Everyone has their own definition of fitness. For my definition of fitness I do not mean the health club version of fitness that is purely based on ones strength or aesthetics I mean it more like how closely we operate to our optimum potential.
In my mind there are three main components to fitness; ones over all health, comfort of movement and strength and power. While it is not my intention to ignore aesthetics it is my belief that if all other components of the equation are addressed great beauty is invariably a by-product. For me the health component can be defined most simply as being disease free at a level that affords general comfort (no aches and pains), clear thinking and fully functioning glands and organs. Comfort of movement to me means that all joints and muscles can move, pain free, throughout their full range of motion. Strength and power is the measurable force one uses to perform not only daily activities that include recreation, work and things we do each day to keep our lives functioning in a balanced and organized manner but also to carry oneself with a sense of physical confidence.
So to me, fitness is more than just a thin, muscular body it is the process of caring for our bodies for the long run. Many forms of exercise provide the illusion of fitness. They improve the strength and power part of the equation by stressing the body. While the body responds to this stress if the other aspects are not addressed the equation becomes unbalanced. Your body needs to be nourished with food, oxygen and pure forms of energy, it needs to be given time and the resources to heal and provided aid it in its battle against entropy.
Physical degradation is not a necessary process of aging. Our bodies change, the way we move, heal and utilize nutrients is different as we age but that does not necessitate incapacity.
We are inspired by the agile senior and we search their lives trying to find the path to follow that will bring us similar results. We are unnerved by watching someone we viewed as healthy laid low by disease or injury unable to recuperate because they lack the underlying fitness to bounce back from the challenges along their path. We search their lives in order to discern some flaw that is responsible for bringing them to this point so that we may avoid a similar fate.
The fact is, however, that for each of us our path to fitness is unique and as individual as we are. What we are searching for is not a fountain of youth, some product that will erase wrinkles, a pill that will take away pain or a machine that will build muscles – we are looking for a way to clear the conduits of the mind/body connection so that our natural energy may flow so as to maintain our health, our ability to move and our strength and power. Each part of the equation must be addressed in its own way. Only through balance can we stave off the effects of entropy so as to get the most out of this physical incarnation as possible.
When you know what you are looking for it will be easier to recognize it when you have found it. Your path is riddled with nuggets of information that will aid you along the way. Be wary, however, of the fools gold strewn among the real – it will lead you to false conclusions that do not support your true intentions.
I salute you on your journey and hope our paths will cross often.