Yesterday was a difficult day for many Americans. And it is not my practice to talk politics on a fitness blog. So I’m not going to do that.
But I’m going to talk about kindness.
My original slogan when I started this website was “get off your tail.” It was clever, as I use a basset hound as my logo, but it wasn’t really me. (Also, it was not mine - my friend Suzy came up with it). I’m not much of a rah, rah person. I’m not interested in telling people what to do.
A few months into running my site, when I was talking with my friend Heather about what I wanted my blog to be, I kept coming back to the word kindness.
Those of us in the fitness profession are here because we want to help people. I’m beyond grateful that after years of searching, I found a job that allows me to do just that. At least that is my hope and my intent in every interaction I have.
It is my hope, my purpose, and as much as possible my practice, to be kind and compassionate. In my manner, in my words, in my actions. To be present and understanding in my interactions with strangers and with friends. To be kind with people who share my values and beliefs and to those who do not.
I don't want to pretend that I always succeed. I check out, I get distracted, I get frustrated.
It's easy to be kind to those who show kindness. It's much more difficult and I would argue, important, to be compassionate with those who do not. And again, I do not always succeed.
The other half of my logo is to be strong. Sure I mean this in a literal sense. Physical strength is important in day to day life, and it’s fun to watch people surprise themselves with their own strength in the gym.
But I also mean it in days like yesterday - when sadness, fear and uncertainty are at the forefront - to find the inner strength, through friends, through artists, through religion - to be strong.
Optimism felt difficult for many people yesterday. And I understand that.
But I still believe that anger, rage, vitriol - these things, when placed towards others with intent to harm, solve nothing. I'm not saying it's not important or healthy to be angry. But fighting fixes nothing. Holding grudges against people who do not share your same beliefs solves nothing.
Below is the video of my favorite song.
And I believe, through to my bones, that the lyrics are right.
"We are how we treat each other, and nothing more."
Be strong. Be kind.