Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

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Weekly Serving of Optimism: Quotes & Thoughts (What’s Within You?)

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Weekly Serving of Optimism: Quotes & Thoughts (Welcoming 2014)

The potential held in this new year:

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”  –  Vern McLellan

Happy New Year 2014

My hope for 2014:

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded”   ―  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for supporting me

In the words of Eeyore, “Thanks for noticing me.”


Have a wonderful 2014!


                        Tara @Finding Strength To Stand Again


New Diet Movement

“Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden, UCLA Basketball Coach

Thank you morguefile.com for the use of this photo.

Thank you morguefile.com for the use of this photo.

I have experienced paralysis.  I have been in a wheelchair.  I know what it is like for the body to not move upon command – to beg for the body to move when most would welcome the opportunity to sit still.

What is the secret to the New Diet?  Movement!  I have found the key to my own health, both physical and mental, is movement.

Watch an infant.  They rarely lie still.  Their feet fly around as they kick their legs.  Their core muscles work tirelessly as they move their arms and legs up and down, in and out.  Young toddlers are much too fidgety to sit for long periods of time.  Their bodies are anxious to move.  Yet, what happens as we get older?  The rush of the day creates an excuse to sit around motionless in the evening on our couches.  Movement evolves into becoming a necessary conscious decision we must talk ourselves into somewhere along the way.

Oprah was right when she spoke of fitness and said, “There’s no easy way out.  If there were, I would have bought it.  And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!”  Joseph Pilates was truthful saying, “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.”   Yet, what does anyone really need to buy?  No As Seen On TV product will guarantee instant physical results without any effort on the user’s part, nor will it offer us a maintained spirit lift and weight loss just sitting in your living room.  Thankfully, exercise opportunities are already all around us.  Have you passed a playground?  Look at all of the ways you can find movement in just this small area.  Have you driven down to get the mail lately?  Why not walk?


I have heard so many excuses of why physical activity is too hard to start and/or maintain.  “I have to work too late.” “I have not jogged for years.  I could never start now.”  “There is no way I could get my body to do that stuff at this point.”  I am of the belief it is the first step that really counts.  Opportunities for movement are all around us if we open our eyes to find them.  Even when half my body did not work due to my stroke I would push myself to maintain the health and strength remaining within the unaffected side.

Exercise can both strengthen the mind and the spirit.  It is not always easy and enjoyable.  Honestly, some days I exercise only because of the positive long-term effects I know it can offer for the future.  I am lucky I have never had to deal with significant weight issues.  Yet, maybe my knowledge of exercise healing a whole body is to thank for that.  Many days last month I would have preferred not do my daily push-ups.  Yet, persistence allowed me to do one hundred nearly every day.  I completed 2,400 last month.

In 2003, I was told I may never walk independently again.  I was told I may need assistive devices like a cane and AFO for the rest of my life.  I may not enjoy every last second before my timer rings on the elliptical.  I may not like the push-ups when I reach 97, 98 and 99, but I do treasure the fact I once again have the ability to walk.  I like the gift of now taking notice of all the exercise opportunities the world offers which I had never before seen. I also really like the fact I can laugh and play while attempting to fly higher than my daughters on a swing set at the same time I am strengthening my arms, abs and legs.

Thank you morguefile.com for the use of this photo.

Thank you morguefile.com for the use of this photo.

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philosopher & Writer

Weekly Serving of Optimism: Quotes & Thoughts (Lessons from Class)

When I go speak to a group of people, they already have an idea about the lessons I am hoping to teach.  I always walk away having learned unpredicted lessons.  Here are some thoughts and quotes I gained this past week:

Thank you MorgueFiles for the use of this photo

H. Wright applied her friend’s words when talking about my conversation at her class:

‘You can’t live your life just ‘getting through the day.’ This quote sank in for me, and since then, I have tried to live by the quote, “live the day” — a carpe articulum of my own.”


From P. Johnsen

“Putting yourself through college is making an investment in yourself.”  Unknown


Professor Gould signs his messages with this quote:

“Colleges…can only highly serve us, when they aim not to drill, but to create, when they…set the heart of their youth aflame.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you Heather and MorgueFiles for the use of this photo

One of the many lessons the reaction of their class provided me:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa

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