My husband so sweetly reminded me that yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of my commitment to living a healthy life. More than a decade ago, I had gained a few pounds, didn’t exercise, and rarely thought about increasing my vegetable intake. In the cold of Boston winter, in a state of mediocre health (and likely on a path towards unhealth), I set my 2006 New Year’s resolution to start exercising a couple times a week. The months ticked by. When I woke up on May 1, 2006 and glanced at my wall calendar, my thought was Shoot, it’s May!! I was supposed to start working out four months ago!! I just could not believe that a commitment I had made to myself resulted in four months of doing nothing. It was truly a shock. I had been thinking about it. Every day I had been thinking Today’s the day. I’m going to start today. And I just never did. So my shock of it being May pushed me to the gym that day. Initially I worked out just a couple days a week, but over the last ten years I have maintained a fitness regiment of cardio and strength training and trying new exercises and running races and enjoying pushing myself with a trainer and yoga and spin and weights… over and over and over (I do a variety of work-outs six days a week now).
The more important lesson I learned that year is this: time will pass anyway. Whether you work out, eat more broccoli, snack on cookies, watch more TV, smoke, train for a marathon, meditate, etc.: time will pass anyway. You can choose to experience that time as an unhealthy person – wishing to be healthier, wishing to exercise more – or you can actually wake up and make those wishes real. The time will pass whether you make a healthy choice or not.