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  • Writer's pictureJackie

It All Belongs

—In the Spirit of Fitness—



When it comes down to daily fitness routines, not to mention daily LIFE, we can quickly start railing against pieces of our experience. “Ugggh, why do I constantly have to fend off 20 pounds?!!” “Geez, I’m sick of chopping vegetables every day of my life.” “Dude, why can’t I rock climb like I did at 30?” “Wow, I wish I could start feeling better about myself.” No matter how small they seem to someone else, our complaints are valid—to US. They color our wellness journey. They should NOT be discounted or guiltily brushed aside.


Did you think I was going to say, suck it up, buttercup? Nope. Ignoring the things that regularly & authentically aggravate us just pins us right into the center of the whirlpool. We’ll ruminate endlessly, asking why, why, why we have to deal with these frustrations. This not only wastes energy and freezes us in place, it feels downright awful. So, these obstacles don’t just shade the fitness process, they can halt it. Yikes!

What if we could ACCEPT that staying as healthy as possible means putting up with & doing a lot of things we’d rather not? One of the reasons commercial fitness/food plans sell so well is that they’re painted as really attractive—presented as effortless, as a straight shot to butterflies ’n roses ’n a great butt. But when the rubber hits the road, no matter how glitzy the plan, we ALL hit some ugly speed bumps. (That’s why those pretty plans disillusion most people.) This is completely NORMAL.


The title of this post is inspired by a staple in my spiritual library,Everything Belongs, a beautiful & transformative book of this name by Fr. Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. In it (and this is incredibly simplistic), Rohr presents contemplative prayer as a path to God and to discovering that EVERYTHING—in this life, in this world, in our individual experiences—belongs. In fitness terms, then, injury, rehab, victories, weight loss, weight gain, monotony, gratitude, guilt, the WORKS—it all belongs in the process. Okay, it’s a pretty radical concept but not merely theoretical. Believing this has concrete results. Believing that all of the muck belongs alongside all of the beauty, brings peace and also profoundly frees us to leave the vortex of frustration and to walk toward TANGIBLE, POSITIVE CHANGE.


Did you catch that last word? CHANGE. So often, when I talk with clients about acceptance in the face of disgruntlement, they hear “surrender.” We think we need to FIGHT everything that seems to stand in our way, or we won’t nab success. We think we’re lowering the bar if we don’t attack. But ironically, accepting obstacles—even ones we’ll NEVER overcome—releases us to take action, to focus on the things we CAN change, which is a LOT, and to appreciate the full experience of working toward sound health, not just pay attention to the bits we like.

So, if the wellness journey is feeling pretty fraught and you’re feeling very stuck, remember that this, too, counts as a bona fide piece of the process. Try the unexpected and simply accept this. The progress that ensues will probably propel you right over the next few speed bumps! And if this is not the immediate outcome, remember: Everything belongs.


Photo by Garon Piceli from Pexels


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