A Running Leap Into My Grave

Our first baby was (and still is) a boston terrier named Annie.  Michael mentioned her in his blog post “Lassie Come Home”.  She is loyal, fun, and over-the-top energetic.

We used to joke that Annie was going to take a “running leap into her grave”. Preferably, she would be catching a stick mid-air into a body of water.  (But absolutely not a bathtub!)

Then we had our second baby, Noah.  I used to tell people the reason why I made time to go to the gym was to keep up with my son.  How else was I going to keep up with his ever-moving body?  But I will say that when he’s sleeping he is out like a log (charging up his batteries of course).

And then there’s Abby.  Not only does she have energy but she doesn’t take naps regularly and is a night owl….and those wonderful characteristics began to show up around two years of age. 

Don’t forget we added one more boston terrier, two cats, and two frogs over the years.  (Anyone noticing a pattern here?  Is it because we named our son “Noah”?)

But I digress….

Over the years on my journey toward fitness, emotional health and spiritual health I have come to a conclusion that has become one of my guiding principles in life.  Like Annie, I want to take a running leap into my grave. 

Maybe I’ll be a white-haired 92-year-old woman delivering a low-fat, protein packed casserole (is there such a thing?) to a shut-in who is ten years YOUNGER than me.  I will have just walked ten miles to his home-for a bit of exercise and if Michael is dead, I will be flirting with the one bachelor who is still alive (just going by statistics guys).   I will read him the Bible and then get on my way home to scrub my floor and work on the computer courses that I’m taking at the local community college…..and after I’m finished with my evening laps in the pool I will sit in a chair and just pass away. 

Okay, so the whole last part of my imaginary future may have seemed a bit morbid but the fact is…..we are all on a collision course with death.  If the Lord wills it, I will arrive at the throne of God with some buff granny abs.  If He decides I should arrive with a little less gray at the temples, all the better.  But did you catch the type of life I want to be living in those last hours and minutes?

I’ve been reading a book by Andrew Weil, an integrative medical doctor, called “Healthy Aging”.  Quoting from the cover itself, “Dr. Weil’s belief is (that) although aging is an irreversible process, there are myriad things we can do to keep our minds and bodies in good working order through all phases of life.”  He also states that “to age gracefully means to let nature take its course while doing everything in our power to delay the onset of age-related disease, or, in other words, to live as long and as well as possible, then have a rapid decline at the end of life” (page 5).  That is what I want!

I am in a Bible study at my church that is currently reading Francis Chan’s book “Forgotten God” which is a study on the Holy Spirit.  Through that study we have revisited 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

I am a born again Christian and so my relationship with Jesus colors every aspect of my life-even my physical fitness.  Because I gave Jesus my life the Bible says my body is a temple for His Holy Spirit.  More important than anything to me is to love my God and serve Him.  It seems a logical conclusion to me that ALL parts of my life are His therefore I need to offer Him up a fit body that I am responsibly caring for as to be able to serve Him well and long.

I don’t know where you are in how you relate to God…or if you believe there is one.  But I do know without a doubt that part of our being is spiritual and that needs to be healthy too.  My suggestion as a first step toward physical health is to examine that of your spiritual health.  And then, look at what your long term goals are.

Would you like to take a running leap into your grave?  Let that be a guiding principle and perhaps a reason to get off your backside and take a walk out your door, walk even a couple of feet, and repeat again tomorrow, adding a couple more minutes and maybe adding some tunes to get the blood flowing….you get where I’m going with this.

If you are new to physical fitness or have been on the road awhile, this blog is for you.  I want to share with you what has worked for me through the years and I hope you will leave comments about your own secrets to success.  Even if your success was a week of getting out that front door.  (Remember there’s always someone out there who is still contemplating that decision.)

Though Andrew Weil and I disagree about spiritual matters he has a lot to say on health issues that are worth taking a look at.  I hope to do that here amongst many others here at “Running Free In High Heels.”  If you would like to do a kind of book group, we could choose a start date and a day of the week in which a chapter  of “Healthy Aging” is the topic.  Please, please comment about this and any other topics that you just wish someone would talk about.  I would love to!  Can’t wait to get to know you!

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