Everytime I find myself visiting a hospital I am reminded of the thousands of reasons I should get out of bed in the morning. I watch as people who are morbidly obese are taken in for surgeries that might have been prevented if they had exercised and eaten better. I listen as people argue with their doctors over changing their diets in order to control their diabetes – “isn’t there just a pill I can take instead?” I watch people who have exercised their entire life get out of bed the day after surgery and start walking around the halls because they understand that movement is the key to their recovery.
This weekend was no different except that I am in a different place in my life. Having struggled horribly with depression and anxiety for the past several months I have gained weight. I have avoided exercising on a regular basis. And mostly I have poo-pooed the idea that my weight gain could become a problem. I had more important things to think about, right To quote Cool Hand Luke, I have to get my mind right” before I really work towards a training program.
But this weekend I remembered that one of the main reasons I exercise in the first place is to keep my mind right. I exercise to help me stay sane. No, running on its own will not get me through this struggle, but it will help and in the meantime I will be staving off heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. Running will help me avoid knee and hip replacements. It can help me recover quicker from unforeseen medical emergencies and it can even help me to learn more efficiently, which as we get older is something we are going to need to start considering.
My mom is struggling after a very painful emergency surgery that we were not sure she would make it through. I know that the only help I was able to give her was by being there and showing her that I care. She will get through this with a lot of hard work and rehabilitation. And that is obviously my first concern about.
But today I feel something more. Today I am motivated to get back into a routine. Start thinking more about the weight that I am gaining and how I am going to take it off and begin a new journey towards both my mental and physical health. Today, I am ready to take my physical health in my hands once more and find a better place for my life. Today, I head back down the road to a healthy lifestyle.