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No Pain No Gain

This has been my mantra for the past two years now.

“If it gives me a thrill and not a chill then I know I am going to do it.”

This has been my mantra for the past two years now.

Being 60 something has been a wild and kind of crazy ride for me. I had an awakening moment a few years ago, and my own choice made some drastic changes in my life to take better control of my overall health as chronic pain and depression have plagued me most of my adult life. In doing so, I fell in love with life, found nature and all its glory. I get my inspiration from being in the outdoors rain, snow or beautiful sunshine. But, not only do I get inspired, I get to exercise, fill my lungs with oxygen which fuels me to walk more when I am out and about in the pristine, unpolluted air that can be found not far from where I live, and there I am away from the city, watching out for hawks, falcons, and eagles that drift over the Niagara Escarpment, the Grand River or Lake Ontario. This time of year for me is special as I love watching the snow geese, snowy owls and trumpeter swans arrive for the winter. If I come across a new trail or path to any of the many waterfalls in my area you bet, I am going to be on It, take photos and just stop and meditate with gratitude for the sheer pleasure of being there and taking in the splendor of it all, any season of the year. I am not afraid to go venture and explore in fact I can’t wait for the next time my next adventure.

We Concoct Our Own Stories And Believe Them

I spent years not being able to enjoy my life because of health issues, not moving very well because I thought I was not able to, I told myself lies. I missed out on so much in life, my own choice of confining myself in my bubble and feeling very sorry for myself.

Here is the thing, we start to believe every one of those lies that we tell ourselves, they go hand in hand however with the stories we hear from those trained “Specialists”, Doctors who should know better, as well others who mean well, we start to believe because of the advice they give us, all of which may not be the right thing for us to hear. They tell us not to do something because we will hurt ourselves more. This may be true for some people, but I found out a little too late that all this “Bull” I was fed and chose to believe for years was not true, at least for me. I found that when I moved more, I would forget for a while about what was hurting me. I was just so used to listening to others tell me “Stuff” that I did not know what the right thing for me was to do until I found out for myself.


Baby Steps Become Giant Leaps

Once I got out there and started the daily little walks that took me a little further each day and distracted my thoughts away from my pains, I found that I focused on everything around me. I started to see the beauty of it all, started to walk by the lake and eventually upon the Niagara Escarpments rugged taurine. Let me tell you, that before I ever had the courage to start to walk again, everywhere again, I would have got in the car and drove right into my bathroom if I could have to use the toilet if it meant not moving and feeling that pain in my body. I think back on how I used to drive around everywhere and for miles not really paying much attention to my surroundings because I was heavily medicated and had to concentrate on my driving to keep myself safe going from place to place, from one medical appointment to another because I had no one to drive me around. I recall it was extremely stressful for me and more so having another passenger in the car. I think back to those times, and I can say that someone must have been watching over me to keep me safe; this is my belief, and I am so grateful to that higher power.

You Must Move To Feel The Groove

Moving my body, a little more each day allowed the energy to start, to shift, and move freely around me. My blood was pumping stronger through my body, and I now love to listen to my heart beating after a good long walk, because at first, I got afraid, I began to think that I was going to have a heart attack. I started to do a little yoga to clear my mind and to help stretch my very tight aching muscles from a lack of exercising all those years, more and more this has all become a part of my day, every day now and if I don’t go through this routine of yoga, meditation and exercise, distract my I could not read a chapter of a book and tell you about what I had just read. Now I read, write and have fun to share my thoughts with others on Social Media daily in the hope I can make a difference in someone life with sharing my journey. I try to challenge my brain daily with puzzles to solve.

What Doesn’t Kill You Will Certainly Make You Stronger

I know those words to be true. I had such fear of moving because I had one of those make-believe crystal balls that so many of us use to predict “what is going to happen if”? So, I would predict for myself the pain I would have to endure if I did something out of the norm for me until one day I was assured by a Chinese Traditional Doctor of Acupuncture I had turned to for help, that with no pain there is no gain. You see I knew nothing about acupuncture and that blocked energies could cause severe pain, but I now know that at least for me if I do not walk off or stretch off those pains, they just get worse. A few years ago I started Tai Chi, and that form of gentle movement works for me, that flow of energy is so important for overall well being, it is not always about the foods that we eat because I also recall one doctor years ago telling me you can eat whatever you want in moderation of course but walk it off. 


Life Really Is All About Choices

I made some very poor choices for myself and my life whilst under the influence of drugs because the bottom line is that these pharmaceutical drugs alter your mind, you cannot think and make good judgment calls for yourself, you get to the point that you are not totally aware of what you are doing most of your awakened hours.

I am not telling anyone to get off your drugs because you would be crazy to do that without proper Medical Supervision, it is a very dangerous thing to do. There is not one minute that I believe I would have been able to accomplish what I did without the help and supervision of several very dedicated Doctors who listened and did not think me incompetent of making such life-changing decisions for myself. These Doctors I was introduced to do not pill push, they are of this new generation of doctors that are working out of conviction not convenience, not looking for a quick fix but to help you with a long-term plan for your overall health.

Every day I am so very proud of my self, that I made those life-changing decisions for myself.

Now in my mid 60’s I feel that if I could do this in this stage of life, I believe that anyone can, my only regret is that I did not make the choice earlier, but I am not going to beat myself up about that, maybe it was just not the right time for me.

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Maria Koszler

I am a Thought Leader, Writer, Poet, Photographer. Creator of A Message From My Heart, Every Season Has a Reason and Thoughts Words and More. I use my creative talents in a unique way to Inspire others with my various writings and photography taken on walks around Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where I am blessed to live. Grateful beyond words for a life of purpose.

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Pammie Day
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Pammie Day

Maria, I LOVE this article. It is so important to move. It lubricates the joints and, by building up a little bit of muscle gradually, the muscles form a soft support around the exterior of the bone, kind of like nature’s natural brace. And, exploring the beauty and refusing to be defined by your “labels” is of infinite value. Thanks for taking the time to write this and I hope that it can be of benefit in relieving others’ suffering.

angieGallagher
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angieGallagher

I absolutely loved this, inspired me to make some changes for this new year. I can’t thank you enough for that positive boost.

TrishBrown
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TrishBrown

Hi Maria. Thank you for this inspirational article.
I’ve been reading McGill Media articles for years, but the statement you made ‘we concoct our own stories and believe them’ really resonated with me in a way that astounded me.
I am now going through my beliefs and assessing whether the stories I tell myself about life are working for me. If not, out they go!!!
I think we tend to let ‘experts’ dictate the way we should behave, which does not allow for individual differences, so we become miserable and defeated.
Your article was a reminder that we make choices every minute of the day, and it’s possible to turn your life around by making different choices.
Thank you for your wise words. 😊

KathyHill1741
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KathyHill1741

thanks Maria for the literal “leg up”. I have beena procrastinator for the majority of my working years. Sitting on the side lines wishing that someone would recognize my potential and lift me up outta my lousy position. Well, I continued to educate myself preparing for a promotion. Never came. I still study for “things”. But, what am I preparing for? Now I am retired/disabled and go for days without going outside! I find myself less able to walk distances, stand pass 5-10 minutes, and obese.

Reading your article made me realize my own self-sabatoge. I look outside wondering what the temperture is instead of putting on some clothes and a coat and go for a walk. I used to walk a lot, catch the city bus, meet random people for just being around life.

I am inspired to discard excuses and to stop living through my head and take an actual step outside, walk around my building, do something proactive instead of inactive. Thanks for sharing. I do “wish” I could experience your beautiful nature full environment! That’s one positive vision I will keep in my head!!

LynnDailey
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LynnDailey

This is a wonderful article Maria! I understand much of what you have written. I realize when I felt stuck, I was not moving. Slowly, but surely I have begun to move more and become stronger and healthier. Walking out in nature, breathing, exercise, photography, and discarding old ways of thinking and bringing in new thinking has all been key for me and my health as well. I am so happy for you that your new choices have brought you to a better place. You are so right that life is about choices.

Loren Perryman
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Loren Perryman

This article I’ve just read is very helpful and I’m Extremely Grateful that I came across it!! I know that I need to do ALOT more Exercise than I’m doing because I do need more Focus and better sleep!! I need to eat a lot healthier too!! I need to join a Yoga group also!! Many Thanks again for this article, I really hope that it helps as many people as possible!! Lots of Love Light and Infinite Blessings To You 😇🙏🏻🌅🌍☮️💫

Barbara
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Barbara

Great article Maria and thank you for the wake up call.

Margaret Stone
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Margaret Stone

Thank you Maria! I can not tell you how much your article was on time for me at this very moment!

prabhakar rajarapu
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prabhakar rajarapu

AMEN GOOD ARTICLE SISTER THANK YOU

SheliaBraswell
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SheliaBraswell

Thank you Maria for sharing your story..this is exactly where I am right now. I’m also in my 60’s and going through some health/life challenges and I’m feeling inspired to take the first step and take charge as you did. I needed this!!

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