Never Underestimate the Power of the Mind

Never Underestimate the Power of the Mind graphic

Today was one of those days.

I woke up at 5:30 as I always do.

No alarm clock, just the natural rhythm of my body.

The quiet of the early morning is a moment I relish…

But not today.

Today I wanted nothing more than to curl up under the comforter, cover my head with a pillow and go back to sleep.

Today I had a migraine!

I knew the chance of going back to sleep and finding peace was slim to non-existent.

I knew that if I lingered in bed, I’d have no way to escape the misery of the relentless throbbing in my head.

I knew I had a choice — I could let the pain control my day, or I could get up and TAKE control.

I chose to get up.

I had committed to meeting my friend Christiana at the gym and trying a body pump and cardio class combo she loves.  I wanted to honor that commitment, not just to Christiana but to myself.

I’ve been plagued with migraines for more than 20 years. The worst ones last nine days straights and I’ve been powerless to find anything that brings me real relief.  Thankfully, for the last five years, since I’ve stopped eaten gluten, my migraines are far less tenacious and months will go by without me suffering a single one.

I’ve found a couple of essential oils that help me manage the pain by taking the edge off, but the most powerful tool I’ve ever found is my mind.

I’ve learned that if I can focus on something other than the pain, I can ignore it enough to get through my day.

I learned this in my in my mid thirties.  I was a film and television editor with unrealistic deadlines to meet on a regular basis. If I could not meet them I was out of a job. My days were insanely long and my nights much too short, which ironically was the main reason for my migraines.

A friend of mine who used to race cars when he was younger, decided to take me go-cart racing for my birthday.  Of course I had a migraine that day and was tempted to pass. For some crazy reason I decided to go.

That was the best decision I ever made.

If you have ever been go-cart racing you know that it requires a tremendous amount of focus. Allow yourself to be distracted for even a split second and you’ll likely spin out of control and find yourself off the track.

It was intense!

And it was the most powerful pain killer I have ever known!

As I left the track and met my family who had come to join us for lunch I was walking on air… and completely pain free!

The mind is a powerful tool.

It is what makes the difference between ‘I can’t” and “I CAN”.

We all have the power to push past the pain and take control of our day.

We simply have to make that choice.

It does not mean it;s easy, but we all have it within us to make that choice.

Every mom I know makes that choice on a regular basis, we just don’t realize that we do.

When we stay up all night tending to a sick child we push past the pain and choose to be strong.

When we allow our children to learn a tough lesson even though it breaks our heart, we push past the pain and choose to be strong.

When we let them go, whether on a school trip or stay away camp,we push past the pain and choose to be strong.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned in an even more beautiful way, the power of the mind.  As an aerial fitness instructor, I’ve had the privilege to teach children with chronic or terminal illness through a couple of priceless partnerships.

I’ve taught children with cancer..

Children with muscular dystrophy…

Children with varying degrees of autism…

Children with rheumatoid arthritis…

Children who know pain!

And yet these children have shown me nothing but the most exhilarating joy!

When you live with pain on a daily basis, you can let it paralyze you or you can push past the pain and live with joy!

These children make that choice every day.

I choose to follow their example.

If your mind says “I CAN”, there is no limit to what you can achieve!

What choice do YOU make?


To support you in choosing “Strong” I’m exited to bring you this 4 week challenge with my Sweat Pink sisters and BOSU

Over the next 4 weeks I invite to join me as I set out to prove that I am #BOSUSTRONG. I will squat, mountain climb, plank, push-up, lunge, spin  and body pump my way to a stronger and healthier body.  And I will encourage my daughters and YOU to join me on this fun journey because we are one big, happy #FitFamily.

I love this challenge because being #BOSUStrong is not just about movement, sweat, or even owning a BOSU, its about being a leader, an inspiration to others, and sharing my own fitness journey with others.

The 5 things that make be #BOSUStrong are:

  • My strong faith.
  • My ability to adapt.
  • My love for new challenges.
  • My healthy mindset.
  • And my commitment to being the best that I can be in everything I do.

What are the 5 things that make YOU #BOSUStrong?

Make sure to follow me on Instagram if you don’t already as I will be sharing daily my journey through this challenge and daily prompts so you can jump in the fun as well.




  1. Im always amazed at how strong the mind really is!

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    My 11 year old and I have been testing for our black belts this summer. We have our 3rd and final test next week and I keep telling him that it’s mind over matter. The thing is, it really does suck, but I want him to stay positive.

    • Having trained in martial arts myself Robin, I know you are strong in your mindset! It takes a lot to get through the rigorous training and testing! I love that you are doing this together! What a powerful way to teach him persistence! You go mama!

  3. Having the ability to take your mind off the pain helps so much. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

    • It is amazing Liz! Your daughter is a fabulous example of that. Training hard and going through periods of such restrictive diets is hard! I suspect keeping her end goal in mind and celebrating her success goes a long way and helping her push past the pain and keep going.

  4. I’m seeing my mother cope with chronic pain and how it affects every aspect of her life when she lets it. I will share this with her. I think she would absolutely agree.

    • I will keep your mom in my prayers Crystal. Living with chronic pain is exhausting! Our mind is strong and we can push past it, turn our focus to something else, find joy in little things that keep our mind of our pain, but when the pain does not ease up there is no real escape. The best way you can support her is in keeping her focused on things that bring her joy, make her laugh… Laughter is a great distractor!

  5. Super motivating! It truly is so amazing what the mind can do and how we are able to persevere and get done the things we need to accomplish everyday.

  6. These are such great points, we are way more in control of ourselves than we think. Way to go!

  7. What keeps me alive is knowing that I am a survivor. I have been through so much and I am strong.

  8. Life is all about choices. Around the age of 2 or 3, our daughter was given choices about her behavior…granted neither were ideal to her…but she always had a choice. Days that I feel depressed, I can choose to mope around or I can choose to sit outside to get some sunlight, get out of the house and do stuff. It’s always a choice.

  9. This sounds strange, but the way that this has worked for me the most is in winning things. For example, at my town’s summer fair, we could spin this giant wheel and get any number of prizes. In my mind I focused on the one thing that I wanted, and I won that prize – twice!

  10. Mastering the mind is mastering your life! Great post.

  11. This really motivates me to take on new challenges! The mind is a powerful thing!

  12. I used to get migraines and went to the doctor for all types of treatments. Then one day I saw the PA and he suggested that instead of staying in bed I should get my dog and go for a walk. To my surprise it worked, my headache calmed down. It didn’t take it away totally but took it away enough to let me get on with my day.

  13. It’s the same for any type of pain, if you focus enough on something else you hardly notice it! The mind is amazing.

  14. alicia szemon says:

    the mind is absolutely amazing. The whole human body is!

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