Using The Crooked & Broken For Total Optimum Fitness

“For me, exploration is about that journey to the interior, into your own heart. I’m always wondering, how will I act at my moment of truth? Will I rise up and do what’s right, even if every fiber of my being is telling me otherwise?”

-Ann Bancroft

What always gets under my skin, after my initial enthusiasm for any new or improved health and wellness advice, is that I start to realize that, although I am an able-bodied healthy man, the vast majority of humans have issues that will interfere with a perfect total optimum fitness regimen.

Many of us are overweight and have health issues. Many of us have a lot of responsibilities that take up the majority of our time, including businesses, kids, home economics, maintenance, childcare, and cleaning. These things take up most of our day and nights.

So who are these people with so much time to dedicate toward health and wellness?

Well, the way I look at it is this: We all prioritize many things every day, we decide what we think is important and set aside what we think isn’t. When somebody chooses health and wellness as a top priority, they will find time in their day to make healthy choices based on their schedule. If they don’t, they won’t. Simple as that.

Prioritizing is incredibly effective at changing a lifestyle.

I honestly don’t think there is ever a point in anybody’s life when they can’t choose to make good decisions, in terms of health and wellness, other than in cases of addiction, trauma, and imprisonment. Sometimes circumstances are out of our control, but most of the time they are not.

Even so, if we are spending 60–70% of our waking life at work, and 20–30 % on chores and maintenance, that last 10% or so of our time becomes precious, and a lot of us prioritize relaxation in those minutes and hours.

People who have been raised with discipline find it easier to use that 10% to get fit. Those who have been raised with a lack of self-control find it very hard to take that time and make it productive.

The time is there, we just have to muster the self-control to begin a habit of using it instead of wasting it.

But our practice never has to be as attractive and badass as those celebrities who have based their career on fitness and health, our lives are not going to ever look like that. No, our lives are going to be crooked, and everything in them is going to break down at some point, and we’ll need to hussle to make ends meet.

If we take the wabi sabi approach, we will be fine. If we utilize our innate creativity to further our own goals, we will thrive.

I’m a firm believer that life is what you make of it, in each moment. When we harness our own inner power, our own individuality, to make choices that reflect our values and who we want to be, then we can work toward total optimum fitness. But what that means is is totally up to us.

Primarily, we should always feel compassion for our body — since it is our nearest and dearest companion. Regardless of what shape we are in, the most important step is to accept ourselves for what we are right now. And the second most important step is to do just one single thing that will increase our health and wellness every single day. From that one thing a practice can grow that will allow us to feel even better.

The point is not to become anybody else, or follow anybody else’s guidelines. The point is to listen to our own inner guru and follow the right path for us, the incredible unique and singular storyline which is our life.

If that means you choose to eat Pringles on Sundays, so be it. Nobody can tell you that isn’t the right choice — as long as it is yours, and you are making it with full comprehension of what it might entail. If those Pringles cause you to feel sick, and guilty, and fall back into an older way of life, then you should rethink why you need those Pringles so badly.

We have to find some satisfaction in the present in order to build on that satisfaction and create our own health and wellness regimen that will, ultimately, let us express ourselves fully and feel better and better about life.

What they don’t teach you as a child is that nobody is obligated to give a shit about you— you have to give one shit about yourself before anyone will pay any attention to you, before you will able to have good relationships with others and yourself, and before you will understand what you were meant to do here on this planet.

I’m not saying I’m all the way there yet, not by a long shot. But if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that each step is what actually counts, not the overall journey. If you end up hating every step, the journey will be meaningless, but if you end up treasuring every step, the journey will be transcendent.

Essentially, the journey doesn’t exist. Only the steps do.

Words are Code - "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi