Whole Living Daily

Today's Exercise: Find a Motivator

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1 Martha's new Blue Garden, filled with flowers such as wood hyacinth, crocus, muscari, chionodoxa, anemone and hellebores!

2 Mom petting a horse at Martha's barn.

I was so excited to celebrate my “superwoman” mom this past Mother's Day, whose strength and faith throughout hardship has been a tremendous example for me. This has been a very rough year for her, health-wise—and at one point we thought she wouldn’t be around for another Mother’s Day. So, this year, I arranged a special treat: I asked Martha if I could take my mom for a spring stroll around her stunning gardens. Martha enthusiastically suggested I take her to the new Blue Garden, filled with all blue flower varieties. I was so happy to spend that time with her.

Mom was 23 years old and had three young children when she was stricken with polio. One morning, she woke up with flu-like symptoms that gradually worsened. She was then rushed to the hospital—and didn’t come home for a year. She had lost the use of her legs.

In spite of her paralysis from the waist down, my mother never let anything stop her. Mom went on to have six more children, continued to drive using a special handle, drove our boat and took us kids water-skiing, and danced with crutches or in her wheelchair. She still does her own grocery shopping, and talks about how she wishes she could garden more. Mom will be 80 years old this summer and now has 24 grandchildren. My mother is my biggest motivator—she always has been and always will be!

Our exercise for today is to find a motivator. Think of something that excites you or identify someone who can push you to new levels of growth and/or perseverance. Perhaps it’s a life coach, personal trainer, or your sister; perhaps you love tennis or yoga; maybe a new professional venture intrigues you. Just get out there and find the thing that makes you feel inspired and motivates you to stay active and keep moving. Hell, it can even be your pet!

If you’re having a hard time coming up with one, I’m sure Mom would take you under her wing…

Mary Tedesco is personal trainer to Martha Stewart and owner of Body Fit Personal Training in Cross River, New York. Please visit her website at MaryTedescoFitness.com.

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Comments (2)

  • Nice article but knowing your Mom it barely touches on her greatness. She should be a model for every women who dare complains that things are overwhelming or too hard. There is nothing the human spirit can not overcome -- and your Mom is the embodiment of such.

  • I wonder what your Mom would say her motivator is? She just may say it is her daughter Mary! She sounds amazing. Very nice to read such wonderful thoughts in the morning in Los Angeles. Thank you Mary...Keep writing.


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