Ester Marsh column: Happy Easter

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2022

Whether you are a believer or not, and I am, I am very thankful that Jesus died for my sins and has risen on Easter Sunday. This time of year can be a wonderful reflection on life. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. I received so many wonderful messages after last week’s column on “trip across Atlantic to see dad one final time.” People are searching for love, caring and respect in these difficult times, and a story where I was able to see my dad one last time before he died spoke to many and helped me start my healing journey.

As I mentioned, so many other times before, health is not just physical, it’s also mental and spiritual. And as you would schedule your workouts through the week, you must schedule time for your mental and spiritual wellbeing. It all goes hand in hand — if one is off track, the others are harder to accomplish.

So where do you start? Personally, the closest I am to God is when I am in nature, on horseback with my husband. It feeds my soul and I reflect on life. And I am so fortunate to work for an organization, the YMCA, where we work so hard to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. To see the impact that we make is a humbling experience. Start with taking five minutes each day to reflect on your life and how you can fill your spiritual, mental and physical cup.

I focus best when surrounded  by nature. When I feed my horses, dogs and cats each morning, I reflect on what has been and what I need to do to make that day a good day. For many, it’s reading the Bible each morning, for others it’s reading inspirational quotes. For me, I surround myself with nature sounds and animals, then I get to teach my classes — Esterciz, Estelatte and Easy Cardio Balance and Tone. Boy, do I fill my cup teaching those classes! It takes lots of work and preparation, but the return is priceless.

A healthy spirit, mind and body doesn’t come by waiting. You evaluate, plan and execute. And then there is patience — just because you started doesn’t mean everything falls into place. Whether it’s weight loss or muscle gain, spiritual or mental gain, it takes time. I like this quote by Joyce Meyer: “Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you are waiting.”

Health starts with you. You start that exercise class, Bible study or five minutes of reflection each day and then you become patient and let the pieces of the puzzles fall into place. And there will be times someone or something throws all those puzzle pieces on the ground, but you regroup, pick up the pieces and start again. And this is called life.

I wish everyone a wonderful Easter Sunday and enjoy your family and friends and nature.

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the JF Hurley Family YMCA.