June 27, 2014

What to do when you lose hope

After a water aerobics class a few weeks ago, one of my students came up to me to tell me her story. She has MS (multiple sclerosis) and shared that her health had been deteriorating while her pain level had been skyrocketing. But once she found the gumption to get in the pool and try exercising in the water, she experienced relief from the pain and felt better than she had in years.

While she was telling me her story, I teared up a little bit. Here's a lady who was at home, in pain, with no hope of getting better, but she found a way to push past her hopelessness and try something new. And the new worked for her. She now makes it a point to schedule her work and life around this new exercise regimen because she knows that it will make her more effective at everything else she does, or allow her to continue doing it at all.

For me, this is one of the joys of teaching a class like water aerobics. We get a lot of people who have given up on traditional forms of exercise or cannot physically handle land-based exercise, and the water saves them. Because of its buoyancy and reduced stress on the bones, it is easier on the joints, but that doesn't mean that it is easy. Ask Michael Phelps. Water can give you a solid workout. But seeing these people keep moving even though their other options are reduced by injury or illness gives me hope. 

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I could never run again. If I injured myself beyond repair or if I got sick. What would I choose to do? Cry? Probably some, or a lot if I started Netflixing Life Is Beautiful or Marley & Me. But I hope, hope, hope that I would not let it get me down permanently. That after the sadness, I would pick myself up and find a new path.

For those of you who are reading this who haven't found your path, keep searching, keep digging, keep pushing forward.

You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
E. O. Wilson


  1. Lisa,
    I'm going to send you a PM. on Facebook.

  2. I was feeling hopeless a few days ago. I was in such a funk...thank goodness it only lasted a half day or so. When it comes to running, I know it's not the best form of exercise for me, though it has SO many benefits...my foot gives me problems. It's frustrating but some how I just keep trying. I love the stories of people who see the glass as half full in situations like you described...if you couldn't run ever again. So inspiring. Have a fab weekend. :) Jessica @ SweatIsMySanity.com

    1. Yes, you definitely have to feel out your situation and do what is best for you. Sometimes the mental and physical benefits of an activity aren't totally equal.


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