emotionally, spiritually, and physically; fitness-- and the process
of achieving and maintaining a reasonable level thereof-- is practically
a panacea for the nations ills. Ok, so a bit overstated, but
bear with me.
The Greeks said it first, A sound mind in a sound body.
Or, more specifically, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, the
acronym of which you may recognize
ASICS; my favorite shoe company.
They (the Greeks) believed it was the responsibility of the individual
to exercise consistently not only to build a sound body, but to maintain
a fine mind. Those of you already addicted to fitness would probably
concur with the wisdom of these ancients.
Whatever it is you do; run, walk, bike, aerobics, swim, etc
the benefits are the same. Ill focus on running, because thats
what I know best, but for those of you who prefer an alternative fitness
vehicle, just substitute verbs where needed.
I began running on July 14th in 1978. I had three sons and a brother
playing football for Black Hills State University, and on that beautiful
South Dakota morning one of them said, Come run with us, Mom,
were getting in shape for football! Sounded simple to
me, I had never been obese, never smoked, didnt drink (ok, so
a little wine for the potassium), and I had always been quite physical.
Heck, Id even won some races in my day; on a horse. As I launched
myself out the door to run with the boys, my husband scoffed,
You cant run a half mile! Miffed but confident,
I sprinted out the door on the heels of the boys. He was right. Within
two tenths of a mile I knew I wasnt going much farther, not
at a run anyway
fortunately there was a huge boulder on the
ranch were we lived, so I hid behind that for a half mile,
then sneaked out and jogged on home. The boys never told, and I sure
didnt, but I was rudely awakened to the fact that you can look
fit and feel fit, and not be fit. From that day on I ran every day
for three years. (Now Ive run for 26 years, but Ive learned
to take a day off occasionally!) Really stupid. I ran in the house
during blizzards, outside in dangerous of weather, and in unsafe environments
anywhere. Fortunate to have run injury free all those years, I developed
a habit, perfected a style, and fell in love with fitness.
The specific benefits accrued for me are: resounding good health,
a coaching position at Black Hills (the unsolicited benefit of being
the only woman out there running!), the realization and accessing
of personal power, quick recovery from cancer, sound mental health
(my assessment), a fine collection of running tights, and a fabulous
marriage during the Disney World Marathon. Not a bad return for the
price of a pair of ASICS.
Fitness is an individual thing, to each his/her own. How I approach
my regimen and where I decide to go with it, may be a quantum leap
from what you decide to do and how you choose to achieve anima
sana in corpore sano, but the benefits are the same. Added to
the physical and emotional results is the reality that we represent
kids will do what they see us do, and if Im at
all responsible for a young person chuggin a water instead of
a beer, of moving through space instead of taking up space, its
worth a few miles of sweat.
So do what works for you. We all live under the same sky, but we dont
all have the same horizon.