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Be positive for a positively great workout

My dad is one of the hardest workers I know. He is from the old school, where the work week is six days long, you get up for work long before the sun rises and you don't get home until long after it sets. As an architectural woodworker, he has spent countless hours on his feet that have taken quite a toll on those feet, as well as on his knees. I tell you all of that to tell you this: Now in his mid-50s, my dad struggles to simply walk, let alone have the opportunity to work out or train.

When I get the chance to see my dad now, I think back to when I was a kid and he would chase me around the baseball field or play basketball with me for hours on end. These pleasant memories are quickly replaced with sadness and anger at how unfair it seems that at still a relatively young age, my dad cannot use his body fully as he would prefer. He definitely won't be running any marathons any time soon, that is for sure.

Let's fast forward to the beginning of this week. Monday morning hit me like a ton of bricks. I did not get a lot of sleep the night before, and really the last thing in the world I felt like doing was getting my butt on the treadmill. I thought about my dad, though, and how running on the treadmill isn't even an option for him. I was given the opportunity to work out on Monday, so I went and made the most of it. I've been blessed with health. It is up to me how I manage this blessing.

Of course, attitude is so important in not only getting us to the gym, but also in how we actually work out. Personally, I find that if I have a smile on my face, or I maintain my focus on a goal that I am trying to attain while working out, then the workout is more fun and more productive. If, on the other hand, I stagger into my workout routine and just go through the motions, then the workout tends to be lousy. Also, a lot of times when I work out with this negative demeanor I even feel worse than before my workout began.

Kind of like life, the proper mindset makes all the difference in the world with our workouts. If we jump in with eager anticipation of the benefits that our mind, body and spirit will receive from the exercise then it makes the momentary pain that we are "suffering" seem minor and well worth the payoff.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that no matter how hard it may seem, or how much you think you don't want to do it, try to celebrate your workout. Not everyone is so fortunate to have the opportunity to do so. It's not the easiest thing in the world, but I try to maintain a grateful attitude for the blessing of another day to break a sweat. As hard as it is to go to the gym, feel fortunate that you "get to"!

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