I have been involved in the health and fitness arena for a long time. I'm not a professional when it comes to nutrition or health problems, but I've enjoyed learning through trial and error, and I've had some success with my personal fitness goals. I've been somewhat of a gym rat since age 18. Long before my father died, he would give me advise about fitness, mainly because of his own involvement in this same enjoyable and rewarding sport. To him being fit was everything, mainly because he believed it supported a lot of other areas that people took for granted. Things like; self confidence, personal appearance, self esteem, and overall health and well being. These are all very, very important things to possess, but of course being fit is also one of those, things you choose to do or not do.
One day, we were just sitting around and talking, when I interrupted our conversation, because I was in a hurry to get outside and spend some time with my friends. You see my father took pride in giving my sister and I lessons or life tips as he called them, whenever the opportunty presented itself. Each and everyone of those "life tips", seemed to parallel with and or remind me, of all those Sundays spent in church hearing about biblical parables. I took a deep breath and asked him hastily "Do I really need to spend this much time in the gym." He paused, looked me in the eye, and at that point I knew right away, that it would be awhile before I was going outside. I was going to learn a new lesson, whether I wanted one or not, and he was going to take his time, with its delivery.
I can still hear his voice saying, "Every year brings about a new season, and as the seasons change, even the smallest of animals prepare, and so should you." What?, I thought, to myself. He went on to say, 'Take the squirrel for instance, early in the spring, summer and during the fall, the squirrel collects nuts and stores them up. Although some animals, with larger brains procrastinate or choose unwisely not to prepare or figure out why the squirrel is doing this". I couldn't help myself, I said what does nuts and squirrels and other brain dead animals have to do with me? He just smiled and said, "Everything my impatient son. Even the squirrel knows that the winter will come, and there won't be much food around to survive on". I still didn't get it, but since I knew he was not done and had more to impart to me, I shut up and decided to open my ears.
He told me that, because the squirrel made preparations for the winter he was able to take care of him self and survived when some other animals couldn't, during the tough times. He then made his point very clear and etched its meaning into my mind and soul by saying, "You're young now, but one day, your winter will come, today you are living in the spring, summer and fall of your life. If you do the things required to take good care of yourself now while you're able, perhaps like the squirrel, when the tough times come (your winter), your fit body will take care of you too.
Thanks Dad, and by the way....I didn't forget.