Try an Intention of Gratitude for Your Pre-Celebration Workout
Written by Tricia Moore

Oftentimes during the holidays we are concerned with staying in shape and making sure we get in our workout before the big meal. Or, many of us opt to train hard the following day.  

Personally, I have enjoyed going for a long run on holiday mornings, it is my tradition. It allows me an opportunity to observe the day and feel the energy of others out and about. And, of course I do feel a bit better about the fudge, and other fun desserts I might have that evening. Many do the same and it’s a great strategy- let’s get out and burn some up some calories and energy.  

However, maybe this year could we look at it a bit differently. This year let’s set an intention for your pre-celebration workout, let’s set an intention of gratitude.  

Setting an Intention for Your Workout

I’m sure many of us have started a yoga session, breath work, or meditation session with an intention. It makes the session more sacred and helps us keep focused. The same can be done before a run, lifting session, or a CrossFit class. Simply take a minute before starting the workout to mentally ask your body and mind what it needs from the workout. Listen quietly for the answer. It will, most likely, differ daily or weekly. While you exercise, periodically remember your intention for the workout. I like to inhale the essence of the intention and exhale all limitations.

Give Thanks for the Bigger Lessons in Your Training

Gratitude is a gesture of the heart. Personally, when I feel grateful I am more accepting of others and I feel happier overall. When I get into a pattern of focusing on the negative aspects of others or situations, the downward spiral continues. This is where running and mountain biking have changed my life for the better. By finding the discipline to simply get outside, or get to the gym and move without expectation when things are great, as well as when things were challenging, I have learned to find peace through adversity. 

My greatest epiphanies have come while out on a run or a ride while I wasn’t forcing an expectation of performance. The funny thing is – that is when I do my best EVERY SINGLE TIME. I am grateful I have my health to go for a run when I want to feel free. What are you grateful for? 

In what way has your workout changed your life? Maybe your workout has given you defined biceps or helped you get a six-pack. Is there something more? Has your workout given you an outlet to release anger or frustration? Have the physical results of your workout provided you with the confidence to do things of which you were previously frightened? That is the beauty of training at Invictus, every member is sure to be challenged, and growth that’s where the growth is.  

I encourage you to reflect on what your workout has done for you. Not only will this get you in the spirit of the holidays, but it will also give your workout new meaning and purpose. You may choose to write down the way your workout has changed you and put it in your gym bag, or in your phone as a screensaver. Place it somewhere where it can be seen and will inspire you to get up and get moving when you feel tired and unmotivated. 

How Can You Give to Others?

Finally, how can the results of your exercise help to inspire others or fully enrich your own life? I’m guessing the people who have inspired you have influenced other areas of your life by the things you learned through your sport or training. Is there a family member who would love to spend more time with you? Or perhaps you need to forgive someone close to you so you can free yourself and them. Maybe you simply let your loved ones know how much they mean to you over your holiday meal.

Whatever you choose, remember the holidays are much more than turkey, stuffing or apple pie. This year, find gratitude not only for your blessings but also in the challenges that have shaped who you are today. 

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