Checking In: Talking Fitness Again
Jump Start

On Muscle Memory . . . and Hope

All week long, I look for . . . 


and on Fridays, I report back.


Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.”
Krista Tippett

I read the quote (above) from Krista Tippett early this week, and it's been hanging there in my head ever since.

Muscle memory.

I don't know that I would ever have put those two terms next to each other.
But now I do!

When I think about "muscle memory" I think about all those things I just do automatically, but that were hard for me at one time.

Tying my shoes.
Executing the long-tail cast-on.
Threading my sewing machine.
Moving through a vinyasa.
French braiding hair.
Doing a dead lift.

But with enough repetition and practice, I can do any of those things without even thinking about it now.

Perhaps it's that way with hope, too?

These days, feelings of hope and feelings of no-hope-at-all swing wildly in my psyche. And yet . . . I still go through the automatic actions of someone who is full of hope for the future.

I plant bulbs in my garden.
(Hoping for a future spring that is thick with daffodils!)


I work out every day.
(Hoping for that day 20-some years in the future when I can pick myself up after a fall!)


I wind yarn.
(And dream of the sweater that will keep me warm and cozy at some point in the future!)


Just going through the motions  . . . of hope.

It turns out that even when there are . . . things, situations, people . . . who challenge my hope-filled nature, I know that down deep, I've still got hope. It's there. Even when I don't think about it.

It's my spiritual muscle memory at work!


My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy.

Hang in there.
Try to find some time to let your spiritual muscle memory do its thing.


PS -- Just in case you're having severe anxiety about the election, I wanted to pass along this link to an article that came out yesterday in The Atlantic. A good reminder . . . that 2020 is not 2016. It gave me a little . . . hope. (At least for a mintue.) Maybe it will give you some, too.



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I really appreciate your Friday postings about hope. While I am managing pandemic life fairly well, I struggle with hope about the election next week. I “hope” the Atlantic writer is correct about polling. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Thank you for the link to the Atlantic article. As Shirley said, I sure HOPE he is right.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for that article link. I've been feeling mostly cautiously optimistic, but then yesterday I made the mistake of listening to a Radiolab episode ( about possible election scenarios and how they might play out, and it absolutely terrified me. I'm feeling a bit better now -- but I still want it all to be over!


I often find that your posts come at just the right time for me. Today’s is one of them. I know that I have hope, always. Sometimes it is good to be reminded.


Fingers crossed Kym! Have a nice weekend. xo

Kim in Oregon

Thanks for the link to the article. Much appreciated.


Hoping there’s not too much chaos around the election results.
Hope and Humor to you these days.


Fingers, toes and eyes all crossed that the article is correct. Have a wonderful weekend Kym!

kathy b

Thank You for the Atlantic link.
I will be knitting shortly for the evening.
We worked ....again in the woods. I found a maple tree that I moved. It is only 2 feet tall. But I found a bigger oak sapling!!! i will have Fireman move to a place where it can really really grow . Im excited I found it.


What a wonderful post. Winding yarn is a hopeful activity. The natural world is my source of hope. Somehow in spite of all of us, the seasons change. And my beautiful grandchildren who are thriving. Of course they have so many advantages but I have to be hopeful for their futures.


Hope as muscle memory reminds me of something I book-noted in _Grateful_ (recommended by Mary). In it, the author talks about (these are my words here) 'stashing gratitude in the bank for a rainy day.' In other words, practicing it every day. Thereby...building your resilience, over time. So, come a crisis, those who've been practicing gratitude all along have greater resiliency than those who don't. I kind of think Hope is on a very similar page.


That is a great quote about hope.

Your photos made me think how MANY things we do for the future without even thinking. Something so simple as leftovers put into the refrigerator with the un-spoken hope that we will still BE HERE tomorrow (or the next day, or the next) to eat them.


My anxiety is definitely ticking upwards as Tuesday draws closer. A friend of mine who is a reporter for NPR said the nation is collectively holding it's breath right now and that feels very true. The Atlantic article did give me some hope but I can't let myself go there because I can't subject myself to the utter despair I felt in 2016.


I love listening to Krista Tippett, that is a a great quote of hers. I loved this post, thank you so much. We need to have hope don't we, all the time, but most especially this year. I love the idea of hope being like a muscle memory, a great analogy.


This is a great post, Kym! I am holding hope in my heart today, even if everything turns out to be a cluster!

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