I will be in Chicago for the next week assisting my daughter in the set-up of her first apartment. That sentence alone makes me feel entirely too old.
Good news: There is a HUGE window in my daughter's new bedroom. Bad news: Yes, yes that is a platform for the L-train as seen through said window. Urban living....
That said, I will not post another new column until Friday, August 20th. Between now and then, I won’t be online much. In the mean time, there is this remix from a past column:
Definitions For Those In Quest Of More Definition…
Fitness, a word which has been hijacked and transmogrified over recent decades by varying factions from reasonable to bad intent, each wanting to wholly own the term and use the lure and the promise of that term to promote for-profit agendas – not necessarily consistent with what true fitness might be. There are at least three definitions of fitness; Webster’s, mine, and yours.
1) The quality or state of being fit
2) The capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms; also : the contribution of an allele or genotype to the gene pool of subsequent generations as compared to that of other alleles or genotypes
Fitness is the sum of balance, flexibility, endurance, strength, internal workings such as blood pressure, heart rate, balanced cholesterol, etc. Fitness, in my definition, includes command of the body, speed, power, heightened senses, and a reasonable aesthetic form.
Take a moment; write down what the term fitness really means to you. Keep that definition handy. Each week refer back to your definition of fitness. Add to it as you wish, or take away from it if you need. Make it a living document. Always maintain an awareness of what fitness means to you, and why it’s important for you to be fit.
Beyond The Definition
Now that we have had this important conversation, I wonder who has included the following virtues in their definition of fitness:
- Being a good parent
- Being a good sibling
- Being a good child
- Being a good neighbor
- Being a good employee
- Being a good friend
- Being a good citizen of the community
- Being a good member of the congregation
- Being a good leader
Roy High On His High Horse — Yet Again
Society is often quick to express disapproval of why/how so many over prioritize fitness (working out) in the modern age. In pursuit of results, it often seems that fitness-minded people forsake the more important virtues I listed above in their quest for a better bod, myself included. To sacrifice any of these virtues for the sake of a workout, one’s priorities would surely be out of whack.
But, to include any and all of these virtues as reasons to workout might be suggested – especially for those who struggle finding motivation to fulfill their own fitness ambitions. Ambitions fulfilled, the blurry line between fitness moderation and obsession becomes more clear.
I admit that my own fitness priorities have been out of whack on more than one occasion. However, as I sit here in robe-clad rumination drinking coffee on a cold San Diego pre-dawn, I have no doubt that I have been better at all of the above because of my commitment to personal fitness; a better neighbor, better father, better business man, better writer. I can also say that when I have stepped too far from my fitness path, my ability to be good at anything has immediately and proportionately decreased.
I can think of few great thinkers, great leaders, or iconoclasts of social or political change who have been true exercise junkies. Conversely, I can think of many who practiced reasonable fitness daily. Be you wanting to lead and facilitate change in the world, the community, the workplace, or the family, a more fit more confident you is much more likely to succeed.
That said, my fitness tip for this week applies to those who, like myself, have a harder time negotiating that blurry line between obsession and moderation in fitness:
- Skip the workout today go have a root beer float with your elderly neighbor.
- Take your kid out for pizza.
- Don’t just have one glass of wine with dinner, have the whole bottle – just don’t leave the house.
- From your front porch, shoot spit-wads at those smug cyclists and runners as they move past your house in those pretentious running and cycling outfits.
- Buy Girl Scout Cookies outside the grocery store, and make the girls laugh as you open the box and begin eating right in front of them – before you even get your change back in your hand.
- Hijack your workout partner and go see a movie instead of of hitting the gym.
- Put down the egg whites and oatmeal and enjoy your wife’s pancakes for a change.
- Instead of lecturing your subordinates at work on the “ills of junk food” surprise them with a box of donuts – and let them see you take the first one.
- For today, just for today, be okay with who you are!!!
- Find a fitness trainer and tell him to, “shut the fuck up and get real”. Remind him that life is more than sets, reps, lunges, chicken breast salads, and that there are greater causes in the world than doing sinister justice to a pair of jeans.
If you are a fitness enthusiast and have already done any one of these things this week, good for you, you are a fitness moderate and you are right where you should be.
If you have done all of these things this week, then it probably is time to write down and review your own definition of fitness, and get grounded.
If you refuse to do any of these things for fear that your abs will disappear, your arms won’t look so hard, or your 5K run time will suffer, I pity you, but pity those close to you even more. Be well.