Keep thanks in shape
Published Thursday, 05-Nov-2009 in issue 1141
Besides big biceps, a tight ass and a six pack you can bounce a quarter off of, what are you really thankful for? Working out has its benefits, but vanity can steal your soul if you don’t keep yourself in check. This month take a moment and reflect on those things in your life that give you pleasure and happiness. Yes, year round bikini weather is nice and half price cocktails at Moe’s may make you smile (or barf), but what about the things that really matter, what truly means something to you?
This month, Thanksgiving gives you the opportunity to talk turkey around the table and express how grateful you really are for certain things in your life. And if you get a little stage fright and don’t feel like sharing, then just keep it to yourself, but acknowledge it. So, what’s on your thankful list?
In my earlier years I was thankful for things like passing my algebra exam, getting my braces off then making out with the 10th grade hottie, going an entire year without getting a speeding ticket, sneaking out of my parents house without getting caught, getting tickets to see Michael Jackson, and getting in (and finally out) of college.
These days my thankful list has matured (somewhat). At least now I’m thankful for things which are really important in life that I sometimes take for granted, specifically my health and Lady GaGa tickets. I’ve been in the health and fitness industry living my passion and teaching group fitness for 20 years. I never stopped to think about what my life might be like if I was not able to work out and teach classes. About four years ago I took an unexpected fall and shattered the bones in my ring finger on my right hand. I had pins protruding out of my finger and a special brace made for my hand I had to wear for about two months. It was very sexy. My friends actually called me “The Claw”.
Although I kind of enjoyed all the attention I received, I worried about how I would teach my classes and what would happen if I couldn’t lift weights again. It was the only injury I’ve ever had. I worried for about a week then went right back to teaching my classes with just one hand, and did just fine. Most people were freaked out when they saw me doing it, but I was determined. The pins came out, my finger healed (not completely, but well enough to continue my passion) and for that I am very thankful.
I watch people, just like you, come in and out of Fit every day with a determination to become healthier, stronger (and, ok, sometimes sexier) in an effort to improve their lives. I wonder if you realize how lucky you are to have the opportunity to make that choice. When you work out, you are making a personal commitment to take care of your body, so don’t take it for granted. If you have your health, and all your body parts are functioning, be thankful for that.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little things that happen throughout the day that may make you think life isn’t so great at the moment. But you have life and you have the ability to make it whatever you want it to be. Be thankful for that.
This year when you pull your chair up to your Thanksgiving feast, before you dig in, raise your glass to the good things you have going on. Then think of those who may need you to share a little of your joy with them and do just that. Your ability to lift someone’s spirits (with your uncanny sense of humor and innate charm) may be just what they need on this day to realize they too have something to be thankful for. So share the love, and pass the pumpkin pie please!