".
Then, later in the week, a member shared a story about getting the news that someone they knew for years took their own life. They were struggling with it and wished they would have reached out. In hindsight, they realized that some of that individuals behaviors were warning signs or examples of them calling out for help. In their mind, they should have done something. Regret is a terrible emotion to live with. Psychologist Carl Rogers once said that, "it was impossible to convince someone to change for the better. The desire to improve was the precondition for progress." In sum, it means that the individual will never improve unless they want to improve themselves.
Two thoughts came to mind after this conversation. The first is that we should always act. We should always help shoulder whatever burden someone is carrying and try to ease their discomfort. You do this not by enabling their negative behavior but by showing them that life is worth living. The second is to not think that your action will save anyone. Thinking you can save someone who doesn't want to be saved leads to a life of guilt and regret. For more on the topic, check out episode 155 of my podcast: Today, we remember. Today, we shoulder the burden and act!
Fitness Tip of the Week
As I write this, our friend is at our house with their four year old. I am laying down and feeling a bit fatigued but trying to motivate myself to get moving. So I did what any normal adult would do and asked her for some advice. I say to her, "I have to exercise today. Should I run or swim?" She responded neither and I said that is not an option. I have to do something so I can get a little healthier and she laid this gem of a quote on me: "Healthy things are gross". Not helpful little one!
Lets get back to the problem at hand. On this day, I am feeling a little fatigued but have to get something done physically. Finding "work" to do rather than exercising is just a form of procrastination at this point. I am putting off what I should do now for another time but on this day, another time is no longer an option. It is now or never. The point of all this rambling is that everyone has days where they feel like garbage. They don't want to think, they don't want to move, they don't want to do anything! It is on these days that having a plan and sticking to that plan is vital. Call it motivation, call it discipline, call it whatever you want. All I ask is that you follow through.
Every Sunday, look at your schedule and designate what days you are going to do what. You block out the time, you let everyone know about your schedule, and then you follow through. If today calls for you to strength train, you hit the gym and give it all you got. If you plan on doing cardiovascular work, get your shoes on and get to work. I can promise you one thing, 9 times out 10, you will feel much better when you are done with the session then prior to the session. Remember that feeling. One last thing, don't listen to that little voice, whether internal or external, telling you that healthy things are gross.
What I've Been Reading...
All Work and No Play: Why Your Kids are more Anxious, Depressed
I was talking to a Lehigh student recently and she mentioned a project that she was working on. I asked what the topic was and it was basically how college students are stressed, have anxiety, and can't seem to handle life as an adult without mommy or daddy stepping in and helping. This led me to dig into the topic a bit and came across this article.
Since 1955, free play has been declining for kids. There is a multitude of reasons for this but the main cause is that parents are taking an increased role over their child's activities. They replace free play with more emotionally stressful, structured events. From 1981 to 1997, kids have spent 18% more time in school, 145% more time doing school work, 168% more time shopping with parents. Combine that with the rise of social media, video games, decreased numbers in sport participation and the rise in childhood obesity and we are setting these kids up for a tough life.
So, why is play important? The unstructured environment associated with play offers children the opportunity to control their own actions, to solve problems, to work with others, to laugh, to deal with emotions and ultimately, the feeling that they have control of their own lives and fate. When kids don't feel like they can control their environment and how they respond to it, anxiety and depression are soon to follow. Exposure to play and other similar behaviors at young ages will help build strong, resilient adults.
Quote of the Week
"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope you all have an awesome week!
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