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The Journey

by on April 11, 2013

“It’s a journey, not a destination.”

Today, that was a friend’s comment on happiness. I’ve heard that said about relationships, about financial responsibility, even about being a whole person who lives the way the Air Force wants its Airmen to exemplify.

I’ve even said this phrase. Two days ago, for the H entry, I mentioned the hope we enjoy, knowing that every day, we can get up and go after our fitness goals, knowing that as we take steps in the right direction, we’re better than we were yesterday. That’s the tagline of this blog and a “goal” I wholeheartedly believe in. Every day, I want to be making improvement and living healthier than I was before. I also made the same point about a spiritual lifestyle on my other A to Z blog.

With that in mind, today’s joint topic on both this blog and the spirituality blog is: the journey.

So what does that really mean?

What it means for me is looking at not just how healthy I am or am not right now, but what kind of progress I am making, and what sort of person I am trying to become.

I had a friend pick on me about my breakfast yesterday. We’re in a five week class, so we’re sitting at desks in an academic setting. I like to snack, and I know how bad most of my favorite snacks are for my diet. So I’ve tried bringing in some better choices: baby carrots, whole green beans, an apple or a banana. Yesterday I brought in a sausage, egg and cheese english muffin sandwich for breakfast.

“You can’t eat that,” my classmate exclaimed. “You know how bad those are? You’re going to bring in all this stuff acting like you’re eating healthy, and then you’re going to eat that?”

Well, I did eat it, so I guess the answer is yes.

Over the last month since surgery, I spent four weeks on bed rest. I knew that I had to be careful about my food choices since I wasn’t going to be working out. Careful doesn’t necessarily mean strict or limited. It means paying attention and ensuring balance. I can eat a sausage muffin, knowing that it’s not the best choice, because I also choose the green beans instead of the candy bar. I may choose to eat a Whopper or a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but I’m watching how that affects the rest of my daily intake instead of forgetting it.

All in all, with four weeks away from any real workout, I’ve only gained two pounds. Not perfect, but I’m pleased.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, nor can you fully judge fitness at a glance. I’ve seen overweight people who can run faster and longer than me at my best. I’ve seen skinny folks in the Air Force who admit they can’t jog a mile and a half without having to slow down and walk multiple times on the way. I’ve known wiry guys that look scrawny and yet I’ve seen them lift huge weights or perform amazing athletic feats.

To some extent, we can look at where we’re at and where others are at to gauge who is more fit right now.

Are we headed in the right direction?

Are we headed in the right direction?

But I maintain that a fit person can be less healthy than a so-called fattie. Is that just wishful thinking, since I’m a big guy? No.

How so?

If “health and fitness” is the overall goal, the destination of the journey, then it matters more where I am going than where I am right now.

When I go driving somewhere unfamiliar, I’ll bring up maps on my iPhone and figure out how to get to that destination. I may be far away, or I may be close, that doesn’t matter. What’s important is checking to see if my little blue location ball is moving toward or away from that red target.

Maybe I’m on the other side of town away from “fitness.” But I’m getting on the highway and driving toward it. Someone who is “in shape” and yet standing still or even moving away from their goal is worse off than me. Someone who’s moving without direction, without intention – they’re less likely to get where they want to be than someone making determined and focused effort.

What’s our red destination ball when we bring up the map app of our fitness? Are we headed somewhere? Or are we just kind of driving around, “working out” and “not eating junk” with nothing specific in mind?

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From → Take a Breather

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  1. The Journey | Wanton Disregard for Safety

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