Saturday, November 3, 2012

Find Your Strong

I am going to make a brutally honest statement. Almost a confession of sorts. But I feel like I'm not alone in this. Here it goes...

I don't understand anyone who doesn't love running.

It's true! In my mind, the only reason someone wouldn't love to run is that they are not fit enough to do so comfortably for an extended period of time. In my eyes, as Marc Parent wrote, ""Every run is a form of celebration, even if it is a griping, painful celebration." I feel that, given enough time & training, everyone will learn to love running. After all, it's so natural! Kids everywhere struggle to not run in the store, by the pool, in church, down the halls at school, etc. From an early age everyone loves to run! It is the easiest and most efficient way to get fit! Clearly, as the book title says, we were "Born to Run!"

Here's another confession:

My opinion, no matter how strongly felt, or how many other people support it, is incorrect. 

It's true! And if I dig down deeply enough, I am faced with the reality that the reason I hold this opinion is that, what kept ME from loving running was that I was not fit enough to comfortably do so for an extended period of time. And of course, my perspective is strongly influenced by my own experiences. And for me, running isn't just about fitness, it's a test of fortitude, it's my favorite way to observe the world and it's my "me time". Running does far more than shape my body, it also offers me escape, helps clear my mind, makes me feel strong, teaches me perseverance and helps me feel more connected to God. 

You see, for me running isn't just about physical fitness, it's also about my emotional, spiritual and psychological well being. And it doesn't matter what gives you that. Whether it be martial arts, yoga, soccer, hockey, weightlifting, hiking or Pilates. Find that activity that feeds your soul as well as shapes your body. Because, I believe that fit is the new skinny, and there is more than one beautiful body type.

Find an activity that you love and let your pursuit of excellence be what determines your body type. You'll be better for it.  You'll be happier and stronger. Eating well will be easier because there will be a greater purpose than some arbitrary number on the scale. And you'll be a better spouse, parent, friend and employee because physically and emotionally healthy people have more to give than those who are sick. 

If what you do to stay in shape doesn't make you happy. I want to encourage you to try something new. Don't chase someone else's dream. Don't chase their idea of beautiful or strong. Try new things until you find something you love. Pursue excellence. Find your Strong! 

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