One of my ultimate goals is to connect people to physical living in their community – offline. It sounds counter-intuitive to have an online blog that is meant to send people away from the Internet – but that’s EXACTLY what I’m trying to do. If you already know why this is my goal, then you might as well leave, and go start LIVING. If not, keep reading, and you’ll get a hint about what I’m after.
I love the internet, it’s an amazing resource that has far-reaching possibilities that we can’t even imagine. But there’s also a lot of “filler” information. Look at any online article directory and you’ll see what I mean. It can take hours to find a high quality article in those archives. Simply put, really good information is scarce on the Internet – and so are strong and true relationships. Even social networking has got it all wrong!
I’ve got a lot of Internet friends. Hundreds, actually – buddies, friends, tweeps, fellow members, fellow bloggers, the list goes on. But one thing about internet friends is that the relationship can only go so far. You can spend a year developing a friendship online, and yet, you can get to know someone better by spending an hour with them face-to-face. Now don’t take this the wrong way because I love the internet and the opportunities it has created, especially in regards to the many people I’ve been able to meet that I couldn’t have without it. It’s a powerful tool, but it can also be misused.
The same is true of our health. You can talk about it all day long – you can read every good blog, research every study, every article, every book, and every expert, and yet if you don’t get out there and use that knowledge in real life, then you’re missing out on so much.
I’ve been making it a point to incorporate physical living into my everyday life, and into the lives of those I encounter. I’m all for sitting down for a nice meal, watching a movie, or playing a board game – but I hope that I wouldn’t do those things until after a long day of physical exuberance. In fact, I’d rather go for a hike, play outside, skip rocks, climb trees, or swing clubbells than do anything sedentary. The highlight of my day is whenever I get to go outside and enjoy physical living – even if only for a few minutes.
Just yesterday, I had a chance to meet with an old friend and it probably would have been more comfortable to grab a bite to eat for lunch, but instead I suggested that we go for a walk at the park. We probably walked for over an hour. And the truth is, I’m very glad that we walked in the park instead of just sat down for lunch.
We are naturally physical creatures, and our bodies need physical activity just as much as good food and sleep. When we stop moving, our lifestyle begins to decline in many areas – not just physical health, but mental, emotional, spiritual, social, familial, vocational, and even financial health sometimes. It’s a downward spiral that starts as soon as we stop moving exuberantly.
I see most people as living in three major stages of physical activity…
1) sedentary or trying to avoid being sedentary – Being sedentary most of the time lands you in this category, even if you workout sometimes. A couple hours per week of physical activity isn’t too much more than absolutely sedentary, and so let’s not trick ourselves into thinking that a few hours a week will do much benefit for our lives against the other 160+ hours that we spend almost motionless. Someone in this category may be legitimately trying to improve their health, but generally they are chasing fitness benefits or trying to prevent aging, dis-ease, or their upcoming pre-mature death. This is your average American.
2) making the transition to true physical living – this is a period of rapid change in someone’s life where they break away from fitness routines and special diets and move into an area of holistic physical living and all which this encompasses. This is a time of questioning one’s beliefs about health and fitness, going against convention, and gradually testing out a “new you.”
3) exuberant physical creatures – these people can’t wait to get “out there” and do the things they love. The triathlete, the recreational athlete, the “fitness freaks” (which I’ve been labeled frequently in the past), the guy who is trying to hike the entire Appalachian mountain trail or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the guy who somehow is able to “stay in great shape without trying”, etc. I’m sure you know the type. They look great for their age, they’re seldom or never sick, rarely go to the doctor, and don’t take any drugs. They are vibrant and full of life wherever they go, and it can be infectious to those around them.
So, the takehome lesson is to get out there are start living – not blogging. If you’re spending more time on the internet than you are out enjoying life, then it’s time for some introspection about what is really important to you. Ask yourself what stage of physical living your life involves.
And in case you’re wondering… I’m not anti-sedentary nearly as much as I’m pro-physical!
Some food for thought…
As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body. – Lewis Thomas, in The Medusa and the Snail (1979)
Nothing is more fatal to health than an overcare of it. – Benjamin Franklin
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease. – George Dennison Prentice
To your health and success,