Success is the Sum of Small Efforts:
Inspiration often comes from the most unlikely sources. Sometimes, it's just a matter of slowing down and opening our eyes to see it amongst the busyness of everyday life. Yesterday, I walked into a room of one of our new skilled rehab patients to conduct my standard assessment interview. This so happens to be an individual I've met and talked with in the past. The resident is chair bound with limited mobility, but as soon as I walk in she lights up to greet me with a huge smile.
I ask her about her appetite. "I don't have one at all, but I eat because I know it will make me stronger." Then, I ask about her progression in therapy. She tells me how every day she pushes herself to try something new. "Today," she said, "was a milestone for me," and she proceeds to show me as she stretches her arms together overhead. "Yesterday, I could not do this, and today I can." It was something so simple that I am able to do daily with ease, and here she was SO proud and glowing with excitement regarding her progress.
The moment warmed my heart, and though I was having a rough morning, I left with a refreshed perspective. Here was this sweet lady, comparative to most standards had so little to work with sitting in that chair, yet she had a joyful heart and looked for ways to push herself beyond her comfort zone. In the face of so many obstacles, she is keeping this attitude of hope, perseverance and progress. Little steps in the right direction. While many of my goals and efforts are centered around race outcomes and career objectives, here she was working to build up the strength to go home, one milestone at a time.
Gifts of Lasting Impact
This Christmas will be a little different than years past: It will be just the two of us, I will be working, and most of the gifts have already been exchanged. I will be spending my time serving residents so that they may fully enjoy the gift of the day. Some will have family visiting to celebrate with them, and for others, we are their family. In that, I am thankful for the reminder of how each day we have the opportunity to give of ourselves and be a blessing to others. Often, it's not gifts that require wrapping that bring the most joy, but perhaps the more simpler things in life: words of encouragement, a warm embrace, or a sincere smile that says "you are special to me."
Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
Another year has flown by, which means it's time to sit back and reflect on the past season. It has been a season of challenge in many regards, and most definitely not the season I had hoped or planned for. Thinking back to my coaching meeting in January, coach Jim and I had discussed taking things to the next level and I set some pretty high goals for myself. That remained the plan through June, until I through a complete 180 by dropping Chattanooga and deciding to focus on my health. I can vividly remember that day, sitting next to the pool after a short workout when coach asked if Chattanooga was still in the cards. I don't remember whether or not I actually responded, but I do remember the emptiness and defeat I felt in that moment knowing in my heart that the answer was no. I consider myself a "fighter"... being Italian makes me stubborn to the core and I am very loyal to the commitments that I make. However, in that moment God was calling me to let go of my own personal plans and trust in Him instead. As humbling and difficult as it was to walk away from Ironman training this past season, I'm incredibly glad that I did.Hearty Miso Soup
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