Sitting here nursing a torn calf injury, writing my first blog post on health and fitness - oh, the irony! It is a topic close to my heart though and the injury came about in the pursuit of my lifelong goal to live a vibrantly fit and healthy life. Getting up in the morning to do some form of exercise is as natural to our family as is brushing our teeth. Daily exercise and sport is an integral part of all of our lives.
I wasn't very sporty at school. I mostly hated Phys. Ed lessons and was not very good at ball sports. I could swim a decent breaststroke, but that was about it for me. I did, however always do some form of exercise; from high impact aerobics with big hair, leotards and stripy leg warmers (thanks, Jane Fonda) to Pilates, to spinning, to beach boot camps, to personal trainers. If there was a new exercise fad going, I was in. All in the pursuit of lean, toned skinniness. If having that perfect figure meant leaping about in strange attire to loud music, so be it - no price too high.
Thankfully, the driver has changed now that my lean, skinny years have passed and I am well into the years of an increasingly slow metabolism and ever-thickening waistline. While there is still a part of me that yearns to look as gorgeous as my young Pilates instructor, I exercise regularly now for completely different reasons. Now it's about functional fitness - about exercising to have a strong, flexible, fit body so that I can do all the things I want to do so that I can take on new challenges, join in when the youngsters are having fun and just live a full and abundant life. I am fitter and stronger now in my fifties than I was in my twenties and that fact brings me so much joy.
The real reward though is in being able to say, "yes" to so many wonderful experiences that have come our way. It's saying yes to a five day bicycle tour through the Winelands, it's saying yes to trekking the Annapurna circuit, it's saying yes to jumping off a gulet into crystal clear water, it's saying yes to running a half marathon with my 19-year-old son, it's saying yes to family paddles in the evenings after work, it's saying yes to long beach walks on the weekends with the dogs. In short, it's about having a body that allows me to live fully alive - to be a full and active participant in all that life offers.
Getting fit is hard work. Making the change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one takes time and commitment. You have to put in a lot of hours, endure a lot of discomfort and draw on a tremendous amount of strength to get to the place where exercising is a joy, but oh, the pleasure of having a body fit, firm and strong that say's "yes, lets"
Do the work, take the time, make the commitment. It's something you will never regret and always remember: