Happy Valentines day to all the Romeo & Juliet’s out there!
Valentines day is the day to make up for the other 364 days of the year…oops, I mean everyday is a day to connect with your monogamous partner right? Well I don’t want to be all up in your face with cheesy Casanova one liners. I want to ‘twist’ up Valentines day by redirecting the attention on oneself.
The motivation to turn the tables of gratification to ourselves is based on some reflection over the past weeks…. .Why is is it so easy to give? But so difficult to receive? Or even so, to put ones needs first. Well, unless you’re a narcissist; and then I’ll have to throw the DSM-5 at you! Receiving can often be associated with guilt. With all the co-morbidity’s floating around, one has been really delving deep into why one doesn’t feel intrinsically the worth to put one’s health first?. Now, I just opened up a whole can of complex issues that Sigmund Freud would be rubbing his hands to get to the bottom of. However, I want to stick to the issue of putting your health first.
Here is a scene that has really influenced this blog.
Cameras rolling…and ACTION!
Two Italians ladies accompany each other at the gym on a regular basis. This is a mother daughter combo. With the mother being in her nineties. And the daughter being in her sixties. As I do my thing on the cross trainer I hear them both laughing away on the treadmill & speaking Italian (on a consistency). Now what is so heart felt about these two is not only the bond & connection (as a mother and daughter do) between them both. And there is wonderful research to back up connection with improved immunity, decreased risk of mortality et cetera. It is the intrinsic and reciprocal want for them both to have there needs met; to be well, healthy and thriving.
Now that’s a 24/7 valentines moment right there!
In light of late last weeks Facebook link on “auditing” or keeping track of your daily/weekly exercise. I really encourage you all from the bottom of my Valentine heart to make your health a priority. Regardless of the extrinsic’s going on in one’s life. In deep reflection. If we set healthy boundaries. Show an abundance of loving kindness and compassion. And lastly, give on a daily basis (without expecting anything in return). Don’t we then thus deserve all of this back intrinsically with humility?
I do hope, or if not me; the wonderful mother & daughter combo give you the strength to be vulnerable and to have YOUR needs met.
There are so many memes and cliches floating around about ageing, and how we are supposed to feel as we age, and what’s normal – about the aches and pains we should just expect because we are getting older.
Well let me add one more in there for you, that I think you might want to pay more selective attention to:
Ageing is just an accumulation of behaviours!
At the end of our last trail run, Nathan and I met this wonderful couple who were travelling around in their van, doing a Mountain Biking tour of Australia. They were very fit looking, lean, and full of life. Now, if you hadn’t seen the photo, I wonder what image would have come into your mind? A couple of 20-something Swedish backpacker types?
Well, these two were somewhere in their late 50’s to early 60’s, and wow did they inspire me! The smiles on their faces, the spring in their step, the strength in their bodies, and their excitement about tackling some new trails on their bikes where magnetic!
In our chatter they described how lucky they felt, as so many friends their age were full of aches and pains, in bad health, and some even worse… no longer around.
I question how much of it is luck… there’s no denying some luck will be involved, like the parents that life gave us, and making inadvertent choices along the way that may preserve our health and safety. But I think a lot of it is a true return on investment. Make good choices along the way, and you get a compounded return! In fact, these two looked healthier than a lot of people I know who are half their age!
Now, of course ageing has inevitable physiological consequences, and life throws us some curve balls, but I am sure that the choices we make along the way have an incredible impact on the quality of our ageing, and our capacity to make the most out of life. So believe me when I tell you that “ageing is an accumulation of those behaviours”! and if you don’t believe me, believe the two in the picture!!
Recently, my partner and I embarked on one of life’s biggest events (well in my eyes anyway). We took the leap and became the proud parents to a bouncing baby Border Collie, Lulu. Every time I tell some this (as I shove a million photos of her in front of their face) they give me the same look and say “wow… they have a lot of energy. Good luck!”. They are right on that one. Border Collies (like many dogs) usually need at least 15-20 mins of running or brisk walking or they become restless, bored and generally destructive. So why did we get this breed?
Apart from the gorgeous eyes, happy personality, we wanted something to motivate us to exercise. Motivation is a very interesting internal process, as everyone has different ideals/goals that drive us to achieve our current desires. These motivations ebb and flow as we move through life. They are never set in stone.
When discussing the drive to exercise with clients, they often are told by a health professional, family member or even the TV that they should move or lose weight. This is called “extrinsic motivation”. It comes from outside. On the flip side, intrinsic motivation is the drive within you to accomplish a goal or task. You choose to complete a task because it has personal meaning for you and gives you pleasure or satisfaction. In simple terms, “you want to” rather than “you feel like you have to.” Intrinsic motivation has been shown to have a greater long term effect on exercise retention. We need to find our real “why!”
I have never been a runner or walker for no reason. I don’t have that deep love of it; I would rather play team sports. I have that “have to” approach to running and long work days tend to result in an exercise-less day and I feel dreadful (and generally not as happy).
This is where Lulu, the border collie, comes in! Buying a dog means that if we want to have a happy “fur-baby” and keep our garden in one piece, exercise is the way to go! She will be our little personal trainer. Motivating us by the wag of the tail, the joy she gets from running and the possible holes we want to avoid in the backyard. How can you say no to this face!
Now I’m not saying go out and buy the most active dog you can find, but having a dog can really be a win-win situation.