Sunday, February 19, 2017

Practicing Kindness

On Wednesday at yoga class, the instructor came around as we prepared for savasana, which for you non-yogis, is that final resting pose at the end of class. She asked if anyone needed some extra grounding. She walked around the room, distributing sandbags to people who asked. Without me saying a word, she placed a sandbag across my thighs. That extra pressure on my thighs helped me relax. Her thoughtfulness made me feel so good.

The theme for the class was Ahimsa, which we take to mean practicing kindness. The Sanskrit definition, which is non-violence, is much deeper. The instructor's simple act of kindness inspired me to write today's post to reflect back on acts of kindness I observed and practiced this week.



Kindness toward others...
I love hosting giveaways on the blog, and this week I was fortunate that I was able to host 2 giveaways! The first giveaway was for Matt Fitzgerald's book that I reviewed a few weeks ago. I was excited that the winner was a Facebook running friend, Jennifer, aka 26 Life Changing Miles. She is currently injured and sidelined from running. Who better to receive the book than her? The other giveaway was for 2 entries to the Utah Valley Marathon. One of the winners was a regular blog reader, Kathy from McMarathon Moments, which makes me happy. By the way, if you didn't win, I have a discount code, wr15, which gives you 15% off the entry fee. It's going to be a good time--a lot of bloggers will be there! Sniff...

Kindness from others...
Valentine's Day came and went. My husband and I aren't super romantic. He surprised me with an amazing dinner of sauteed scallops with bacon and an expensive chardonnay. I'd much rather have a good meal than flowers any day. I gave him a 6 pack of Smitten Golden Rye Pale Ale (Bell's Brewery). He'd never had this one before and I couldn't resist the name.

Ilka shared my post from last week on her Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up. This is the second time she's featured a blog post of mine and I am honored! Be sure to go over and give her some love!

I stand corrected by my strength coach regarding the terminology for cleans vs power cleans. Last week's maneuver was not a "power clean", it was a "clean", or in CrossFit lingo, a "squat" clean. The power clean starts from the ground. Thank you, Becky, for clearing that up AND more importantly, for reading my blog, among the many other kind things you do for me. And congratulations on achieving your Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification!

My Saturday morning running group is currently split into 2 groups. Two of the women are training for a May marathon and are running more miles than the rest of us want or need. Steph, Cathy, and I are running less distance. We are also starting at 6:30 to accommodate my Saturday work schedule. How nice is that? On Saturday this week, we planned to go 7, but ran out of time and did 6. I offered to leave them and head back to my car so they could do the extra mile, but they ran me back and called it a day. I'm feeling pretty lucky right now.

Me, Steph, and Cathy catching some rays while we catch our breath
Kindness towards self...
How often to we practice kindness towards ourselves? Some non-runners may refer to running as a selfish activity, but why should we feel guilty about doing something we love? Besides, it's a healthy pursuit! We've had an absolutely spectacular week, weather-wise. It's hard to believe this is February in Chicago.


Self-love should be practiced regularly, right? That's what yoga is all about.

This was a new variation of side plank I hadn't yet tried!
Becky is wrapping up my strength cycle. I have really enjoyed this one more than usual. Maybe it's because even though I've been still having symptoms of RA (I flared late this week), I continue to push my limits. I lifted that weight all the way up on my power clean this week! And I got the terminology right this week, too. Becky also had me work on back squats. How low can you go? I had to touch this medicine ball with my booty. Ooof. Many times.


Today's run was a struggle. As I mentioned above, my RA is flaring and I'm having some discomfort and swelling in my joints. I almost skipped my run this morning, but the beautiful sunshine lured me out the door. The first 2 miles were a breeze but I ran out of gas and called it quits at 4. Sometimes listening to your body is the kindest thing you can do. 

This was at mile 2. There's nothing better than jumping in the sunshine to put a smile on your face!
If you're not having fun, why bother at all? 

It's like he's encouraging me.
How did you practice kindness this week? Towards others? Towards yourself?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap as well as Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up.




This post contains affiliate links.

87 comments :

  1. This week we finished watching "minimalism" on Netflix. So... we have been purging , purging, purging. My oldest helped in his room today with toys and stuffys. He said... it will be nice for someone else to use. I'm proud of him... and ashamed of myself for the overwhelming piles of "stuff". The weather here has been fantastic as well... but brace for next week... more snow!

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    1. I would have wanted snow a month ago, but now? Come on man!

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    2. I listened to a podcast w/ the author and immediately got rid of a box of things (I was purging my closet as I was listening). Saw the documentary and it led to another major purge which ended in 6 big boxes to good will (and I am not a pack rat by any stretch). Great documentary and I am trying to keep my practice of minimalism!

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  2. Focusing on kindness is so refreshing. I could really use some work on showing myself kindness. Often times realize I am being way too hard on myself, and that can't be good. Sorry your RA has been flaring up- I hope you feel better quickly.

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    1. Pretty sure it's flaring because I haven't been kind enough lately...

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  3. About 3 miles into a 5 mile climb this morning, I wasn't sure if you had been kind to me or not! JK, I'm thrilled to have another race to focus on. The run this morning hurt, but I know it will get easier.

    Hope the RA flare clears quickly.

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    1. Haha! I'm going to have to live vicariously through you!

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  4. Hey! I didn't notice "the jacket" a few days ago when you posted that dancing video! Or is this from a different session? #moveslikejaggar

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  5. Listening to your body is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. Boo to the flare up-I hope it does not last long. I've never heard of the sand bags on the thighs how interesting! Highlight of my week was our MRTT birthday run yesterday. I am just overwhelmed by all the goodness that has come out of our group. Have a great week!

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    1. I'm so happy I have my Saturday morning run group! It's nice to have company.

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  6. It's hard to listen to your body. I have been pretty impatient about being sick. But rather than bumming out about running at such a slow pace, I am just walking and being grateful to be moving.

    The speed will come back and if not for this coming race, then for another.

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    1. You'll be better sooner than you think!

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  7. I passed one of those thingies... that red thingy... a dancing guy??? I passed one yesterday and thought of YOU!! :)

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    1. Haha! I guess I guaranteed to make myself the example of the dancing fool...

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  8. I love that your new running buddies stayed with you for the run - runners really are the best!

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  9. Sorry to hear about the flare. But "pushing back" by focusing on the good is perfect. Way to reframe and see the goodness. It's always there.

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    1. The good is always there. I won't lie. I'm a little discouraged. I'm back on high dose steroids. I'll know more this week.

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  10. That is some low squat - wow!

    I'm sorry you're having a flare up :( Hope your RA behaves!

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  11. Haha, I laugh because I was not taken out for a good meal on Valentines day (my husband was away), but I did get those expensive flowers that everyone hates!

    I didn't realize that added pressure like sandbags helps one to relax. Do you end every yoga session like that?

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    1. That was the first time we had the sandbags. I've used eye bags in savasana. It's definitely something I want again!

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  12. Love this Wendy!!! I'm inspired to look back on my week and all the moments that involved kindness!!! I'm sorry your RA is flaring again, but glad you are not letting it get you down.

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    1. I had my moments today--I'm pretty bummed out but I got another steroid burst and will have a medication adjustment this week. I won't lie. It kind of sucks...but hey, I still get to run!

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  13. The sandbag thing is so fascinating! My daughter has sensory processing disorder and she feels comforted by weighted blankets. I bet she'd love the feeling of a sandbag across her thighs. I have often, especially when I'm super stressed out and feeling out of control, craved a heavy hand pressed against my forehead like someone bigger is saying "Shhhh...Suzy." Your yoga instructor has a good thing going on. So do you; I'm glad I "met" you, Wendy!

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    1. The sandbag thing totally makes sense. It's probably like me needing to sleep under a heavy quilt!

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  14. Hmmm....I'm not sure I was kind to anyone in particular this week. I did ramp up my rehab work tho, which finally allowed me to break a sweat. My mood improved by leaps and bounds, which helped me be kinder to those around me. So I guess I was kind by proxy! Give yourself some love Wendy. 💪

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    1. I'm doing exactly that. I'm going to take a couple of days off work to let this flare calm down. :(

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  15. Oh I love that so much because truly the biggest way I practiced kindness this week was letting the 11-year-old come with me to yoga twice. That's my self-care time. And yet I knew she would find it the same.
    So I said yes.

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    1. See, I would welcome the boys at yoga, so they could experience the exact same thing!

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  16. My husband got me a bag of Starbursts for Valentine's day, which is pretty big coming from him, he hates Valentine's day. I made him a big steak dinner and helped him butcher a pig. What says love more than helping bring home the bacon ;)
    I agree self kindness is well practiced with yoga, it has really helped my body and I used to hate taking that time to do something so slow..but it really is worth it!

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    1. I'm looking forward to some time on my mat this morning!

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  17. I love the theme of this and yes, kindness cannot be overstated right now! I've been lucky to have a lot of it flowing toward me lately and I'm not taking it for granted :-) Love these temps and all your pictures. Keep pushing through those tough strength workouts mama!!

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  18. Sorry to hear that your RA is being a bitch. It is the worst to not feel great when all you want to do is to be outside. But I agree with you that now, above all, is the time to practice kindness to yourself!

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    1. I'm finally putting up the white flag and taking a couple days off work. Let's see if that helps.

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  19. Practicing kindness toward ourselves and others....goes so far. This past week we enjoyed a lovely vacation to Mexico and I had to practice kindness toward myself because when I go running in heat/humidity I slow down so much! I don't even get to enjoy being at sea level (from altitude) because it's that hard for me. But instead of beating myself up and feeling bad, I just reminded myself how lucky I am to get in some miles in such a beautiful location! I am very sorry to hear you had a rough time at the end of this week. Hang in there, Wendy! You are strong and you will turn a corner again, soon!

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    1. Your trip to Mexico sounds lovely and slowing down is just the right thing to do! I'm doing that this week as well. A few days off work and some easier workouts should do wonders.

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  20. I wish more people practiced kindness, even nice little text messages from friends mean a lot! My yoga teacher always adds a little something extra in class, I think that is why I love to go! I am planning a week full of kindness to myself and I don't feel guilty at all! XXOO friend

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    1. Not feeling guilty either. Ok, a little...

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  21. Nice reflections! I let the elderly man in the grocery store tell me how to store my bananas so they don't ripen too quickly. I am really trying to be friendly in random interactions with strangers!

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    1. I do that a lot! I think it's easy to be nice to random people like that.

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  22. I love how you noticed kindness is so many small ways. I've been focusing on humanizing others with eye contact- the north east can be pretty cold. So as we walked through NYC this weekend I made a point to get eye contact with homeless folks- even though it emboldened them to ask for money, I think it's so important to let people know we see them and hear them.

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    1. I agree with you--eye contact is so important, as is a smile!

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  23. I've actually been working on being more kind to myself - not so hard on myself and accepting that perfection isn't going to happen all the time. It's an ongoing process.

    And ever since my coffee-loving brother died in December, whenever I go through a drive through to get coffee, I buy for the car behind me. It makes me feel better.

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    1. I love that whole pay it forward thing in the Starbucks line! What a nice thing to do!

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  24. Crap. You've been doing so well on your runs! Hopefully this is a very small bump in the road and the meds adjustment will get you back on track. Good you can take a few days off of work to take care of yourself. You deserve it!

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    1. I need to take it easy or I won't be good to anyone! Hopefully a couple days rest will be the thing.

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  25. A very nice meal and bottle of wine sounds like a perfect Valentine's surprise. I got more-affordable fresh cut flowers (PoPo knows I don't like roses!). I'm sorry to hear you are having another flare. We will both get through our issues! I love your picture and IG video with the air dude (what DO you call those things?). This week, instead getting all riled up over things/people, I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. You never know what others are dealing with. Thanks for linking, Wendy!

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    1. Isn't that the truth?

      My sons and I used to call those air guys "blowy guys". I have no idea what they are really called!

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  26. I prefer nice meals to flowers. I much prefer tulips too compared to any other flower because they make me happy and remind me of spring. I know roses are traditional, and they're nice, but they're not my favorite.

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    1. I absolutely love tulips more than roses!

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  27. This last week was a lot of helping Hubby out while he was sick and I'm very happy he is doing better. My running was my much needed me time, so I was happy for that. Love your reflections in this post! The pic of you with the red blowy thing is great! :)

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    1. I needed the release and the blowy guy was just the thing!

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  28. Love your post today. Self kindness is harder sometimes than kindness towards others.

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    1. Thank you. Funny thing is that self kindness feels selfish!

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  29. I'm sure I will keep featuring your beautiful and very inspiring posts in the future Wendy. I was reading your blog before I was a blogger, and when I started blogging you were the first blogger who always stopped by my blog leaving a comment. I was always blown-away by your kindness and I seriously don't know anybody who is more dedicated to the running blogging community than you Wendy. Whenever I'm commenting on a post I can almost bet that you have already been there before me.
    Have a great week Superwoman!
    Btw, I can imagine that extra weight your instructor placed on your thighs is super relaxing - I need to give this a try!!

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    1. You make me swoon. Thanks so much for all your love and support!

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  30. What a great post. I LOVE that shot of you leaping in the sunshine. Brilliant!

    Sorry you're having a flare. :/ Hopefully it won't last long.

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    1. I'm sorry too! Saw my doctor today..she changed things up a bit. Stay tuned.

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  31. What a lovely post. Kindness really is so important, especially self love!

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    1. It was a great reminder of what we all need.

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  32. How refreshing this is! I'm so very glad your yoga instructor inspired you on this one. Kindness is all around us we just have to look for it sometimes an opportunities present itself everywhere, again we sometimes just have to look for the moment to siege it! I fully believe kind deeds come back two folds too! :)

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    1. I hope so! I feel as tho we need more kindness in our lives!

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  33. I love this! My hubs is a pastor and has been doing a series on the fruits of the spirit. Last week was the fruit of kindness and we were all supposed to be intentional at being kind to others this past week. I have to admit, I don't know that I necessarily went out of my way to be kind to someone specifically, although I don't recall being unkind either. I did do a favor for my ex ..so that has to count as intentional kindness, right??? Anyway ...I had to share your post with the hubs since it was right in line with his sermon series... he liked! :) Have a great week Wendy!

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    1. I love that you shared this with your hubs! That was so nice! <3

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  34. Your post came right on time for me. My son and I have been sick with strep throat. I have to jump through hoops to coordinate getting my 2 active daughters to dance and soccer. I had some "unkind" messages from someone just yesterday when I asked a simple question to another mom we've been carpooling with to dance. I didn't respond. I just have to let things go. It's so hard when I feel like I am a nice person and we go out of our way to help others and yet people think they can say whatever they want to to me. I have been a little upset about it. I've been friends with this mom over 10 years. Sending hugs your way and glad you had a pretty good week except for your joint pain.

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    1. Why are people so mean? I ask myself this question every day. I hope you and Cayne are feeling better!

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  35. Oh, I love this so much.

    Kindness is just so simple and yet can be so hard, especially when showing kindness to self.

    This week, my parents were kind to watch our son so I could go to work on his day off (they are always incredibly kind in that regard). I showed kindness by taking my mom out to lunch and for some shopping after she was treated horribly by someone. I don't know that I was incredibly kind to myself this week, but it's a learning curve :)

    I hope you are feeling better soon.

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    1. I'd say 90% of people are kind. But it's those 10% that affect us. We just need to remind ourselves of the good people. It's easier said than done.

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  36. Wow that side plank looks so hard! You are definitely pushing the strength! I'm glad your running group is still working out for you. All those varieties of love and care you mention are important!

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    1. That plank was hard, not because of the strength, but because of the balance!

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  37. Loving-kindness, it's one of my favorite sessions on the Calm app meditation. It starts with self-love first then moves on to projecting love towards someone who means deeply to you, then to someone whom you feel neutral towards and finally to someone who has given you a difficult time and have hurt you. I feel that practicing kindness towards every person no matter what can affect you in positive ways and it looks like you've shown great kindness to others lately! I'm working on being more kind to myself.

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    1. I need to use that Calm app more often!

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  38. I wish that more people would practice kindness. A little kindness goes a long way, and makes the world so much better.

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    1. Right now, with the current political climate, it feels like people are becoming less kind.

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  39. We've had equally gorgeous weather here in Virginia, but that's more normal than in Chicago. My son told me they'd gone for a bike ride along Lake Michigan on Monday, something he wouldn't have expected to be able to do...

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    1. I want to take my bike out! Maybe tomorrow.

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  40. Just stopping by via the Sunday Fitness and Food link up. Love it...kindness...really is my motto with my kiddos! Can't wait to check out your book club recommendations.

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    1. I've got some good ones coming up! I hope you join in. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  41. This is such a great post! I feel like there has been so much ugliness in the world lately, that it is refreshing to read about kindness!! Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday Fitness & food and lifting my spirits too :-)

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  42. I took the week off from running and focused on yoga. Trying to give my knee a breather.

    Love that variation on the side plank. You have great form! And that running jump pic?! OMG #love!!

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    1. Thank you!!! I loved that variation--strength and stretch all in one handy dandy pose!

      I hope your knee feels better.

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