Valentine's Day: The Power of Self Love
The thief broke into the Oakridge store and demanded "everybody down". But one lady remained defiant, standing in place. The thief barked again, "I said everybody down!" But the lady protested that if she got down, she couldn't get back up. In some respects, it’s a funny story (and yes, true). Happily, the lady was fine but I have no idea if the thief was caught.
A panic arose when a former athlete lost his balance and fell at home. His wife bravely tried to help him from falling, but in the process fell too. Sadly, neither were able to raise themselves from the floor. So she crawled to their phone and called for emergency help. Nothing was broken, except pride, but sadly their bodies had deteriorated to the point they could no longer pick themselves up.
Like the lady standing up to the thief, the couple in this story had no physical disabilities other than simply not applying enough time and energy to look after their fitness. The couple did exercise occasionally but they adopted a sedentary lifestyle, giving age far too much power.
So this Valentine's please consider self-love! Over a year ago, I downloaded the Peloton® app and yes, I quite like it. If you don't already know, Peloton classes are much more than just stationary bike programs.
In addition to cycling, there are all sorts of exercise classes including strength, stretching, yoga, running and even mindfulness. I've found instructors, music and class lengths which are suitable to my tastes and time requirements. The instructors are also frequently sources of motivational proverbs. Here are a few from Benjamin Alldis (www.instagram.com/benjaminalldis ) :
- Without challenge there is no change.
- You’ll never have this moment again. Every single second is yours for the taking.
- All I need from you, is to do your best. Nothing but success in your game plan.
- It’s you versus you right now!
- Let’s get you set up for greatness. Nothing beats commitment.
And now for some that come to mind as Valentine's appropriate:
- Light it up - who are you riding for?
- Be your healthy best not just for yourself but also the ones you love.
So today, let's consider exercise, not only for yourself but for those you love. Being reasonably fit, able to walk, to get up and down, to reach are all important markers of independent living. Being healthy and fit:
- Helps sustain your independence;
- Enables joining activity with loved ones, whether a spouse, grand children or friends;
- To care for others;
- and to not be a source of worry for others.
Obviously, we don't have full control of our health. Accidents and disease happen, as does age and natural deterioration. Life isn't perfect and sadly many people are struck by misfortune in physical or mental health, disease and traumatic injury. And being healthy is not a quick fix proposition. It takes time, energy, and self-discipline.
But if you haven't done so before, this Valentine's commit to loving those you care for you enough, to care for yourself too. There are so many benefits personally and for those that you love. I don't need to belabour them. But let me also highlight a September 19, 2019, Today's Practitioner article about two related studies. In one, the researcher wanted to assess how even one bout of exercise affects individuals 60 to 80 years of age. Her research showed not just immediate benefits but sustained benefits. The second study found that even moderate morning exercise improved cognitive performance throughout the day.
Please strive to be healthy and fit. It can be hard work, but you can do it. Engage a friend on the journey. Revisit my June 2022 blog with Tommy Europe as he discusses his SHRED philosophy on the SierraSil® website or Youtube®.
Tommy Europe - Interview – SierraSil
Quoting the Nike slogan, Just Do It™. It's self-love that is truly shared love, enabling you to be more resilient, less of a source of worry to those you love and potentially a pillar of support to those you love, when they need it.
A friend who is a Palliative Care Nurse shared these eloquent thoughts:
“I have a friend who was dealing with her husband's rare cancer in his late 30's/early 40's and she specifically started going to the gym more frequently - just being so aware that she was going to have to be strong physically to support her husband through his journey. It inspired me then and I think of it often as I am aging and it challenged me to get healthier. We all have the right to be loved just the way we are, and our value is not found on how thin/strong/fit we are - but we are also invited in this life to not just think of ourselves - and I agree that taking care of yourself is one of the many ways we can express our love for our family.”
Thank you to my friend who wrote that and to all, Happy Valentine's and blessings to you and those you are caring for.