It was one of those days, my husband was working so I had to do my weekly run on the treadmill at the gym where I could place my boys in childcare, my FitBit fell apart (I could literally see all the electronics on the inside), my boys were not cooperating so just GETTING to the gym was a nightmare, and on top of it all, my wireless headphone battery died mid run. Everything was stacked against me to get this run in, but I did it, 6 miles on the treadmill. Most of us have had these days where nothing is going right. What do we do? We either submit to the defeat or we persevere. But what does it mean to persevere and how does it relate to living fit?
Perseverance is the determination to do something despite having difficulty in achieving that success. I learned this meaning at an early age in my life. When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with a moderate to severe case of scoliosis. My back was in the shape of the letter “S” and my spine was rotated. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and he held up an x-ray of my back and I fainted. When I came to, my doctor said I was just a few degrees shy of having to go in for immediate surgery on my back, but he wanted to try some other treatments first. He gave me a 95% chance of having back surgery by the time I was 16 years old. Over the next 4 years I had to wear an electrode device or otherwise known as a TENS unit on my back to help correct both the upper and lower curvature of my spine while I slept (basically it contracted my muscles for 5-10 seconds and then no stimulation for 20-30 seconds). After 4 years, my progress came to a plateau and I was put in a brace to wear at night that went from just under my clavicle to my hips. I wore this brace for 4 more years. When I turned 16 years old my doctor told me that he didn’t know how I did it, but I beat the odds and I did not need to have surgery! Over the course of the 8 years of treatment I maybe missed 5 nights of wearing either the TENS unit or the brace. I brought those devices everywhere: family vacations, slumber parties, where ever I went it went. The TENS unit felt uncomfortable, the brace hurt at times and all I wanted was to be able to sleep like a “normal” person, but I knew I had to go through the treatments because I was set on not having surgery. I persevered even when the odds were against me.
Now days I keep my scoliosis journey on my mind when I am training for a race or trying to accomplish something that is challenging. It reminds me that I can persevere. I can do this. I have found that perseverance is part of living fit. Yes we may eat healthy and exercise, but if we don’t accept the challenges in life then aren’t we just moving at a steady pace and not really living to our full potential? What if we faced our challenges and persevered? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and persevere! Imagine what your life could be like! We have to persevere in challenges we face, big or small, because that is part of our life, part of our well-being and it is what makes us all unique.
I'm a wife, mother, pediatric occupational Therapist and I'm just trying to navigate my way through this this crazy, busy life while trying to find the meaning of living fit.