Thursday, March 10, 2011

fitness | The Power of the Body to Guide and Educate

I work out. I walk. And I walk.

Irene Sperber

A physical workout has come to bring great joy, serenity and awakenings. It sorts out thoughts; proves that I can do the unattainable. It expands the mind to make a mental leap to grasp that if I am doing the un-doable in the physical realm, I can take that knowledge into the mental and emotional world.

Recently I have slipped on one of life’s banana peels. Concerned about the outcome (and the long road before the outcome) of this unnerving situation, one night early in the siege, I dragged myself to the gym, if for no other reason than to exit my present state. By the end of the class I had sorted out my miasma a bit, and pushed myself to continue past my “point” just to prove that it is in fact possible with mind-strength, to ignore those previously self appointed markers. I have done this before and it is the outside source telling me, yes, I can use guts and gumption to muscle through all of life’s challenges. I test it out by just “thinking” my way to new levels of strength and endurance. What a rush of truth to experience in the middle of Lady Gaga playing at a hearing-disabling mega-blast. Dripping with sweat and less than adorable, the endorphin surge is there for the taking.

I have also met most of my dearest friends while huffing and puffing my way through some seemingly endless journey to a fit and healthful form. Anyone able to get themselves motivated to attempt some of these modern day burn-and-churn ordeals, is not likely to be a whiny, “poor me” dullard. If you care enough to make the effort, you are a positive life force doing what is necessary to get past whatever tricky bit of amusement life wants you to glean at this particular moment. And walking loosens the tongue....amazing what you can learn on one good day hike.

Exercise levels the playing field. You can’t show up with your latest Gucci handbag, groovy new multi $$$$$ outfit or vehicle and expect to stun the masses with the haul from your latest gilt-heavy shopping trip. You are the same slug in the gym/trail/water/field as everyone matter how drool-worthy your new outfit. Don’t do the work, you don’t get the “cred”. It may work against you to flaunt too much bling. Just fling beads of sweat to impress. The physical world is a get-real environment. One gets to the core of people quickly after struggling up some steep hill or gasping through a mean Ab workout. People are their very deepest selves when up against it. Bonding comes naturally.

Another plus is skin quality. Glowing, toxin-free skin, freshly pumped with life affirming pinkness, cannot be overthrown by any amount of make-up or facial; a toned body can trump any well-draped blob.

And for the biggest feel your body working as a team, knowing that if you trip up, it is plausible to right yourself before you lose one of those nine lives. It is powerful, for both the mind and spirit to be living in an encasement that is somewhat based on the original design plan. Have you watched a dance performance up close recently.

I am always fixated on how wonderful it must feel to be that young, agile and fit: the body as it is meant to function is a glorious thing to behold.

Irene running down the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado) after walking to the top

Daniela after taking a spinning class

Irene (in the middle) Nordic Walking in one of the eight Miami marathon she participated in