The Sheer JOY of MOVING, (Which, By the Way, IS Rather Paleo…)
Just back from taking our dogs on their PM walk around the neighborhood and, as is often the case, I came back with about eight blog topics, another chapter for my current book I'm working on and the logistics for my weekend workouts.
While I was out, I saw a young father with his little girl, probably about two, out for an evening stroll. The little girl said to her dad, in her baby-talk little voice, that she wanted to run. The dogs and I were slightly ahead of them, walking, so they slowly came upon us, stopped to 'pet the doggies' and then continued on down.
What struck me was the look of pure joy on that little girl's face. And how easily she ran. "CONTROLLED FALLING", as it's often referred to in the realm of runners. No brakes. No hesitation. Just natural motion, arms flailing about for no other reason then that's what felt normal and natural for her to be doing.
Contrast that to another scenario: during our last trip to Hawaii, I saw a sixty-something man with a pot-belly out for an early morning jog. Or, perhaps I should call it a slog. No, I'm not being elitist and poo-pooing him because of whatever slow pace he was running, rather I'm referring both to the expression on his face as well as his entire aura.
He looked absolutely miserable. Like he was hating every single second of his obligatory morning 'exercise' session, likely either prescribed to him by his doc, or self-imposed with the intention to then head to the breakfast buffet and fill up on pancakes and Belgian waffles. His face was pained, his gait was more of a gimp and he was the absolute antithesis of what movement and exercise is all about.
I LOVE running. I LOVE triathlon, but I LOVE running. I am fortunate in this respect because:
- I have a body that works that allows me to run
- I realized running's innate therapeutic capacity early on and how much I enjoy every aspect of it
I acknowledge that for many people, it's not that easy. Whether you have horrible memories of being picked last in PE as a little kid, or being told you were not a good baseball player or asked why you didn't win the soccer match, it may be the case for you that now, anything related to physical activity is awful.
If this is you, think about that little girl and then consider a few more things:
You don't HAVE to go join a gym if you hate the gym or can't afford a gym
The ability to move is a gift, so please take advantage of this
Your exercise should be FUN, because then you'll actually WANT to do it! You're not going to find me playing basketball because I have zero eye-hand coordination with ball sports, so I'll stick with what I love. You do the same.
If you can't remember what you enjoy doing physically, think about it until you can. Then do it. If it doesn't make sense logistically (like you want to downhill ski but you live in Florida), then be creative and, for example, plan a ski trip for a few months away and focus on nordic track aerobic sessions with sport-specific strength training. Having the new FUN goal will be all you'll need to keep you moving.
Finally, think of someone you know or even don't know, that cannot move, and how much they'd like to be able to. And then MOVE!
Do you really have a legitimate reason not to?