spin for mental therapy

Posted: November 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Wow! A lot of you feel my frustration with Walmart yesterday. So after yesterday’s debacle, it felt good to come home from tutoring, eat dinner, and lay down in bed by 8 o’clock. These days, I feel as though I could stay in bed all day. It’s the only place I can ever really get comfortable. In reality though I would likely go stir-crazy. But the thought sure is nice.

In fact, I know I would go more than a little stir-crazy. I couldn’t wait to go to spin today. I somehow always feel better for awhile after workouts. It’s like my physical therapy. Also, my  mental therapy. I knew I wanted to do another Q + A post today and when picking out which to answer, I came across one that needed a bit more thought. Spin became my reflection time.

How do you feel about Makenzie having a close relationship with your father? Do you ever feel guilty for keeping her at a distance from her grandfather? (I ask this because I'm in a similar situation with my dad and daughter.)

While I don’t have as close a relationship with my father as I do with my mother, or even as I could have with him, I never keep M at a distance. She sees him very regularly – just as often as any other grandparent, so at least a couple times per month. I feel comfortable with this because my father is in a better place himself than when he treated me so poorly. He now handles some of the underlying issues that caused problems when I was growing up. Also, I was the main one who ever took the brunt of such hurtful words and hatred. I was the only one he ever hit and that was years ago. I do not negate the wrongfulness of his actions, but I do forgive them. I can’t let that part of my past control me anymore, so I must let it go. And I do not want my grudges to inhibit my daughter’s chance to be loved by those who care for her immensely.

My dad is great with her. He plays, cuddles, laughs, and everything else a grandparent does with her. I won’t lie. It hurts on one level because I missed out on that type of outward affection for much of my childhood. But my pride does not matter here. Makenzie adores him and, as long as he treats her in a way I feel comfortable with, I am happy for her to have that relationship. He makes her happy. It isn’t hurting her in any way. That makes me happy. That’s all that matters.

I will say though, if he ever hurt her in any way (emotionally or physically) or reacted to me that way openly in front of her, then he would lose all contact with her. I honestly don’t ever foresee that happening as he has changed so much from that time, but I did want to put that out there for whoever else may be in this situation. If there were any recognizable chance of harm to my child, I would not allow such an open relationship with him. In sum, it’s always about my daughter’s needs and not my wants or pride.

Wow, that was weighty, but a good discussion as well. I will now send you off to your Tuesday with this. Keep cheery!


  • Where/when do you do some of your best thinking or reflecting?
  • For fun - What’s something that made you laugh recently?
  • If you have a question you would like me to answer in the Nov series, CLICK TO ASK ME ANYTHING.

Tags: , ,

51 Comments to “spin for mental therapy”
  1. I always find myself in awe of the way you are able to handle your relationship (and now M’s) with your father. Truly inspiring.

  2. I do the most rational thinking and reflecting super early in the mornings when it’s very quiet… no tv, no music, no computer. Just the silence, my thoughts, and me.

  3. Thank you for being so open and honest about your relationship with your Dad and how you handle it with M. I admire your ability to talk and deal with emotions from your past and use them in a positive way for your (and your daughter’s) future.

  4. I totally agree with your thoughts on the relationship with your father. I have the same struggles with mine and it is so hard to let things go, but so important to teach our children how to be understanding and forgiving! I hope you have a good day today Tina!

  5. Wow . . . you have such a mature attitude in a situation that could easily turn negative. I really admire you for that.

  6. Glad that you are feeling better. I tend to do my best thinking in the shower or while running. 🙂

  7. Angela says:

    I do my best thinking on the treadmill in the morning – all the problems of the world, from what I’m going to wear that day to how I’m going to handle a difficult situation (ok, maybe I should say the problems of MY world lol!) are usually though out there. Have a great day Tina!

  8. Astrid says:

    I think it is super important for kids to have close relationships with their grandparents. Mine lived too far away for that, so I missed out. I agree with the others who say that you a super mature with the situation. You really are!
    I do some of my best thinking when I do yoga in the morning. And when I am baking.

  9. Jess says:

    I am so with you on what you had to share about your father. My relationship with my dad was very rocky growing up – lots of separations, hurtful words, nothing ever physical but mental damage- you bet. It’s much different/better today – but he’s still more of a “friend” than a “father” in my mind – and that’s how I keep him, a little bit more at arm’s length than he’d probably like but that’s my defense mechanism, I guess. I, too, feel a little bit hurt at how he treats my sister’s daughter – with such tender love and adoration – two things I didn’t really see from him growing up. Like you, I’ve learned to forgive, but it doesn’t mean those hurt feelings don’t still crop up now and then, still -even all these years later.

    • Tina says:

      I can definitely relate to what you say on your relationship with your dad. I agree that it can be a bit of a defensive mechanism, but it works and makes it easier to bear with it all because the feelings DO come up sometimes. I’m just happy I have moved past it to where we can honestly enjoy each other’s company and he can be involved with M.

  10. I definitely do some of my best thinking in the gym. I think I’m just in such a state of mental focus that things just start to look “clearer” and I can sort through my thoughts:)

    Something that made me laugh recently is watching “A Night at the Roxbury” with Hubbs last night. It’s just the stupidest movie ever, but it was full of silly things that cracked us up! HA!

  11. Where/when do you do some of your best thinking or reflecting?
    -Honestly, I do my best thinking when I bake. There is something so soothing about it, and it allows me the reflection time I need. Once I get fully into the groove of gluten free baking, I am sure that will return.

    For fun – What’s something that made you laugh recently?
    -I watch a one year old girl three days a week. This morning I signed “more” to her, she then did it and then grabbed my hands to make me do it giggling all the while. Her sweet enthusiasm made me laugh. It was a great morning with her.

  12. Definitely do my best reflecting while running. I got in a few good laughs yesterday watching the pups play at the dog park.

  13. I know you’ve touched on the relationship with your father before, but I didn’t know details until now. You are such a brave, honest, and wonderful person for being able to put your past in the past and move on to a better future for M’s sake. Being able to forgive is one of the hardest things in the world and I really respect you for that.

    I do my best reflecting while driving. Its not safe, because sometimes I do get distracted, but I get some of the greatest ideas and insights when I’m driving alone.

  14. Every time I go running my thoughts explode. That’s when i do most of my thinking.

    I applaud you for handling the situation with your dad with grace and maturity!

    Have a great Tuesday 🙂

  15. Katie H. says:

    You are handling the situation in a very mature, inspirational way. Way to be!

  16. Spin is my therapy too!!! I love the Q and A’s, they are always so interesting and I love getting to know you better! Hopefully today is going better than yesterday…no going to walmart!

  17. Heather says:

    Wow, what a moving post. Exercise (any form) is my outlet, too.
    Have a great Tuesday!

  18. Dorry says:

    I do my best thinking on outdoor runs. I laughed so hard this morning when I looked over and Billy had oatmeal smeared all over his pants with no idea. Once we have kids, I imagine that will be a normal occurrence. 🙂

  19. Very inspiring, Tina. I admire you for the way you are handling this situation.

  20. Becca says:

    My relationship with my dad is awesome, but I know there are people who struggle with their parents… I’ve only ever seen my maternal grandfather a handful of times in 20 years. He’s not part of our lives, really, because he checked out a long time ago. My paternal grandfather is halfway across the country, so most of that relationship is through phone and Skype conversations, and the occasional trips to Cali (which I LOVE taking!).

    I always find myself laughing on Sunday nights with the Freshman girls. If you’ve seen Mall Cop, one of our girls is EXACTLY like Paul in the drunken scene when she’s had too much sugar. We’ve determined that we are no longer buying candy corn! 😛

    I do a lot of my thinking while I’m driving, and while I’m trying to fall asleep. Though the nighttime thinking tends to keep me up and stress me out a little, but… Sometimes I have some pretty good realizations while I’m falling asleep! Hah. 🙂

  21. You are such an amazing inspiration to me. <3

  22. I do a lot of reflecting when I am driving — to and from work or on my way to run errands, etc. Even with the radio going it seems to be the best place for me to clear my head and think about things. I can also rehearse talking to someone or dealing with a situation.

    You are such a good Mom 🙂

  23. I love how you can leave all the frustrations on the bike – spin em out, if you will 🙂
    Wow, you can tell you’ve made leaps and bounds with your father. I think your mentality about he and M is perfect.

  24. You really have some great perspective. As for my best thinking? It’s maddening, but in the middle of the night, laying in bed, when I can’t sleep!

    • Tina says:

      Haha! I can relate to that all too well. And get used to it…you have a lot of middle of the night thinking about stuff coming your way. 😉

  25. That is SO like Wal-mart, I hate dealing with people like that. I usually give attitude back to a lot of them, especially when its not called for. I understand when someone is new, but as for the rest of them!

  26. Kudos to you for having such a great attitude!

    My favorite reflecting time is running… ’cause if I’m thinking about something else, I don’t notice that I’m on mile x. 🙂

    My little sisters have been making me laugh posting random things on my FB wall lately. It’s fun that we are all friends now!

  27. What a great answer. My father was only verbally/emotionally abusive, and it has affected me so negatively that my boyfriend says I should never let him near my children. BUT I KNOW that he would be a wonderful grandfather, so I hesitate to say that because he treated me poorly in some ways that he does not get to have a relationship with my hypothetical future children.

    • Tina says:

      I will also clarify that my father only hit me like 2 or maybe 3 times. I will never forget them, but he was certainly more emotionally abusive. I think its easier to get past that. I don’t know how I would change my thinking if it was more physical.

  28. Great answer and a great attitude!

    I do most of my thinking while on long drives (I have been known to drive to the Georgia border-about 25 miles away on a few occasions to just turn around and go back to my apartment). I also do a lot of thinking while I’m running. 🙂

  29. Made me laugh … my sad attempt at eating sushi roll today at lunch (I have only ever eaten it as a quick pick up from the grocery store, etc.) So that was interesting, delicious and funny! I do most of my thinking on the drive to and from work or when exercising!

  30. kristina says:

    I need a recharge too, perhaps an in bed by 8pm once in a while is the way to go. Great plan.

  31. Nichole says:

    Your words are so poignant. You share so much and it’s truly amazing to see how far you grown and what all you’ve learned. You are an inspiration to many. It takes a lot to express those emotions. Fantastic to see what values you are giving to YOUR family.

  32. janetha g. says:

    You have maturity beyond your years, this is a great answer! And you are such a good momma!

  33. Maura says:

    Amazing post.

    I was recently watching Tyler Perry on Oprah, and how he discussed that he had to forgive his abuser in order to move on. Forgiving is not forgetting, but I believe forgiveness brings us peace.

    Thanks for sharing.

  34. It sounds to me like you are doing what is most important- creating a relationship with your father that makes you feel comfortable and allowing it to grow. What that looks like for M will likely change year to year. Forgiveness brings peace but we still have to find a relationship that nurtures us. 🙂

    I admire how much you have been able to create with your father. I imagine that is no easy thing to do!

  35. You’re amazing. Truly. I feel bad that I can’t get over my dad’s crap to let him have a relationship w/ the boys but at the same time, he couldn’t get over his own crap to come to my wedding. So . . . I guess I feel like I’m protecting my boys from future hurt.

    I read your last post about Wal-Mart/Hell Mart and I”m so sorry you had to go through that. They have absolutely NO customer service skills.

    • Tina says:

      Yea. My dad has gotten past a lot of the issues that caused problems back then. If he hadn’t changed so much it would be much harder for me to be open with him and M.

  36. This is the first post I’ve read from you about your relationship with your father and I appreciate you being so open, since I’m sure it can’t be an easy part of your life to share. You have such a positive way of looking at the situation regarding your daughter and that’s what makes you such a wonderful mother!

    I do my best reflecting first thing in the morning… I have a clear head and am (fingers-crossed) well-rested!

    By the way, your 2nd paragraph basically describes my blog 🙂 Exercise and healthy eating keeps me from going stir crazy!

  37. I deal with something similar with someone in my husband’s life. I am so resentful of them for what they did TO HIM that it makes it hard for me to imagine allowing my kids to have a relationship with them. I have to remember, though, that people change. Hard to remember sometimes, though. VERY great post.

  38. Anna says:

    Some of my best reflective/thinking times was when I commuted to school (40 min drive one way). Now I find that my best reflective/thinking time is when I am walking to school in the morning and at the end of the day. I am not talking to anyone and there is relatively little noise or distractions.

  39. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: What do you use to help you think and reflect? I had to reflect for today's Q + A. http://bit.ly/boxNCi […]

  40. Kristy says:

    I enjoyed this post tremendously! I dont have a relationship with my father. Never have, never will – therefore he will not be any part of my “family”. I surround myself with people who want the best for me.
    I’m glad to see that your father treats “M” the way you should have been treated! 🙂

  41. […] know that spin class I went to this morning? The one where I had all of my good reflection time? Well, it was actually only half a spin class. A worker from the childcare called me out halfway […]

Leave a Reply




Catch Up With Recent Posts

Announcement Time

Posted: November 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

Well, I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks over here. I missed all of you so much! I can’t express enough gratitude for your patience while I got some important things sorted out. Some scary things. Are you ready for the announcement? Here goes! I will no longer be blogging at Faith Fitness […]

88 CommentsRead more →

Self-Love Reflection: The Road Not Taken

Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hello FFF readers! Nice to meet ya! My name is Carissa and my husband and I blog at Fit2Flex.  Well, I blog…he consults! We are both certified personal trainers with a passion for healthy, active living and clean eating.  I am also studying to become a registered dietitian, a race announcer, and a runner.  Stop […]

24 CommentsRead more →

Healthier Eating For Kids

Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens! As parents, we want the best for our children. We help them to feel loved. We strive to teach them […]

14 CommentsRead more →


Posted: November 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey, everyone! I wanted to pop in and say I am working on some new and exciting changes.  As a result,I may not be posting as much during the coming week.  Please stay tuned for the big announcement! Love you all! And still feel free to find me on Twitter and Facebook for the time […]

21 CommentsRead more →

Where The Change Happens

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

It’s kind of funny. I become a certified personal trainer and the first workouts I turn to this week come from someone else. The book came in for me at the library last week and, after flipping through it, I couldn’t wait to give the circuits a go. Making The Cut includes a lot of […]

79 CommentsRead more →

From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Good morning! First off, thanks for the many congrats yesterday. Love you all bunches for the tons of support you have given me in so many things this year. I hope I can return a little bit of that love through this here blog as well. So yesterday I had my first parent-teacher “conference” for […]

55 CommentsRead more →