A memo to myself and anyone else who ever happens to stumble across this:
I had something akin to, but just short of an ephiphany this week. In the US, and other countries I am sure, we spend so much time obsessing about our appearance and weight. One way in which our obsession is manifested is through gym membership. These memberships can range from an inexpensive local community center fee to the all inclusive, personal trainer, spring water from the fountain fitness center experience. Now, I am all for fitness, health and well-being. However, what if we turned some of our energy toward community service and various forms of social activism? The emphasis is on the active part.
For example, instead of running on a treadmill at the gym, what if we saved some of that money, trained outside, and entered one of those charitable fundraising sporting events that are so popular these days? Eg. Blue Planet Run events, MS Walk, Relay for Life, etc.
Or, I've discovered through my gardening project that lifting rocks all day and digging trenches will indeed develop back, shoulder, and arm muscles (and soreness). How about helping out with a river clean up or community gardening project?
Try volunteering as a coach for the Boys and Girls club and giving everyone on your team a piggy back ride, another great work out. Although, for me that was limited to the 6and under crowd, since I'm only marginally taller than said children.
If you ever find yourself DRIVING to the gym and hopping on a stationary bicycle to pedal away for an hour, please try and do this outside on a moving bicycle if at all possible and skip the drive. If you walk door to door canvassing for a worthy cause, that's a great workout too. Yes, I know sometimes it's cold outside and/or that trainer is really cute and keeps you motivated, but there are so many creative ways to exercise and to help make the world a little better. The possibilities are endless once you start thinking about it.
I hereby pledge to make my "workouts" count for something beyond my own personal gain as often as possible. A vague promise, but it's a start.