Tomorrow is my birthday. You can bet I’ll be having cake!
Forty-seven years of age. Where did the time go?
I don’t want any presents. Trying to declutter and reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ in my house.
And will be taking my entire family to a cultural event with the money they’d have spent buying gifts for me. Experiences make me happier than things.
I’m content, grateful and happy to have had a wonderful 47th year and only hope that the year leading to 48 will be just as rich and exciting.
Can I share my secret with you? It’s all because of fitness.
Gifts fitness has given me
- A stronger and healthier body. I’m lifting more (and better) than ever before in my life. It makes me feel powerful and bold and comfortable in my own skin. My doctor tells me that I’m the perfect patient for his over-busy practice 😉
- The ability to recover more quickly from injuries. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my share of injuries; last summer’s bout with Achilles tendonitis was not fun. But having a strong fitness foundation has certainly helped me to recover more quickly and without noticeable loss of strength or endurance.
- Positive energy and enhanced self-confidence. If you’ve ever attended one of my fitness classes you’d be surprised to find out that for most of my life I was quite uncomfortable being at the front of the classroom. My graduate advisor used to joke about the red splotches that would appear and disappear randomly on my face whenever I stood up to give a presentation. Teaching group fitness has given me the confidence to regularly don a cordless mic, cheer and encourage large groups and basically say whatever comes into my head while doing so.
- Opportunities to share my message of health and wellness with a larger audience. When I first started writing this blog (November, 2010) I never imagined the doors that it would open for me. Regular requests to write for other websites, invitations to speak at conferences and workshops, new clients (both in person and on-line) and most recently, the opportunity to publish my first fitness book.
- A reason to return to reading scientific papers. I spent the first 12 years of my adult life at university. While I loved being a research scientist, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t how I wanted to live the rest of my life. Being a fitness professional allows me to indulge my life-long love of learning. I actually get paid to read the most recent scientific literature in the health and fitness fields and share my interpretations with clients and readers. All without ever having to write a research grant proposal or worry about tenure 😉
- A supportive network of friends and colleagues who encourage, support and inspire me daily. All too often we read about the dangers of the internet. The feelings of isolation and depression it causes in some. The belief that people hide their true selves behind their keyboards. The worry that some anonymous stranger is out to harm you or your children. Thankfully, my experiences with social media have been quite the opposite. I’m grateful for the encouragement, support and inspiration my online friends give me each and every day I log on.
- Cherished friendships with women I would never have crossed paths with outside of fitness. Friends who make me think and laugh and push me to be the best version of myself possible. I only hope that I return the favour 🙂
- Body acceptance. I recently shed my final body image insecurity and have been proudly sporting shorts in the aerobics studio and weight room. Go me!
- The energy and endurance required to keep up with a busy, active family of five. Hiking and kayaking and swimming and tennis. Geocaching and bocce and lawn darts and croquet. All require sustained energy (both physical and mental…); stamina I wouldn’t have if I didn’t exercise regularly!
What’s the best gift fitness has given to you?
If you could have any kind of cake in the world for your birthday, what would it be?