Enjoying the Ride on the Fitness Merry Go Round

This morning I’m headed into the hospital for knee surgery. Whatevs, it happens, and I’ll spare you all the gory details, but I wanted to use the situation to take you on a journey through the peaks and valleys of a fitness-y life, and how it beautifully mirrors the ebb and flow of life itself.

As I nurse this knee injury that came from a combination of advanced age, full field soccer, and what experts have described as “frighteningly average sprint speed” I’ve had lots of thinking time. It’s a stark reminder that sports and other out-of-the-gym hobbies can be a thrilling rollercoaster, complete with adrenaline rushes and, every now and then, a few bumps and bruises. Yet, amid all the unpredictability, these are the exhilarating amusement park rides of fitness. In contrast, fitness itself is the well-trodden, dependable path beneath your feet, always there when you need it.

Over the years, life unfurls for each one of us. We encounter injuries, family commitments, demanding work schedules, and the ever-shifting sands of time. These disruptions can make you feel like you’re back at square one, as if the progress you’ve painstakingly made has been erased.

But here’s the revelation: you’re not starting over. Even with those periods of time off, you’re still light years ahead of anyone who hasn’t made fitness a part of their life. It’s akin to building a magnificent castle. Sure, there might be the occasional need for repairs and renovations, but that awe-inspiring fortress stands tall, a testament to your unwavering commitment, and even as time wears away on it, the structure is sound and timeless.

Fitness is, like most life things, cyclical. It’s not just about forging ahead; it’s about the rhythmic dance of building and rebuilding. Picture it like the changing seasons. Sometimes, you’re in the midst of a vibrant summer, setting new personal records and feeling on top of the world. Other times, you’re in a winter hibernation, focusing on recovery and rediscovering your passion for the journey.

Consider this age-old saying: “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Those bumps along the path – the injuries, the setbacks – they serve as poignant reminders of how much you can relish this fitness journey. It’s in those moments of challenge and recovery that you find your true strength, both mentally and physically. It’s where you conquer your doubts, deepen your resolve, and emerge even more formidable than before.

Now, let’s pivot to the philosophical aspect of this journey. These cycles offer you a unique opportunity for self-discovery. They invite you to explore where fitness fits into your life, what role it plays, and how that role evolves over time. It’s a process of self-awareness and personal growth that unfolds in tandem with your physical development.

In the grand finale, remember this: Health and fitness are like the ceaseless tides of life. They rise and fall, like the sun and moon, but they never truly vanish. Embrace the cycles, savor the journey, and celebrate every victory, whether it’s a new personal record or the simple joy of moving your body. You’re on a lifelong odyssey, and every twist and turn is an opportunity to learn, evolve, and thrive.

So, my dear fitness comrades, go out there, conquer those peaks, and revel in every exhilarating moment of the ride! Let the cyclical nature of health and fitness be your guiding star on this epic voyage of self-discovery and growth. I’ll see you on the other side, and will update when I’m back on the pitch, playing at an even more horrifyingly slow pace, in fall 2024 🙂