Anyway, just so it's clear: this will continue to be a blog about improving as an athlete, but it is also inevitably about improving as a human. After all, isn't that what most of us are trying to do?
So, to get this going in the right direction, I think it might be good to do the confessional thing and explain how I approached fitness/health/nutrition/physical activity for most of my life, up until about three months ago.
Part One: Joy is Lazy
I have to say, first, that I've never been much of a fan of being physically active. Or, to put it bluntly, I have spent most of my life being lazy. It's the danger of having a good life, I suppose. No need to be active when everything's provided for you, right? Instead the bulk of my value judgement has always been on intellect and book smarts. If you can't beat the athletes, play a different game. I've played the nerd-game and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it.
Eventually, though, not being active led to issues with body image, which don't go away, no matter how good of a writer you are or how high your ACT score is. (FALLACY OF THINKING ACTIVE/MENTAL LIFE ARE SEPARATE) (It's complicated)
Part Two: Joy becomes an athlete...sort of.
At the end of high school it was pretty obvious to me that losing weight and being healthy were really only attainable by being more active. I started running, which was hard (I've always kind of hated running), but I felt pretty darn good about pushing myself, and I figured that running for half an hour and eating a semi-nutritious diet would eventually lead to perfection.
Anyway, I got better at running, fluctuated a lot, got bored with it, but still did it because I knew it was what I was supposed to do. But it was never for the fun of it, never really because I wanted to do it. It was something that I had to structure into my schedule, making sure to not leave any loopholes, lest I decide to spend the time doing something else (out of laziness). I was doing the duty but honestly, with resentment and reluctance. It was a chore and, even now, I sometimes would much prefer to sit and read a book or spend endless hours dorking around on the internet--oh, hey, blogger--than spending time outside, moving around--even just being on my feet rather than on my butt.
Part Three: Revelation
Essentially, my problem has been for a very long time that I view physical activity/fitness as something outside of my "real" life, something that I should do as maintenance, kind of like taking the car into the shop every 6 months.
But, the thing about that metaphor is that when the car's not at the shop being maintained, it's still running. All the time. And now it seems clear to me that bodies are meant for motion--in fact, everything we know about our bodies (and essentially, who we are) is that they perform best, last longer, and are generally better when they are frequently in motion. Brains too.
...Guess who wasn't so smart after all?
Luckily, I have been blessed (even though I don't always see it that way) to have P-dazzle enter my life with all his high-flown notions of activity, fitness, and nutrition. Bah. Now I have to get smart. I'll never admit it to his face but he's usually right. Especially about this.
All right, that's enough confessional writing for now. Next post (I PROMISE there'll be less time between this post and the next) I'll get down to business (to defeat the Huns. Or whatever invading army might be around...).
I still don't know how to sign off of this without sounding like a doofus.