By Jeannie Brown
We live in a culture that worships youth and beauty. This obsession affects both sexes, but women are particularly targeted by the fashion, cosmetic and diet industry with images of presumed “beauty” that are both unrealistic and unattainable. We are told in a host of ways both overt and obscure, that to grow older is to become less attractive and less worthy. The perception is that aging brings with it a valley of decline. This is a problem, because as living, breathing organisms, we are all at this very moment, aging!
Before we can find passion about fitness, we need to accept the time bound world we inhabit. Nothing ever remains static. Each phase of life brings with it its own set of characteristics that await our label….do we call it good or bad, attractive or unattractive, gain or loss? Since growth is inherent to all natural processes, and beauty is inherent in growth, I choose to call it beautiful. There! Now you have it. I have chosen to perceive the beauty that exists in all the phases of life rather than the things that will never be the same as they were when I was younger. This is the very essence of calling the glass half full, of seeing what I have accomplished rather than the distance I still have to travel, and of being grateful for what I have. It is this attitude that enables me to see each workout as a new beginning, a fresh start and a new canvas. And it is this mindset that has kept the engines of inspiration fueled.
Truth be told, growing older is the best thing I’ve ever done. It has become a crescendo of creativity, where doors that I previously didn’t know existed are opening, and I am finding the courage to walk through them. However, I wouldn’t have been able to experience these things had it not been for my long-standing dedication to working out regularly. Going through life in a well toned and functional body eliminates the road blocks that can come with health issues.
There is much more to be discussed about finding your passion for exercise. Setting aside the obstacles such as age is an important first step. Please stay tuned.