“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
The awareness of our mortality sometimes presents itself graphically now and then. The rest of the time we sort of cruise through life with hardly a thought about our physical condition. You might get a hunger pang, experience a strange, out of place pain, or feel a little frisky. Maybe there’s an awareness of somebody else’s mortality. A loved one dies. People perish in a natural disaster.
I’ve lost two loved ones in the space of about six-months. One was due to the effects of stroke, the other was self-destruction by tobacco. I’m also thinking of the tornado disaster in Joplin, Missouri this past weekend.
It would be easy to become worried about my own demise. At one time I did acquire a health fetish. In 1989, mom was taken away after a massive coronary event. She had suffered various ailments and endured several medical procedures in previous years. These were evident during my formative years. In response to that, I made a few vain attempts to eat more healthy foods. I did my best to control my diet, even though a minor has a limited say-so when the parents dictate what to eat. I was able to break away from the dietary restrictions when I was 14-years-old.
I became a vegetarian at that time much to my parents’ consternation. However, my motivation was not for health reasons. I altered my eating habits because of my ethical concerns regarding animals.
I also wanted to be more athletic. I had the cigarette habit for several years and wanted to break free of it. I also knew a few people who were weekend warrior type jocks. Finally, I joined the YMCA and quickly developed the workout habit. This was supposed to replace the tobacco habit. It didn’t. But I wanted to stop smoking.
Finally my physician helped me end the self-destruction of cigarette smoking. The exercise habit has remained with me now for over 20-years.
With the death of my brother in January, I started to become more concerned about my health again. I started to gulp down vitamins and supplements. My concerns about cardio-vascular health meshed with my 10,000 miles goal on the Expresso Bikes. I had started down the path of becoming a full-blown health fetishist. I’ve known a few folks like that through the years.
I soon recognized that pattern developing in my own life. I made the concious decision to alter my exercise routine once I achieved the 10,000 mile landmark.
I’ve stuck to the decision. I ride half as many miles at lesser speeds. I do cave into the temptation to sometimes break a personal speed record; but that’s for fun and is not too serious.
I still hang out with some supplement fetishists and workout freaks. I see personality quirks and limitation denial that are latent in myself. They egg me on and I jive them back. Maybe they will develop more balance? I’m not banking on it.
The fetishists and freaks keep me aware of my own limits and potentials.
The push is something healthy but not fetishist for me now.
The Blue Jay of Happiness says physical awareness is as important as mental awareness.