Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hurts So Good

Why do I put myself through this torture? Two or three times a week I willingly give myself away to this beast and let it destroy me for nearly a full hour. When it has had its way with me, I am covered with sweat. I am sore. I have nothing left to give. Every ounce of energy within my body has been expended. For what reason? What do I hope to achieve by putting myself through this torment?

Well the answer is actually pretty easy in this case. I want to give myself the best chance possible for a healthy future and a long life. Let's face it, with a little bit of consideration, claiming this deal is a real no-brainer. Pay a little bit now, for the hope of a much greater return on investment later. So why is it that so many of us would knowingly walk away without signing up?

Of course this all seems a bit melodramatic, a bit over the top. The photograph above shows a standard piece of exercise equipment. The type that you see in many homes, however, they are usually in the corner and used only as a place to hang clothes. However, for some of us, the outcome of not exercising is very clear. Increased body weight. Increased blood pressure. Less resistant immune system. Higher probability of cancer. Higher probability of heart disease. Increased pressure on arthritic joints. Decreased mobility. Shorter expected life span.

The choice for me of whether to exercise on my assigned days or blow it off has been a very easy one over the past several years. But, of course, the lesson here today is a much more generally applicable one in many areas. Stepping up and doing things that are painful in the short term, but in the long run keep you strong and healthy. Examples include having that difficult talk with someone you love or care about, working to defeat your life-draining addictions, going to church, volunteering, giving of yourself and your resources, putting others first. I'm sure that you can easily think of others. Yeah, hurts so good.