independent

Friday 18 April 2014

A commandment to live by when it comes to exercise

No matter your height, weight or what age you are exercise, says Declan Coyle. Photo: Getty Images/Image Source
No matter your height, weight or what age you are exercise, says Declan Coyle. Photo: Getty Images/Image Source

One of my earliest memories growing up in Dungimmon, Co Cavan, was the community experience of going to the funeral of a neighbour in Ballinacree.

Everyone rallied together to console the bereaved family and the wake was a great occasion -- a real celebration of the life of the person with a genuine acknowledgement of the pain and loss to the family.

They say that Africa and Ireland are the two healthiest places in the world to grieve. Death is not sanitised or repressed. It is felt fully and expressed. There is an emotional honesty where a real healing comes from a real feeling. Tears flow freely, as does laughter.

In one corner of the room someone is crying and in the other there is laughter at some story from the life of the person laid out in the bed. For the bereaved family, all these stories and celebrations of the person's life eases, comforts and consoles their aching hearts.

But one thing that always struck me when I used to hear all the great things about the dead person was this: "Wouldn't it have been great if the dead person had heard even one of these wonderful things when they were alive?"

It's seems we're completely biased in terms of begrudgery. So quick to put people down. To belittle. That is until they're dead.

So, whatever exercise you've decided to do for the new year, don't listen to the begrudgers. Maybe your commitment has stalled. So what. Start again. Don't listen to the "I told you so-ers".

I was talking recently to a woman from the North who was an exercise stop/starter for years until she got a bit of momentum going.

I asked her, "How?"

"Well," she said, "I just say this wee prayer every day ... Oh God of new beginnings and fresh starts, here I am again!"

Over the years, I've seen so many young people start off in sport, and life, with high hopes and high ideals but then give up because they get negative feedback or suffer failure. It's so important to keep going no matter what, because many things need to be done in our world and you have to do them.

In the book, Teresa: A Simple Path, there is a series of Paradoxical Commandments entitled 'Anyway,' that were pinned up on the wall Mother Teresa's home as a child in Calcutta. They were actually written by Dr Kent Keith in 1968.

{HTML_BULLET} People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centred. Love them anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} People favour underdogs and follow only top dogs. Fight for the underdogs anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help people anyway.

{HTML_BULLET} Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

No matter your height, weight or what age you are exercise. People may make fun of you, belittle you or put you down. Exercise anyway.

Declan Coyle is a director of Andec Communications. His motivational techniques have been used by several All-Ireland winning teams. declan@andec.ie

Irish Independent

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