I have been chasing this elusive unicorn “health” since I was 14 and read my first fitness magazine. Age 14 to 18 I thought health meant you had six pack abs and big arms. Well, looking back at pictures of me from that time period, I was not the picture of health at 125 lbs. 18 to 22 I decided to add in a little cardio thinking that that would add to my health. What the hell do people run for, or from? I hated almost every minute. There were the odd days I could keep up to the girl on roller blades in spandex, and that could change my perspective on the run. 23 to about 26 I got back to the picture of health were to be “jacked” so I once again took to lifting weights.
I abused my body in the quest for health. I force fed myself high calorie foods. I took supplements (GNC style… not Vitamin S) that I should have stayed away from knowing full well they were not good for me. I drank Muscle Milk before bed. And I was by this time a well educated young man. But still my view of health was skewed. It was my friend and mentor Andrew, who began to open my eyes to the world that I was blinded too. And it was not until I was 30, and took Holistic Life Coach level 1, that I became fully aware that I do stupid sh*t. Often and with reckless abandon. Yet still in the last year I continued doing stupid sh*t. My shoulder was a mess for a year all because I was chasing this unicorn. Hell, I mixed my Muscle Milk with full fat cream, thinking it was calorie, right?
But really what was I doing? Was I healthy? I was not sleeping. I constantly worried. I was not eating well (I had intermittent bouts of proper eating). I had aches and pains at the age of 31! And this to me was health. Yet I looked others and wondered if I was healthy what did they feel like? I WAS NO PICTURE OF HEALTH, SO WHO WAS I TO TALK. Health is not an aesthetic measure. It must encompass the spirit, body and mind. It starts with the simple thing… good clean water, quality food, and sleep. Then add in the exercise, but not just cardio and weights. We need to think of both working out (cardio, weights) and “Working In”; Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi. I have not met a single person who could not benefit from working in. Now I have to admit I would not be the first person in the park doing Qi Gong in public, but what is your Qi Gong could be different from mine. My Qi Gong this summer is fly fishing. That has been one of the most relaxing past times I have ever done. I actually suck at it as I never catch a fish, but I just love the peacefulness of it.
And here was the biggest issue. I was preaching health to everyone yet I was a mess. I am a representation of my business. How could I teach health to others if I could not take care of myself? Well, the path to enlightenment is long, as is the path to health. I have strayed from the path, and will probably do so from time to time. The key is to maintain awareness, and make the little changes where you can.
Here is the challenge. What is your picture of health? Is it aesthetic, spiritual, mental? Or is it well rounded? Now, are you a living example of what that picture is to you?
Yours in Health and Performance,