A friend of mine is having money troubles. (I know, I know, you're thinking, "What does this have to do with exercise?" Well, just work with me here for a minute...)
I told him that I know of very few people who haven’t had money troubles, at some point in their lives, so he’s not alone. I told him I’d been there myself. And then... about five years ago, I started on a journey to learn about money – how to manage it, how to save it and invest it and how to “make friends with it”. We never had much money growing up, so this was a new thing for me.
Me being me, I started to read everything I could get my hands on. And… me being me… I didn’t understand most of the books with a strong focus on numbers and math. (Go figure… money… math!)
But there were two books that totally spoke to me. One was Robert Kiyosaki’s, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The other was Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicky Robin. Both of these books talked about aligning your values as a human being with money, challenging the reader to re-think old beliefs and develop new ways of thinking. I’d recommend either of those books to anyone interested in learning about how to manage their money better.
I learned to be happy with my choices because I learned to line up my values as a human being with how I made, saved and spent my money. It took a few years and I had to completely “re-wire” my brain in the process, but I got there.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m hardly rolling in it. I’m a student and I live lean. That’s a choice I made when I decided to go back to school. The difference is that now I see it as a choice, rather than a hardship. Hence, I’m quite OK with “living lean”.
It occurred to me that I have not been able to align exercise with my values yet. I have only ever seen exercise as a means to lose weight. Now, I’m trying desperately not to focus on the number on the scale and to see exercise as something else.
Health? Balance? What do those mean, really?
I know that in the big scheme of things, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a relatively normal, healthy body that can perform most movements (however awkwardly) and while it is far (very far indeed!) from being perfect, it generally works well.
But in talking to my friend with money woes it occurred to me that the only long-term way to change our relationship to anything requires replacing old ways of thinking with new ways of thinking. You challenge what you’ve always thought and done and create new ways of thinking, living …essentially... a new way of being.
Part of the process is asking, “What’s important to me?... And why is it important?”
There are no right answers, but there are answers.
I’ve just had a light bulb go off in my head this week… I need to figure out what it is about exercise and fitness that is important to me… and why. (If I don't, I'm sure I will throw in the towel soon!)
I’m not there yet… but watch this space for developments!
Feel free to share your comments, by the way. Hearing what others think helps the reflection process greatly, so feedback is most welcome.