Whatever you do, just show up on June 26
Can you believe six months has passed since some of us committed publicly to get fit? Those stormy, snowy days of January and February seem a long time ago, don’t they?
If you’ve stuck to your regimen, by now you have lots to show for it! Good for you for making the commitment to yourself! Perhaps you weigh less and have more stamina. Or perhaps you have better balance and are healthier or stronger. Perhaps you’ve reduced or eliminated medications and lowered your blood pressure. Whatever you achieved, I hope you’ll make a point to find me on June 26 (see schedule below) and share your progress.
Or maybe you never went to a single meeting and you’re still waiting to get started. Looking back, perhaps you regret not taking advantage of our collective momentum and enthusiasm. If this describes you, I hope you simply show up. For you, that’s the first step.
But I especially want to talk to you if you fell off the bandwagon. Maybe you had a setback-an injury, or a traumatic event in your life. Maybe you were distracted by others’ demands, e.g., your family or job. You may be wondering how, or even whether, you can get back.
You are the person I want to reassure. Repeated failures are part of the process that ultimately leads to success. How I wish I would have known this simple truth. If I had, I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself the many times I failed.
Through trial and error, we figure out what it takes to make permanent change. When we do it together as a community, we encourage each other. When enough of us succeed, we move our entire community in the direction of fitness.
The other alternative – not exercising and being overweight – becomes less viable daily. In our community, as in the nation, obesity will overtake us if we do not face reality. Medical costs will skyrocket, not to mention the suffering and loss of quality of life from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and a host of other illness associated with obesity.
As mortality rates climb, people will be struck down at earlier ages. Jack LaLanne, the 90 year old ‘ahead-of-his-time’ fitness advocate, reminds us “fat” is the first three letters of “fatal.” Not just the quality of our lives, but life itself depends upon exercising our bodies and eating appropriately.
Although it may seem I’m focusing on weight, I don’t mean to convey that impression. Fitness, in all its dimensions – physical, mental, spiritual – is the goal. An appropriate weight is merely the by-product. Just as happiness is not achieved directly but rather as a consequence of a well-lived life, so losing and keeping weight off is the natural by-product of overall fitness. If you have a body, find me on Saturday, June 26, and tell me how you are doing.
While you’re there, take advantage of free tests, classes and facilities. Register for a prize. Meet trainers and other highly-trained fitness staff eager to make a difference in your life. Use them to support your efforts. Get your blood pressure measured.
Get an accurate weight. Test your cardiovascular fitness. Go for a swim. Participate in a free class. Experiment with weight machines. Give yourself permission to explore alternatives. Bring your family. Arrange to meet a friend. Better yet, make a new friend.
While you’re there, say a prayer for Brenda McNeil (see “Profile” article below). Sign a card and consider making a donation her family. If your finances permit, give a dollar for every pound you’ve lost – or intend to lose.
Whatever your state of mind on June 26, show up. Your life – and the lives of those you love – depend upon a commitment to fitness. When one of us succeeds, we make room for others to follow in our steps. See you!
Carole Carson is a fitness and nutrition advocate from Nevada City. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write her at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.
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