Here’s a word we use a fair amount
One dictionary defines fitness as “the condition of being physically strong and healthy”. Some of us work at it pretty hard; most of us think it’s a good thing to have. Here are two things worth mentioning….
1. It takes hard work
It doesn’t come quickly or easily. It takes training. There’s no ‘quick fix’. Some people actually enjoy the feeling of exercise, and of course it’s now known that exercise brings emotional benefits too – the ‘buzz’ is real. But you still have to get over the initial ‘hump’ of apathy and get out there – especially on a cold January morning! And a lot of us would rather take a pill (if there was one that did the job!)
2. It’s a means to an end, not an end in itself
Or at least it should be. In an age of image and cool, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s the appearance that matters, much more than the function. I go the gym fairly often and I’m always struck by the cool poses I see struck around me! But here’s the thing. Physical fitness is primarily about being healthy and able to do what we want/need to do. The purpose is doing stuff, not looking good.
OK, maybe I’m being a bit purist
But let me take it a stage further. We’re given bodies to enable us to do things physically. But we’re also given less material capacities too, including minds and emotions. They too need to be ‘fit for purpose’ and therefore presumably need to be ‘kept fit’ too.
So, is psychological and emotional ‘fitness’ an aim in itself, or a means to an end?
If so, what exactly is that ‘end’ or purpose? I would suggest that it has to do with a healthy inner world (so that I can live a balanced and whole life); fulfilling relationships; and a life so well-lived that when I get to the end of it I won’t be filled with pain and regrets!
Many of us don’t get anywhere near that
We’re having enough trouble with the ‘getting fit’ side of things most of the time (physical, psychological and emotional), leave alone discovering the ‘end’ or ‘purpose’! But until we do find our way forward in that, we’ll probably be struggling with the basics for some time to come!
So, what kind of ‘fitness’ are you working on?
Could your body, mind and emotions do with some help? Let me know what you think.