The Privilege To Be Active

Movement. The ability to walk freely; to run; to climb stairs. Even inalienable rights like simply going to the bathroom.

These are all things that we take for granted. Or at least things that I sometimes take for granted. Not everyone has this privilege.

I have loved ones, some of whom were some of the most active, athletic, ALIVE people that I knew. But because of accident or illness, they are now limited in their movement. Some even confined to a wheelchair. And it breaks my heart to see them like this. And I feel even worse when I find myself (and others), not taking advantage of the opportunity that I have to be active. So on days where I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to workout, I try to remember what an honor it is to do so.

After finishing up the workday, I put on some warm running clothes and headed to the high school track (a different one from Sunday’s long run) to log some miles. When I got there, the track was closed for a soccer game. Sometimes I forget that the track actually belongs to the school kids first.

I was going to head over to another high school’s track (even though it doesn’t have lights), but I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time, so we chatted. And chatted. And I lost track of time. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I have a 7am flight in the morning and still had to pack. So I zapped the workout and headed home. But first I had to stop at the bank. Which just happens to be right next to my gym.

There I was, in the parking lot of my gym, dressed for a workout. I felt foolish not going in so I told myself I would suck it up and hop on a treadmill. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), they were all taken. I was still pressed for time and couldn’t wait around for one to open up, so I hopped on the next closest thing – the stair mill.

Personally, I love the stair mill. I lost a lot of weight doing the stair mill. Its challenging and it’s the one piece of cardio equipment doesn’t completely bore me. It’s also a major sweat fest – especially when you’re dressed to run in 50-degree rainy weather.

As I climbed the stairs, elevated above everyone else, I looked around the gym at all the different people working out. And I felt happy for all of them – no matter what their age, shape or size. They were seizing the opportunity and taking care of themselves.

Exercise is not just about physicality. It’s equally (or more) all mental strength. It’s about finding your strength, your balance and discovering your full potential. It’s about willing your body to accomplish what the mind wants it to.

And some of those who can’t, still try, whether it be by yoga or through physical therapy, or something else. The point is, they try.

And every person who can should. And then give thanks for the privilege to do so.

(Okay so this is another unedited post where I just typed what I was thinking…too much rambling?)