So where do we start? I plan on these weekly blogs to become meetings where we talk about how to accomplish living a healthy life. These topics needs to be practical and worth yours and my time. Otherwise, what are we doing here? So onward! Last week we talked about Eating Healthy and Exercising to be simplistic enough. That’s great and all but now what? Start! “Where?”, you say. My response, “do something or a variety of physical activities that you are good at and that you like doing.” Find things you currently enjoy or in your past you enjoyed and focus doing them. I don’t believe the majority of people will succeed living a healthy life in the long term if they choose a physical activity they hate. I really don’t like lifting weights. Every once in a while I will try my hand at them again and guess what, still hate it. To me it seems pointless to pick up something heavy unless it is some heavy object which fell and is smashing someone. Similarly, I remember back in Junior High and High School I was a pretty good runner. In 9th grade I ran and 4:51 minute mile with very little training, it came naturally. I just ran as hard and fast as I could to win the race then collapsed on the track while struggling for air. I had a lot of raw potential in running but I hated it! Round and round and round that stupid black rubberized track. I thought, “How pointless, I put in all this effort and what do I get out of it? I end right where I started and all I see is the same boring scenery over and over and over again.” However, I loved to ride my bike. We lived near Millcreek Canyon and I loved to time trial 4.5 miles up to from the stop sign to the gate. I was able to do it in 19 minutes which was a 14 mph pace, ok for a 13-14 year old. Most of all it was beautiful and at the end I was able to effortlessly coast downhill viewing the majesty of this beautiful canyon. When I started at Skyline High School I played football and basketball. I was then asked to run long distance for the track team. I said that I would and began with the track team. I thought they would be good with me training the way I had in Junior High, on my bike! Unfortunately, they said I had to run on the track I hated so badly. I lasted two weeks and found myself not running track but I continued to ride my bike up the canyon a lot. How does this information help me know? First, I know from my history I was a pretty good natural runner. Additionally, common sense tells me most people typically like doing things they are good at. So why did I hate running so bad when I was younger? Second, I know I hate track and field tracks. Third, I love the canyons and mountain trails I grew up on. Fourth, aren’t there trails I can run on? I realized if I was more mature at 15 I would have negotiated to run on the trails instead the track. It seems so logical now. I learned that I love to run, I just don’t like to run on tracks. I enjoy the experience of getting away from the masses of folks in the city and being alone to think while I get in shape. Whether it is on a bike or a run, I like to get away on a secluded trail where humans are hard to find. The perfect marriage of what I love and am I’m good at. Each of us has things we are good at and things we love. I recommend right now everyone write down the physical activities you are good at, the physical activities you enjoy or love and then the other related things you love. If you love music and dancing then you have a place to start. If you love music and the mountains then Utah is your oyster! Armed with your Ipod and some time, you’re on your way. Just look at your list and find a way to marry what your good at and things you love and marry the two together. Dr. Douglas Roland Smith is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Chief Medical Officer of Arches Health Plan.
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