Sunday, March 29, 2009

(Inner) Strength Training and Conditioning

One of the MS symptoms I sometimes experience is weakness in my arms or legs. But while my body may not be as strong as it used to be, I've pumped up my inner strength over the years to help me deal with the disease.

Inner strength - that drive and determination, that fighting spirit, that will to go on, that push that helps you to pick yourself up from the floor, dust yourself off and keep going - how I love it!

We all have to be strong, no matter what odds we may be faced with. We have to be strong for the people who depend on us. We have to be strong for ourselves. We may have times when we feel down, and we just want to crumble, but our inner strength serves to make sure that won't happen.

You won't see me in a gym lifting weights anytime soon, but when it comes to my inner strength, it gets a regular workout.

So, if we take a trip to the inner strength gym, we'll:

Gulp down the positive energy drink. I say it all the time, and I constantly remind myself, "think positive, think positive, think positive." A positive attitude and inner strength can feed off each other and work together to fend off negative thinking. If we let our negative thoughts run the show, where would that leave us? We'd never be able to do anything; we'd give up.

Be motivated. We all have those mornings when we don't even want to get out of bed. We may think, "What's the point? So I can drag myself to that dreary job that I hate?" Our inner strength gives us that push to get out of bed and get to that job or do whatever else we've gotta do. We need to, in spite of how much we don't want to, so we can meet our obligations and responsibilities. It may not be all fun and games, but sometimes you've just gotta tough things out. In the end, something good usually comes out of it.

Practice self-reliance. Because my family has the tendency to be about as reliable as burnt toast (it's okay, I can say it - they know), this is the exercise I do the most. Actually, I think it's always important to flex your self-reliance muscle, even if those around you are Johnny-on-the-spot reliable. There is a certain amount of pride, as well as a huge amount of strength, that comes from not having to depend too heavily on others and instead carrying your own weight and knowing that you've got your back when you need to. If you can do it yourself, then do it. Your friends and family really are just your backup support system.

Fight, fight, fight! Sometimes you just have to put on the emotional boxing gloves when you're dealing with MS, or any other adverse circumstances. While anger is a negative emotion, it's also a great motivator. You just get to a point where you decide you're not going to take it anymore. You can channel your anger into something positive like not bowing down to your MS fatigue, or finding a new, less dreary job. The anger gives you the strength to get in the ring and start swinging.

Inner strength enables you to get through the rough days, keep moving forward despite the odds, do what you have to do and give yourself the push you need to reach your goals. If you use it you'll get guaranteed results!

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