My name’s Sid, and I’m a paddler. I’m crazy about dragon boat. When I’m out on the water, feeling that surge of adrenaline as I struggle to put in more, I can’t help but feel happy. I think about the person I’ve grown into, a person much stronger than he thought he’d ever be, a person who finds sheer excitement in adversity. It took me a long time to unearth this appreciation.
We’ve all heard the following cliché phrasing of words (or some rendition of it) at some point: fitness isn’t a destination, but an ongoing journey. While I agree with the general message, I think there’s a more salient point that shouldn’t be left unnoticed: what prevents us from continuing our journeys toward healthier lives is not necessarily our will to maintain it, but also the environment that we’ve been dealt with—the degree to which people support us, the food (or lack thereof) we have in our fridges and pantries, and the quality of education we receive. This journey, therein, isn’t solely rendered a choice deeply rooted in willpower, but is also an issue of accessibility and privilege. We may not always have the opportunity to prioritize our physical health, and that’s okay. Hopefully, though, that time will come.
With these overarching issues aside, I believe fitness has the potential to give adjoining facets of our lives greater meaning and purpose. Discipline, rigor, and passion are often qualities we need to discover on our own accord; based on my own experiences, I can say that I’ve found each of these qualities through my own fitness journey and have directly applied them in my academic pursuits, self-expression, and relationships. After all, we are multidimensional beings in a greater philosophical sense.
Here’s my humble advice: do what feels good. Everyone has their own inner demons that need to be silenced, and no matter where you are along your journey, keep in mind that we’re all trying to figure it out on our own. As long as you pursue the things that put a smile on your face, you’ll be on the path to creating your own happiness. Our bodies may be impermanent, but there’s nothing wrong with making the ride a little more worthwhile.