We never really value those things that are right in front of us. Unless, of course, they’re taken away.
That goes for lots of things, but holds especially true when it comes to our mobility and sense of physical well being – we rarely give a thought until it’s affected by injury, illness, or accident. That can mean a case of the flu, a stress fracture, or some other unforeseen malady. But basically our health doesn’t matter, until it does.
It’s a lot like the relationship most people have with their vehicles. They expect them to start everyday and take them wherever they may want to go through all types of conditions without much thought or effort. Then one day things go haywire, and suddenly you’re stranded and immobile, and that thing you took for granted takes on unexpected significance.
I was reminded of that fact recently when an old injury suddenly flared up and completely shut me down. This car was suddenly stuck in park and not going anywhere. At least not for a little while.
So of course it got me thinking; had I done everything I could to avoid this? Basically, knowing my make, model and mileage, had I done all the necessary maintenance to make sure this episode was a freak occurrence and nothing more? Had I paid attention to any warning signs, followed a rational protocol with regard to volume, frequency and variation? Nothing seemed out of place on first glance, but if I really poked around under the hood, what would I find?
It may seen an odd analogy, but it’s not too much of a stretch to say most folks spend more time and money on their cars on a monthly or yearly basis, than they do their own bodies. They make triple digit monthly payments, cover insurance, and may even spring for premium gas, but balk at investing $50 in a gym membership or massage, getting an annual physical, addressing chronic pain, or buying organic or other high quality foods.
And the really bad news is cars are disposable products, but these bodies of ours, well, they have to last us a while. Hopefully a very long, functional while. Financial advisers aside, do yourself a favor and invest wisely in the only durable good that really matters – your body. Because when it shuts down, none of the other stuff really matters.
With that in mind, and on the cusp of the new year and the resolutions that come with it, how about we look ahead not just to those amazing things we want to do in 2014, but the things we want to be able to do decades from now. Let’s make sure we’re doing all the proper maintenance and checkups along the way to get us there.
Sure, we all want short term success and want to look and feel our best as immediately as possible. But unless that’s tightly tied into a long term plan and a life and lifestyle that supports those tenets, then our chances of real success are limited at best.
Popping Champagne and ringing in 2015 while looking back on a list of physical achievements is pretty cool, but being able to do the same thing in 2065 is even cooler (which is why that’s my personal new year’s resolution).
Speaking of which, it’s also on my list to spend more time writing on matters unrelated to health and wellness; namely fiction and poetry and the like, and focus a bit more on photography and other endeavors as well. As such, I’ll be stepping down from this weekly column, but still hope to contribute content to the site.
Having the opportunity to consistently write and work with so many great people and share in some great events over the last year has definitely made 2013 memorable, and has reinvigorated my faith in the continued progress of our city.
With this growing urban renaissance of farmer’s markets, complete streets, locally sourced restaurants, a thriving bike share program, and yes, even a downtown grocery store, things never looked so good, and the future certainly looks promising. So let’s make sure we all take care of ourselves, and each other for the long haul so that we can see all these things through.
Here’s to your health and dreams, an amazing 2014, and beyond.
Tom Trevino is a writer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. His weekly column covers anything and everything related to health and wellness. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with certification and training from the Cooper Institute. He has a fondness for dogs, NPR, the New York Times, and anything on two wheels. When he’s not writing, training, or cooking, you can find him wandering the aisles of Central Market.