How Working Out Taught Me To Embrace The Struggle

by Nora McInerny

It wasn’t until my husband was diagnosed with cancer that I started to take my fitness seriously.


Like most children raised in the ’80s and ’90s, I was awarded for nearly everything I did — things that were not particularly accomplishments, like completing my elementary school’s field day, or showing up for a swim meet. Most of those shiny PARTICIPANT ribbons eventually made their way into a landfill, but there’s a collection of plaques and trophies that have nestled into every bookshelf I’ve ever owned.

“NORA MCINERNY, MOST IMPROVED,” they proclaim in all caps, telling the world that while I was never the very best at basketball, or volleyball, or golf, or really any athletic endeavor of any kind, I at least got better at it.

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