This is an instruction I hear a few times a week in my fitness routine. It’s a group class, and our instructors–especially one of them–when they lead the warm up say in one way or another, “Relax what you’re not using.”

I breathe as if for the first time when I hear it. I feel spoken to. I feel embarrassed because they are always talking to me even in a room of 30 people.

They’ve told me for a while that my trouble is in relaxing. Release your shoulders. A tight mouth does nothing for your power. A hard stare is not helping. These are things I need to keep hearing.

Focus on what I’m using. Conserve the rest for when their time comes. Breathe.

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