Obstacles

Photography by Terri Pouliot

That darn branch!

A few weekends ago, I wandered about our beautiful Ohio trails to do some hiking and exploring. In between trails, I stopped in awe to view the magnificent arches under the Ohio Turnpike Bridge on Riverview Road.

It was extremely muddy and the best position to avoid the muck was on a patch of gravel opposite the bridge’s underpass.

Unfortunately, there was this darn branch in my view. Dead, ugly gnarled tree and smack dab in the middle of the photo I was trying to capture.

This obstruction began to irritate me, so I moved into the mire and oozing sludge for a better angle. I kept sinking deeper into the rain-soaked earth, until I was not really comfortable with my stance.

I decided it best to move back toward dry ground and continued shooting.

A couple things came to mind. The dead tree branch sort of grew on me. It was a part of the view. It had more of a right to be there than I did. It had flourished at that very spot at some point in time. It was only a matter of time before it would return organically back to the earth. It’s job was complete.

And what I perceived as an obstacle, wasn’t an obstacle at all. It was a part of the whole picture. It belonged there.  The obstruction actually created a point of interest.

Now, I realize with the aid of Photoshop; I could remove the tree, digitally. But I won’t. I like it. I’ve learned to appreciate it. The branch reminds me that life isn’t always a picture perfect postcard. There will be obstacles and ‘dead’ branches that obscure our view. We have to learn to look beyond, to look past them. If we don’t; we will never see the beauty that life has to offer.

And life is truly beautiful when we choose to go deeper.

Balance

Ritchie Ledges / Virginia Kendall Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Balance.

How is it that massive sandstone boulders, such as this one photographed at Ritchie Ledges within the Cuyahoga National Park, can remain balanced with seemingly little to keep it from tumbling?

And yet, as is evident throughout these trails, this rock’s demise will eventually involve a plunge below among the hemlock needles and sand sediment.

Who are we to believe we are such skilled magicians able to juggle work, family, friends and all of life’s distractions without one of them falling?

We cannot.

We are like the rock….it’s just a matter of time.

This is an essential part of health and wellness that is often overlooked.

Balance. So many distractions that pull us away from what is truly important.

Of course we need to work. But we should not neglect the people we care about. They deserve our time and energies.

Learning to decompress during our down time will keep us from falling victim to health issues and other tensions.

I share many effective ways to bring cortisol levels down, raise the ‘bliss’ hormones (oxytocin), and raise energy levels.

Balance is so much more than just moderation. Life harmony contains as many layers as the sandstone rocks shown in this photograph.

Learning to address the whole and not just one portion is needful for stability in life. And not just stability; but a sense of true peace and contentment.

 

Photography by Terri Kern Pouliot

 

No Gym? No Worries!

 

Can’t get to the Gym?

No problem! There may be many reasons why a ‘Gym’ setting is not the ideal place to exercise.

Compromised immune system. Many health issues create a weakened immune system making it necessary to avoid as many germs as possible. Clients who are going through chemotherapy are warned to avoid as much physical contact as possible to avoid germs.

Preference to a ‘private’ setting while exercising. Many people prefer a place of solitude, as opposed to a social spot, like a gym, to exercise

Time. We are all time crunched these days, but for some, time is a major player when it comes to fitting in exercise. The gym may not be convenient during the time needed to exercise.

Intimidation. So many people experience a feeling of intimidation regarding a gym setting, especially when new to exercise. A gym can be scary for new exercisers.

-Introverted. There are many people who prefer a more private setting for exercise. ( I totally get it!)

Equipment. Many people prefer to work with equipment that only they use. This also falls under the necessity of remaining as germ-free as possible. Having your own set of resistance bands, weights, and other equipment means less exposure to germs.

Less Stress. Exercising at home, under the careful guidance of a Fitness Professional, can lead the way to a lifetime of enjoyable exercise. Once the proper form, basic exercises, and fundamentals are taught; a client can exercise when it is convenient for them. As a professional, keeping a support system in place is essential. After all, it is not our intent to keep you depending on us. The idea is to coach, mentor and teach you what you need to know so you can enjoy a more active lifestyle.

Everyone is unique. An exercise program can be designed to fit your unique goals, situation and personal likes (and dislikes!)

Introducing a client to the enjoyable world of exercise and movement is a thing of beauty! Newly found energy, purpose, and enjoyment are natural by products of an active lifestyle.