By Lisa Rhea
A post came across my Facebook feed the other day that really made me sit back and reflect.
It talked about our bodies not being our works of art, but rather our lives, and our bodies are just the paint brush for our masterpiece. It was a great article, but the analogy left me wanting more. For me, it wasn’t enough.
While I agree whole-heartedly that our lives are far more of a measurement of who we are and what we have accomplished than our bodies, our bodies are more than just a paint brush that we’ve been handed. Rather, I’d liken our lives to a great adventure and our bodies as the vehicle in which we travel.
Some of us want a Sunday stroll through the back roads, some of us want a fast-paced adventure globe-trotting, but we all want to get from point A to point B without breaking down, without getting stranded, with the AC and heat fully functioning, comfortable seats and a clear view out the windows. Just like a car, our investment in, and maintenance of, that vehicle will determine our ride.
Sure, life can hand us lemons, just like a car dealership, but for the most part, we get out what we put in. I’m not about to spend this adventure stuck on the side of the road. I’m going to make sure my vehicle is well-taken care of and enjoy the ride.
In my life, I want to cruise with the windows down and the radio up. I don’t so much care that I have a shiny, flashy car, but I want something that’s dependable and can go as fast as I want to go. So I put in work. I take the time to be certain it’s functioning properly and well-tuned. And I even enjoy the tinkering and test-driving.
We put so much effort into the other areas of our lives – our families, our friends, our homes, even our cars, but are we taking time to put that same effort into ourselves and our vehicle for living this life? It’s easy to get complacent, to accept being a broken-down model, to stop trying to make it shine…but with the right perspective, you can see how that shouldn’t be an option.
You wouldn’t drive your loved ones around in a dangerous vehicle, would you? Then how can you justify letting yourself go to the point that they cannot depend on you? While you may not care about a fast-paced adventure, are you really okay with telling others in your life that you’re not going to travel with them? That you’re going to be the vehicle in the convoy always stopped for repairs?
Start taking care of yourself today. Your health and your body is your vehicle and it’s up to you to keep in running. Go in for that physical you’ve been avoiding. Start eating a nutritious breakfast instead of grabbing drive-thru junk. Increase the amount of water you drink and start limiting sodas. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Start making changes to improve your well-being today. It’s not about how your car looks necessarily, but it is about how it performs.
You don’t need a complete overhaul, but if day after day you continuously strive to improve, before you know it, you’ll be cruising right along. We aren’t all going to be Bentleys, but there are a lot of smooth running conversion vans out there and some beat-up little sports cars. Take whatever model you have to live this adventure in, invest in it, and keep it running smoothly.