Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why do I run?

Why do I lead a healthy lifestyle? It isn't because I want to flaunt teeny bikini's and need every man's attention. And women that think those are the only reasons to hit the gym or get off their asses are sorely missing out on life, and sorely missing out on the blessing that God has gifted us: the gift of movement. Women who judge those women that take pride in their bodies and take care of themselves tend to be insecure and generally incredibly unhappy - and make a lot of excuses for themselves and their sad lives. Don't give them an ounce of your energy.

Don't let negative, unhappy people bring you down. Don't allow insecure men to bring you down. Don't allow unhappy old women to bring you down. Self-care is self-love, and you are your best for others when you when you love being you! Happiness doesn't come from other people. It comes from within yourself, and when it spills over and infects others, this is what it is about. Others: boyfriends, parents, pets, kids, cannot be the reason and supply of your happiness. Only you are in control of that. 

Why do I stay active then and take care of my body, if not to wear teeny bikinis? (Which I don't.)

1. I am active because I want to live a long, prescription-free, surgery-free, medication-free, hospital-free existence.

2. I am active because I want to be a good example. 1 in 3 kids is overweight and 1 in 5 are obese. If you don't think this is a problem, YOU are the problem.

3. I am active because I believe my body is a temple. 

4. I race because every time I cross the finish line and PR, I am killing another statistic. Coming from a broken family and drug-addicted parents, every finish line I cross is a small success and a slap in the face for people who believed I wouldn't amount to much.

5. I am active because it relieves stress. 

6. I am active because I am fascinated by the human body and human movement. 

7. I am active because I love to eat! (80% healthy, nutrient-rich foods; the rest delicious, heavenly chocolate.)

8. I am active because it keeps me in-tune, physically and mentally. 

9. I am active because I'm alive, in a world that is becoming too computerized and leaving us desk-ridden. 

10. I'm active because I love endorphins and having great sex.

We are out of sync. We have become too distant from the Earth and nature. We are homo-sapiens, only recently evolved from the apes and their predecessors. We have grown too dependent on automobiles and machines and chemicals. How do these things make us healthier? Happier? 

Why am I active? Why do I run? Why do I lift weights and practice sprint drills and do pull ups? Because I am an animal. I run because it is part of my genetic wiring. I run because millions of years of evolution have left me programmed to run. And I run because there is no better way to see the sun rise and set. (Poetry inspired from Amby Burfoot.) 

This is living:

This is not:

If you don't take care of you: don't expect anyone else to.

I believe a healthy dose of sweat 5 times weekly, wether it be with your spouse in bed, in your yard raking leaves, or training for a half-marathon, is an essential ingredient, if not THE ingredient, to a fulfilling, lasting life. 

To help make it happen, remember this from Tony Horton:
1. Confuse your body. Muscle confusion is the basis of my program. Keep your muscles guessing and they'll get leaner and stronger. It will also prevent injuries.
2. Work out five days a week. Yes, that's a jagged pill to swallow, but it's the truth. Hopping on an elliptical trainer three days a week is not the best use of your time.
3. Do more than walk. Just plodding along is not really going to change your body, unless you kick it up a bit by adding speed and walking on an incline.
4. Think pull ups, sprints, and swimming. You're moving your own body weight in space. All you need is your body and the earth. If these three exercises aren't your thing, just use the same principle as your guide.
5. Cram in a mini workout. There's always time to work out. On busy days, take 10 minutes and do "U.C.M.L."—upper, cardio, middle, lower. Do as many pushups as you can do with good form. Then do any kind of cardio move (mountain climbers, jumping rope, running in place) for 60 seconds. Then do 30 reps of an abdominal move, and finish with 20 to 30 reps of a squat and plyometric jump. Do three to six rounds.
Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you. -Rumi

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