I remember going to a funeral once where I was completely bewildered at the circumstances upon which this lovely man had met his death. He was fit, he was young and he was incredibly healthy, exercising everyday for at least 1 hour. So how? I asked myself. How did someone who took care of his body so well die of a heart attack? Which prompted me to question exercise all together.
We are constantly told that exercise is good for us – no scratch that – great for us! Doing around 30 minutes will helps us with our weight, prevents cardiovascular diseases and best of all, it leaves us happy and “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t“.
Yet because of what had happened to this man, I was deterred from ever exercising again. If it didn’t help me live longer why do it? That was my life for the next few years. I ate whatever I wanted, watched whatever I wanted and didn’t even gain weight (Thank you metabolism!) Unfortunately this life was not meant to be forever.
I was in school one day and had to run for some ridiculous reason, only to find out that I couldn’t. Well I could but not very well. Having been such an active child I assumed my fitness level would stay the same (yes I was very naive) but like a lot of things I was wrong. My heart began to race, my body began to sweat and I couldn’t breathe properly. It was the most awful feeling and I vowed to do something about it. But what?
I had denounced exercise altogether so what could I possibly do? I researched and researched until I came to terms with the fact that I had to exercise. I was being told left, right and centre that it was the only way to not keel over after running 100m. So I expelled my hesitancies and began to exercise.
I’ve kept it up over the past few years, going through some dry spells of course like everyone else, but I’ve realised that it is important for my health – for everyone’s health. I’ve come to terms with the fact that healthy people die and even though they were healthy and fit, that won’t prevent death when it comes knocking at your door.
I want to live. I want to experience life and if exercise has a way of helping I will take it. Even if it’s just a 10 minute run.