A question was asked by our Fitness Team this week – “What is Fitness to You?”
Some took this journey for
accountability through December,
for motivation to move in the darkest month,
for encouragement to start moving,
encouragement to move more,
to set goals to move a bit each day,
encouragement to make healthier snacks,
to create healthier meals, or – just
to withdraw from the fudge table.
For me – Fitness is a choice, a daily choice of many little things. My photo above is of my morning spot. Most times the chair is facing outward – to watch the birds. However, you can see from this photo I have made a few choices. Coffee in a thermos. Creamer in a jar. Music by my side. Books at arm’s length. Chair turned towards the family to join their circle. How tempting it can be to stay in this cozy spot for hours during the day. In the center of the room, surrounded by the boys, with easy access for conversation. I can see straight through the kitchen to the dining room. I could – I have in the past – found reason to create such a central space – and pat myself on the back for sitting, while being engaged.
This happened last winter, while I was battling a long drawn out bronchitis, and I ended up loosing my fit self, gaining pounds, loosing joy, gaining seasonal depression, loosing self esteem and desire to move. I was engaged alright – gaining everything I didn’t’ want, loosing all I needed to enjoy life!
This year, fitness has come from the motivation of friends. Even with all of my excuses to stay closer to home, they found reasons to get moving again. Outfitted with a wetsuit from a friend, a great paddle from my mom, a canoe from another friend, little by little I had a reason to get out this winter.
Fitness to me – is in choices. All of the little choices to move – move more, move with intention, with muscles tightened, stomach in, muscles toned.
- Getting up for my coffee.
- Parking farther.
- Daily walks.
- Sliding the door open to breath fresh air in the morning as I pour my coffee.
- Walking with the dog.
- Providing times for the boys to enjoy the outdoors.
- Using our local parks and recreation areas.
You can do this anywhere. In town, on a farm, from an apartment, in a neighborhood. You may look at our photos from this week and think – well duh – if I lived there I’d walk the beach every day! Well. Not so my friends. We are very often at Regatta Park as the only family there. Rarely do we see others on the beach as we walk. (Exception during Summer). I have yet to cross paths with a family while wandering the many developed nature trails that our town maintains. The parks around here are empty (a sign of the low number of families too). Even when we travel to McMinnville or Portland, and scope out a park for our lunch, we are often the only ones there. The Zoo Park? Only ones.
I suppose – with Fitness being a Choice – I don’t see a lot of families making the choice. Maybe sports, clubs, indoor gyms. But being able to be outside in the elements? Able to enjoy the aroma of the after rain. Able to be comfortable with cold toes or fingers? Is being hungry after a 45 minute walk awful to your kids or exciting that they worked up an appetite? Is it fear of who is out there? Who will hurt them out doors? Safety?
We do love the accountability of the Outdoor Hour Challenge. There are rainy weeks, tired weeks, that the focus to go find the object is the main reason for venturing out doors. And yet, I hear – in person and on line – from so many families, that they just don’t have time to be outside. No time to enjoy nature.
If Physical Fitness is only and end to be able to fit into a smaller size of board shorts by summer, what happens when you are smaller? Do you get to stop moving? And, for those like my friend Mrs. White – what happens when you are blessed with the appearance of being fit, knowing that your body needs to move more to be healthy. Choices.
I’ll quit rambling this morning, my coffee has long since quit perking, and I best go get me a cup. The sun is slowly creeping over the eastern hill and we have plans to view the largest tide of the season, a 10.8 at ten a.m. (regular high tides are a 2.4 or so). This morning, my choice is to drive hubby to work, fill that coffee thermos, and sit on a wall watching the tides.
All photos in my fitness posts were taken during the week posted.
The Fitness Kick-Start Team:
Mrs. White – The Legacy of Home, (McDonald’s “Be Our Guest” Food- Giveaway)
Shannon – Mom Loves Books,
Gina – A Cherished Keeper,
Briana – I Can’t Decide,
Heather – Marine Corps Nomads,
Susan – Homeschooling Hearts and Minds,
* Dawn – Guiding Light Homeschool,
Renita – Weighing Hearts,
* Kathy – Teaching Good Things,
Angie – Petra School
You are so blessed to live where you do. I for one, would be on those trails with you every step of the way! We were there once only…would love to go back. My kids, when they were all homeschooled, loved seeing the Spruce Goose. 🙂 Someday we’ll be back again, I’m sure.
My boys love seeing the Spruce Goose too. They have a lego robotics tournament in the other building, and the boys love all of the planes. Thanks for your kind words, and yes, minute by minute, I am thankful!
This is a great post, I’m sorry I’m just now getting around to it. You are so right. ;0)
To pull away from the fudge table 🙂 I love your take on fitness. Just getting outside is sheer joy. Yes, we often have the park to ourselves – even on the weekends! And I have always loved a walk. And never understood why folks pay money to exercise indoors. I know there are circumstances that call for it. But, yes, to catch that smell after the rain and the slant of the sunshine…Way to go Angie!
Great thoughts! I love your outdoor hour idea. It truly is too cold here most of Dec-Jan-Feb to get out for an hour per day but we try to get out as much as we can.
Angie…love that you are incorporating outdoor time with your family. I think that is a key to helping your boys build a healthier lifestyle as well. I don’t like to “exercise” just to exercise. I like it to be a part of our life. It sounds like you are doing that.
I echo the experience of taking advantage of local outdoor spaces and rarely finding any other families. We have the same thing here. On our really long river hike last week we saw one family on horses and on on foot with a baby in the backpack but that was it for the whole day. Sad.
Excellent post! (Why do I have a star next to me?) You’re awesome! Merry Christmas!
As usual, you are an inspiration Angie! Have a merry Christmas and an even fitter new year!
Wonderful post and so very true. Fitness is most definitely a choice which looks slightly different for each individual. Have a Merry Christmas!!