Over the summer I was upstate visiting family. It was an enjoyable few days as the cousins and in-laws had a good time together. One of the mornings, my brother in law was getting ready for his jog and he convinced me to join him. About 2 minutes into the 'commute' I couldn't do it anymore and stopped on the side of the road.
At that point, I realized how out of shape I am for a 33 year old and I decided to do something about it.
I went out and got some new sneakers and sweat pants and started running. All right-jogging. All right-quick walking, every morning.
I can now make it from my house to Hoyt Farm and back in 15 minutes. (I will not divulge if I live 1 block or 1 mile from New Highway).
Last week it was raining one morning and I had every excuse not to run but a hand came down from heaven and pushed me out of my bed. I remembered that in the basement I had another option...
A few years after I got married (and I put on a few pounds, thanks to my wifes great cooking) my wife got me a treadmill. I used it for a few months until it became the worlds most expensive dirty shirt hanger.
But there is still nothing like the great outdoors. So off I went.
In comparing the two methods, running on the street and on a treadmill, I had an enlightened moment: it is really different exercizes. Running on a street is moving your legs in a way that you will propell yourself forward and up the hills untill your destination. When you are on a treadmill, all you are really doing is lifting your feet quick enough so that as the ground passes underneath you, it won't knock you over. Even when it is going uphill, you are not really running uphill, you are lifting your feet higher so that you can stay in line with the angle of the ground.
So too in life: you can pass through your life and make sure that you move your feet fast enough to keep up with world around you. Even when things are uphill, you can pick up your legs high enough that you won't trip.
Or you can get out in the real world and motivate yourself enough that you are actually propelling yourself forward. Each hill brings out new muscles and a deeper mental concentration. Each step is strengthening your inner and outer resolve.
You are not just letting the world move beneath you, you are taking proactive steps to get to the place you want to be.
And there is nothing that makes you as healthy as not letting something else control your destination, or how you get there.