We’re all gonna die anyways, but how you live matters more than how you die.
“We’re all gonna die anyways, Jade!” I hear that a lot. Just for the record, I know it already. Nonetheless people love to share that nugget of conventional wisdom with me, usually as they are stuffing their faces with cake, bons bons, and other stuff they know isn’t good for them. It’s their way of saying, “Why deny yourself when we all end up in the same place anyway?” Or even better, “We’re all gonna die anyways” became an easy excuse for not exercising. The thinking is–what’s the point of exerting yourself when we’ll end up dead regardless? People need to say this to to feel justified for not wanting to put in the time to take care of their bodies. Or maybe they feel like they need to remind me because they think I don’t get it.
Here’s the truth–I don’t exercise and eat healthy in order to put years in my life, I do it to put life in my years. I don’t necessarily believe that working out every day will be an insurance policy that will magically add 5 or 10+ years to my lifespan. I know full well that I could go tomorrow, just like anyone else. My commitment to a consistent fitness program is to enhance my quality of life today! I want to maintain a strong and healthy body so that I can venture out, go hiking, running, camping and exploring the wilderness, and doing other physical things that make life more fun : ). It’s about living without physical limitations. Truly living, that is.
I never, ever want to return to my former physical state again–where my back hurt so much I could barely get out of bed in the morning! Or that I could hardly walk up a hill without feeling wheezy. Or carrying my baby daughter strained my whole body. I was once diagnosed with fibromyalgia because the doctor couldn’t figure out why I had so many mysterious aches, pains, and illnesses that cannot be accounted for. With exercise, those symptoms have gone away and aren’t coming back! I love feeling like a kid again, having fun with everything I do!! Feeling energetic and happy after each workout is enough to get me looking forward to each new day I’m blessed with!
I also don’t want my last years to be filled with oxygen tanks, trips to the doctors, and pill bottles. In fact, I would prefer never to become a pharmaceutical customer. Rather, I want every remaining year to be filled with vitality and vigor. Jack Lalanne, the fitness innovator, succumbed at 96 to pneumonia. Days before his death, he was still doing his daily 2-hour workouts. Clearly, he had no interest in rusting out. If that’s how it will end for me, so be it. I’ll leave you with a quote from a man who knows that life is for the living, not the dying:
I train like I’m training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I’ve always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest. How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don’t work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It’s my tranquilizer. It’s part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what’s kept me going all these years. ~Jack LaLanne