Because I always feel like running. Not away, because there is no such place...Because running will be the way your life and mine will be described... --Gil Scott-Heron, “Running,” I'm New Here, 2010.
Many of us feel compelled to do a lot of ripping and running. This type of running requires so many resources, there is nothing left to run for the cover of health.
We run in a race where the finish line is ever-changing. Here's one instance. We start out following the course and expecting social security and pensions to be there in sufficient amounts at the end. Many of us find out the end is not what was promised though we ran and ran some more. Secondly, even if those two treats are intact at retirement, other factors often lower the values of the prizes. This leaves us exhausted after all that running around and now unable to keep up as the world moves on. With less than expected to finally begin to live on, we glance in the rearview mirror far too often to see if happiness might be in that direction.
Though in constant pursuit of “a better life,” Americans are some of the unhealthiest people on the planet. Health and a better life don't seem to both fit into the national dream.
I am grateful for the opportunity to adjust the way I'm running my dream race. I am 60% of the way through the regular course. Even if I was 99% of the way through, it ain't over 'til it is. I saw a runner fall down part ways through a race. When she got up she was in last place. She won the race. Some say this is an example of something amazing. I say this is an example of something achievable. “Amazing” might make it seem beyond the average person. “Achievable” is within the reach of anyone with desire.
I have picked myself up and am thankfully in pursuit of greater health. When we run towards the prize of overall health, our sensibility to make the necessary adjustments as we run remains with us. With this compass we can navigate a path where we control the requirements and the rewards. Many of the useful things that other way of pursuing happiness offers will be added. Things that had more and less significance will trade places. A healthy lifestyle keeps us in proper running condition. It does not leave us worn out or wanting in the latter stages.
It has now been 92 days and I am healthier than I've been in 30 years. How is this possible when running in the wrong direction for so long? Better health is not elusive. It is waiting for each of us. We know that after just a few days of no longer smoking, drinking or eating poisons health improves. Now combine that with better nutrition and more activity. Once we place the race for health in our favor by redirecting our resources towards this goal, we can often make up a lot of ground quicker than it took us to lose it.
It's time to stop running away from individual, born-to-be selves. This is exactly what we are doing if running is a detriment to our health. Health is our first responsibility. It should be our highest priority. It's time to start running for the greater health we had before adulthood knocked us off course. Pick life up and get back on track. Make some adjustments, run for the cover of health and enjoy life every step of the way.
BTW: Healthcare reform is great but if health insurance actually ensured health, I could end this series.