Recent health issues a friend of mine had has caused me to rethink my commitment to both diet and exercise.
This friend has always been physically active, has competed in numerous endurance events, has always had a solid diet, has never drank alcohol and his lips have never touched a cigarette. He recently had a heart attack and underwent a seven valve bypass. I didn’t even know my heart has that many valves!
Situations like this can make a runner cynical. I’d like to believe that there is a positive health benefit to all my miles. I’d like to believe that it’s about more than staying thin and fitting into the same size jeans I wore in my 30’s. But when something like this happens, it makes me fatalistic. My theological outlook says that God has a pre-ordained day and time for my demise. And maybe all the miles DON’T really change that or affect my lifespan. Maybe the number of double cheeseburgers I eat doesn’t matter either.
A less cynical side of me says that “running to live” is about more than my physical body. It’s about my mental attitude, how I feel about myself and how I treat others. That means that I have a better LIFE, even if my life isn’t necessarily extended by my mileage. In my experience, the majority of runners are considerate, friendly people with a positive outlook on life. What I want to believe is that running has a lot to do with that. Time to go for a run…