The other day I was walking at my dog at the park and I noticed the kids at the nearby playground. They were were constantly moving and having a blast doing it. They were not worried about how they looked or if they would get injured. They ran up the structure, over the monkey bars and down the slides. Many were chasing each other and playing tag, loving every minute of it. (luckily they didn't seem to mind the creepy lady and her dog staring..)
It got me thinking about my past. When I was a kid, I thought running as fast as I could putting away the shopping cart at the store was fun. Climbing trees to see how high I could get was exciting. Learning how to do a flip on my trampoline made me feel like a rock star. I would spend my evenings watching TV while also practicing cartwheels and handstands, or jumping around believing I really could fly on a broom. I loved moving not for what it did for my body but how it made me feel. But then I go older.
I think we all can agree that as we get older, life gets more complicated. Responsibilities start to pile up. Our schedules become packed with things we should do, not things we want to do. Life becomes an endless battle of trying to prioritize what's important.
The key is how we prioritize. As kids, our priorities were based on what felt good, In otherwords, we were more selfish. We prioritized moving our body because it felt good. We prioritized eating candy over veggies. Veggies weren't fun and didn't taste good, therefore were not important. We loved spending time with friends and being in the moment. The biggest factor that determined our decision making was if it felt right. Prioritizing was simple because it was based on what we wanted.
When I jot down a list of all things important to me, my choices aren't so easy anymore.
The list goes on. Everyone has their own list. If you could itemize your list what would be first, second, third...?
With age, many or us fall into the trap of putting the needs and expectations of others at the top of our priorities. We have to meet our family and boss's needs before we can even think about ourselves. Our decision making process is much more complex than as a child. I bet you know that you should be exercising everyday and eating right. You probably even believe it should be a priority, life just gets in the way of it happening.
My challenge is for you to let the inner child in you come out a bit. Be selfish.
I am not saying put your family, kids, and work on the back-burner and hope they survive. But it's time to realize that fitness and nutrition are basic needs. If you want to help others, then you must take care of yourself. Find an exercise you love and do it consistently. Carve out a bit of time each day to nourish your body with good food. It is a delicate balance trying to juggle life's demands with your personal needs. But if you can find that balance you will be better prepared to help those around you.
If you need to, go be creepy and watch the kids on the playground. If you stare long enough you might realize your life is about living. So start prioritizing yourself in your life today.