Jennifer Williams is the Web editor for the Catholic Review.

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I like the "never give up philosophy." Gavin is a great example for today's youth.

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In a slump? Get back on track


Anyone can fall into a slump. Personal life issues, struggles with a career, or in my case, saying goodbye to a longtime pet, can cause this sudden sadness and lack of energy and motivation.

Working out, particularly running, is my thing. But for five days I did nothing. And that nothing came with a heavy topping of pizza and ice cream.

So, how did I snap myself out of this spiral of gloom?

Well watching the movie “Eat Pray Love” (more than once I might add) as I nestled myself into the sofa, did teach me something. During Liz’s (played by Julia Roberts) travels to India she befriends Robert, who tells her “You’re going to have to learn to select your thoughts the same way you select your clothes every day.”

I do respect the power of positive thinking and an “attitude of gratitude.” But even those uplifting thoughts weren’t propelling me from my spot on the couch when I got home from work.

Then yesterday I received an email pitch from the public affairs manager at Oak Crest, a retirement community in Parkville, that did change my outlook.

In this email, Jeff Getek pitched a story about residents who were being honored for their particular commitment and dedication to fitness. One resident, 89-year-old Sid George, was recognized for completing 3,042 workouts. (Six other residents were also honored for more than 2,000 workouts.) As soon as I read that email, I knew I was going to the gym. If Sid George could do it, so could I.


Sid George during his early morning workout at the Oak Crest fitness center.
(Courtesy Jeff Getek)

Turns out Sid really is quite serious about fitness. He works out for 90 minutes, four times a week, beginning at 6 a.m. He served in the United States Marine Corps in both World War II and the Korean War, so staying in shape has been part of his life for a long time. Thanks for the inspiration, Sid!

Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Here are some tips for when you find yourself in a little slump.

1.       Exercise. The president of Sony TV wakes up at 4 a.m. to do Pilates. Not feeling that level of motivation? Try taking a 10-minute walk with a co-worker. It will get you away from your desk and boost your spirits.

2.      Spend time with family, close friends and neighbors. These people are your support system. They will offer the cards, kind words, jokes, dinner and laughter that will get you moving again.

3.      Pray. As Mahatma Gandhi says, “Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”

4.      Think positive thoughts. In baseball, it is recommended that to get yourself out of a slump, you need to visualize yourself hitting the ball. So clear your head of any negativity and envision yourself doing positive things. You can't always control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you react. Try to stay positive.

5.      Think of others. Take the focus off yourself and think about helping someone in need, cleaning up a local park or even just offering a listening ear to a friend. Giving to others has a funny way of making you feel good. 

What is your inspiration when you hit a rut?

8/15/2013 7:10:51 PM
By Jennifer Williams