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What We Can All Learn From Teri Garr

In my experience, the biggest challenge for people when it comes to maintaining a healthy fitness habit is handling hurdles. What do you do when life gets in the way of your commitment to your relationship with fitness? How do you respond when you are too exhausted from what life throws at you to complete your daily workout? What happens if you get sick or injured and can’t do what you planned on doing? What if things don’t feel the way they used to in your body? How do you respond to a bad day?

One of the greatest lessons on how to deal with life’s unexpected events I learned from actress, Teri Garr. I worked with her on the publicity of her book, appropriately named “Speedbumps”. In the book and interviews she gave, she talked about all the things in her life and career that made her slow down and could have completely stopped her in her tracks, but she chose to keep going. Her biggest “speedbump” of all was her diagnosis with MS. It would have been very easy for her to throw in the towel as she was starting to experience the symptoms that go along with the disease. Instead, she figured out a way to use her voice to advocate for MS awareness.

So using Teri’s example, let’s pretend you were driving along a road and came up to a giant speedbump. This road happened to be the only way you could get to your destination. Would you simply stop, or worse, turn around and head back to where you came from? Hell no! You would slow down and find a way to get over the speedbump to KEEP GOING. Life is constantly throwing unexpected speed bumps in our way. It’s our job to figure out how to maneuver them without losing hope and throwing in the towel on all the hard work we have accomplished. And one of the best ways to handle these setbacks is called FLEXIBILITY. If you had planned on getting a long early morning run or walk in, and you have been up all night with a sick kid, honor where you are at and readjust your schedule. Maybe you fit in only 30 minutes a little later in the day or switch to a PM yoga session before you go to bed. The point is, figure out a way to make it work so you can continue to build on your healthy habit goals.

Remember, consistency is the key to success. The same thing goes with injuries. If one part of your body is injured, figure out how to work the parts of your body that are healthy. One of my favorite examples of flexibility is when my Dad had achilles heel surgery. The recovery is painful and slow and my Dad had to rely on a scooter to get himself around. Being that my Dad takes his fitness habits very seriously, he knew he had to find a way to keep his consistency! So he ordered an “arm bike”. I’ll never forget seeing my Dad sitting at the kitchen table for 30 minutes every morning sweating his face off, watching the news while he pedaled his arms like he was in an Olympic Event.

It’s important to note, however, that rest is VERY important as well. If your body is giving you signs you need to take it easy, LISTEN. Rest and then KEEP GOING. Don't ever let those speedbumps sabotage your success.

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