Thursday, April 21, 2011

True health is not just thin!

I love the outdoors! yesterday I was on the balcony at my studio and I watched a Hawk circling overhead for several minutes. I forgot about my stresses and my worries and just... let myself relax. The sun was shining, the canyon was below me,the hawk overhead. I felt blessed. I took a deep breath of the clean air and felt a wave of inspiration and clear thoughts come over me.

A big part of my job is to help people find ways to enjoy their journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle. Often that involves things like taking fitness classes and weight lifting or bootcamp. One of the areas that is MOST critical and MOST neglected in the fitnes journey is finding time to breathe deep, enjoy the outdoors and find JOY!

My 13 year old son reminded me of that a few weeks ago. He is not the kind of kid that has a competitive bone in his body. Playing sports is fun for him, but he has no desire to join a football team or a soccer team. PE is a must and he does good, But... he has no desire to run with me or work harder than he needs to to just get by. I kind of got on his case a little and was trying to find ways to get him more active and involved in sports. I really wanted him to just be active and was trying to force my ideas of active lifestyle for a school kid onto him. Finally he said: "Mom, I really want to go hiking and rock climbing more often."
I couldn't argue with it.
While I do believe that sports taught me a lot about hard work and success, I also know people who believe that some kids thrive better without being forced into a competitive sport. (However, rock climbing has their competitions too.... hmmmm....)

My goal was to get my son doing something active.
He didn't like what I offered and he told me what he wanted. I listened.
Our goal is to find a place to climb every Saturday and to Kayak on Fridays. That works for both of us.

I thought about my clients
How many have been TOLD what kind of activities they HAVE to be doing to be healthy? how many have been told how much they should weigh? How many have let go of the joy of the journey toward their end goal just to make others happy?

We need to bring the joy of it all back into play. we have an unhealthy nation. Not because their aren't enough gyms, diet plans, weight loss books, fitness gurus and doctors working on getting everyone trim and slim.
The problem is the lack of joy in the journey.
we have all bought into trying to join the school football team when some of you would rather be climbing rocks.
Some of us are so desperate to be slim that we are doing crazy diet plans to get skinny while our joy diminishes.

Health is a full well-rounded balanced plan that includes a joyful journey there.
It includes sunshine.
EVERY healthy individual I know gets outside! PERIOD!
They are biking or rock climbing or swimming or playing soccer at the park or running with friends.
They are social.
They love sunshine.
Some are competitive and some like my buddy Dan just climbs rocks for the joy of the journey.

They eat healthy "most of the time" because it feels good. Not because they are trying to lose weight. But because it is good for the environment, good for them, and good for the way they feel during their run/climb/swim/bike/hike adventures.

I feel like I am on some sort of weird crusade. A big part of me wants everyone to throw out the scale and enjoy being a person on a lifetime journey toward health. the other part of me was trained as a personal trainer to use that scale and count calories.

Here is what I choose:
- Getting outdoors for something active 3-5 times a week. Breathe the fresh air, watch the sunrise or set, enjoy refreshing cool water and breathtaking views.
- Love what you eat! learn about health for the joy it will bring you for the rest of your life. No longer eat for the temporary "full" feeling.
- Do what you LOVE to do! EXPLORE all fitness journeys and find something for YOU!

This Friday I am going kayaking with friends, running at sunrise with my clients. Saturday I hope to take my kids hiking. This is the joy of an active life!

My workouts I do in my studio help me to better do those other things. BUT spending 4 hours a day in the gym?.... come on! Get over it! go do stuff!