Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Marathon of Life

I haven't lived through a war. I haven't experienced poverty, illness, hunger or neglect. I've never been starving or homeless. I am very fortunate. So what I have experienced? Call them poor choices, bad timing, aimless ambition; much of the anxiety, pain and torment I have encountered has often been self inflicted. I don't blame the world. But I've run a few marathons, physically and metaphorically, and I compare life to that. The marathon of life. There is a start, a finish and many kilometers in between. Along the way you may loose sight, question your reasons, doubt your strengths, find fault in the surroundings. But everyone who is running one and living one with honest effort is successful. Successful, whether the result was the initial goal or not. There is success in honest effort.

I have a friend who is running the marathon of her life and beating childhood cancer. There is nothing worse than witnessing your child fall critically ill. When I actually begin to imagine this I fall apart. The thought leaves me speechless. Terrified. But she and her family take it on and I'm amazed with their ammunition. I have around me people who can't imagine breaking a sweat. They say "What do you mean exercise?!?! like, sweating!?!?" Yes...similarly some people refuse to watch or read something disturbing: "Why would I watch something that makes me feel bad?" So why would you exercise to failure? Why run so far? Why sweat? Why tire? Why bother? Sometimes we do all of the above just to feel alive. In many things that make us uncomfortable, that challenge us, try to defeat us or continue to defy us, we are forced to seek answers. We are pushed to think, contemplate and feel. We may search for new meaning, purpose, strength and belief. So I think we somehow become better.

You don't have to do things to an extreme. I have been and can be all about the speed, the weight, distance, intensity - go, go, go! There's a time and place for that. But eventually it's about balance, peace, purpose. There's a purpose to staying fit and eating well. There's meaning in your health and fitness.

Often it's hard to make sense of everything. Sometimes you just blindly trust and believe that everything, even the most difficult challenges, contribute to something greater...but since you are here and well, or unwell, then you have every reason to do something to take care of your body.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.