Monday, January 4, 2010


A facebook friend of mine posted this as a status message a while ago:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave w/ the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly worn out screaming, WOHOO what a ride!!"

Honestly it made me vaguely uncomfortable. I am glad that she can post such a happy status message, I am always glad when my friends and acquaintances feel happy about their lives, bodies and can live with things that aren't as perfect because everybody has imperfect parts about them and their bodies. The reason this made me uncomfortable is because I am a human, as is everyone else capable of reading this, I assume. Humans have a tendency to make everything about themselves. I made it about myself. I know she means no judgement, how could she. I still felt a bit vain.

I work out about four to five nights a week and have a physique that majority of people would consider attractive, except for those who prefer chubbier women. I am very thin and would venture to guess that if I were to stop working out I would probably gain only 5 pounds and get severe back problems. I have plenty of lattes and chocolate bars but youth, genetics and exercises keep me from gaining weight.

Would I honestly be able to scream "WOOHOO what a ride!!" if my knees were worn out and broken, my body half paralyzed from a stroke and other health problems associated from wearing out my body, would the ride be any fun in a thoroughly worn out body? I would rather die with full mobility and independence like my grand mothers. One went swimming twice a week until she died and the other was just fine other than the use of a cane and walked a lot.

Still I would be lying if I said that health and mobility were my only reasons for working out. In my opinion lying and self deception is a far more insidious of a sin than vanity. Still I can safely say that on most days looks do not enter in my top five reasons for working out. I think that the top five reasons I have right now for working out, in no particular order would be: (1) health in general but more particularly, my lower back (if I skip the core exercises for more than a week I get constant back pain), my heart (if I do not do cardio on a regular basis my resting heart rate in usually in the 90), (2) I wish to be a police officer in my native country of Finland and top physical condition is essential for that, (3) I enjoy working out, sure lately I have been doing less enjoyable work outs because my future goals include different physical prowess than my natural talents push me toward, (4) I like the sense of achievement, weather I complete a work out or move up a dumbbell size at the end of a work out I feel I accomplished something and everyone wants that in their lives, (5) like any parent I like to show a good example to my son and want him to grow up healthy and active.

True, I am vain, I like to be attractive and on some days I work out because my butt is not quite in the same place as it was when I was younger. Those work outs are never any fun and feel like a chore. I just can't manage it for the reason of vanity, I guess looks are a boring goal for working out. Keeping ones body well preserved for the grave is not anyone's goal, especially mine. We all want to live well, live fully and live healthy and have a few lattes and chocolate bars along the way.

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