Friday, April 16, 2010

Stay fit and happy to live well

“Running builds your mettle; it girds your whole being in a battlement that displays your grit. It provides protective layers of the right stuff.” Dr. Walter Bortz
"I believe we can age with grace and delay the onset of age-related disease and discomfort by developing the lifestyle practices essential to experiencing optimal health." Dr. Andrew Weil
Build your mettle, experience optimal health. Two goals we should all strive for. I have often told myself, and those who ask, I don't want to live forever but as long as I am alive I want to FEEL alive. We should not only exist but we must feel as vibrant as possible. To this end, we not only need to stay active but also shine! As in project happiness in smiles and laughter. Real, and sincere smiles and joyful exuberance. Exercise, whether it is running, walking, biking, swimming, gardening, volunteering, etc; is a means to this end. Two dear friends come to mind, One Laughs at the simplest of pleasures, uncontrollably without reservations.
"Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss
The other doesn't sweat the small stuff. "get over it, life's too short" Is her saying.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two bottles of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers, or coffee with a friend."
We are in this world for such a short time. Why not make the best of it?

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