Weekend alphabet soup

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. 

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

Whether we are coming to the end of a hectic work week, or a long 5 days’ worth of challenging final exams, the expression “TGIF” always rings true when the weekend rolls around. “Thank Goodness It’s Friday!!!” is a sentiment shared by all of us (unless of course, you are retired…in which case every day can be a weekend!).

Those same 4 letters, which herald the coming of a 2-day break from our busy routine, can be rearranged to denote something else entirely: a GIFT. By sequencing these letters in a different order, the emphasis becomes an entity upon which we might place even more value.  

Combining these ideas, we might ponder what a gift the weekends can provide. After some consideration, “TGIF” could represent the following:

  • Thank Goodness I’m Free
  • Thank Goodness I’m Flexible
  • Thank Goodness I’m Fearless 

What sort of GIFT would you give yourself each Friday, if no limits were set upon you? The gift of freedom to explore new activities?  The flexibility to alter your pace and slow down?  The courage to conquer a fear that might be holding you back from personal growth?  

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I’ll admit to being somewhat of a workaholic, spending at least part of every day training clients at the J or sitting at the computer writing articles.  Yes, this is my choice; but lately, it has been pointed out to me by many professional sources that this path I am on might not be in my best interests. Staying fit and active in the gym is healthy and fun, beyond a doubt; and catering to the scheduling needs of my clients is part of my nature.  However, I am coming to see the value in being flexible, a word that heretofore has not been a major player in my vocabulary! 

In the fitness industry, “flexibility” refers to limber joints, full range of motion, and extension/contraction of muscle fibers. In the rest of the world, however, this word can take on dozens of other connotations, each of which can be just as vital to living a healthy life as post-workout stretching. Flexibility is a concept with which I have often struggled, but one that seems to come most naturally to others.

This Friday, as you prepare for Shabbat, a weekend getaway, or just some communal family down-time, take a moment to ponder the GIFT that has been set before you.  How will you choose to honor your TGIF? Regardless of your path, remember this one important idea: Try Guaranteeing It’s Fun!”