The answer to this question is several fold for me, but it comes in the form of one collective answer: my family.
Typically, families are those who we are closest too, so it makes sense that they can inspire us to live healthy lives and strive to be fit if they themselves are doing it. I am no different. Starting with my parents, my brothers, and my husband, it has certainly been my family who has kept me on the bandwagon of health and fitness. Lets start at the beginning–my parents.
Mom and Dad Inspire Me to Be Healthy and Fit
Although, they might be surprised, my mom and dad were probably the biggest reasons I had any interest in health and fitness. Starting with Mom–as a young child, I remember my mom exercising in the house and taking walks and swimming in our little 4 foot pool on a regular basis. Outdoor exercises in warm weather, indoor exercise during cold weather. One of my funniest memories of childhood exercise was when my mom was on the floor doing leg exercise, and I thought I’d do some of my own squats. So I squatted down next to her face and passed gas. In my childhood sense of scatalogical humor, I thought it was hilarious, but she was not quite so charmed. Funny, I still think it was pretty funny.
Mom was also into natural health. She loved experimenting with aromatherapy (still does) and finding natural remedies for health and vitality. My mom knew all about herbs and home remedies when I was growing up, and even back then I remember thinking it was pretty cool. To this day, I use her wisdom for some of my own ailments, and when one of my dogs gets sick, I call her.
Dad didn’t have a lot of time after work, but when he did, I remember he used to like to play with us in the way of sporting activities. I remember going on bike rides with him, swimming with him (he loved to play rock the boat and “make waves” with us in the pool), family kickball and basketball. When any of us were in sports, if Dad’s job would allow him, he was always at our games. In later years, Dad took up weight lifting, and I will never forget him telling me, “the fountain of youth is in exercise.” The thing my Dad taught me the most, though, was that exercise is supposed to be fun. In any exercise that we did, it was never “exercise” but rather “play.” Dad would holler and laugh and tease through the whole thing. He still makes jokes about how he never competed in the Olympics because he didn’t want the other Olympians to feel bad.
My Brothers Inspire Me To be Healthy and Fit
My oldest brother was always an active person growing up, though his activities were more work-oriented than exercise. While he competed in track in junior high, his most consistent activity revolved around farming. I think as early as 12 or 13, my brother would be out before dawn to take care of the pigs, and then he’d ride his bike the five miles to Grandma’s house to take care of the morning chores with the cows. I remember talking with my brother not that long ago, and he told me he always wanted to be a bicyclist. That is not surprising as he spent a lot of time on the bike as a younger person. Randy still enjoys hobbies that keeps him outside and that provide him that “au natural” exercise, like gardening (photo to the left is of Randy and his son Dylan).
My brother Noah has been an avid weight lifter since he was seventeen. As a scrawny 130 pound teenager, Noah decided he’d had enough of that, and started lifting weights. He has always been a muscular guy, involved in fitness in a big way, though more recently, he has decided to enter a physique show, and has really leaned down and gotten really “cut.” This has been extremely inspirational to me, as the two of us have always struggled with a healthy layer of fat covering our muscles. When he showed me his most recent pictures, I thought, if he can do that, then so can I.
My Husband Inspires Me to Be Healthy and Fit
If you have followed my blog for a while, then you know that my husband is the person training and motivating me to complete my first marathon. Brad has run six marathons in his life, and has been an avid runner since he was a teenager. The thing with Brad is that for those things that he does that are healthy, he is EXTREMELY consistent with them. He does not quit his healthful activities for nothing. This is good for me in that I can be a very erratic and wishy washy person when it comes to creating healthy habits.
Having him as a husband has been awesome, in that I have seen what it looks like to be consistent, and the fact that he only has to maintain his health and fitness, and he doesn’t have to continually strive for it like I do (I have to continually strive for it because I go slack for periods at a time, and then I have to gain it all back) is inspiring in itself. I WILL get to that point. I promise!
What About You?
Who in your life has been an inspiration to you to get on the health and fitness bandwagon? Has it been people who you see live their lives healthy and fit day in and day out like my husband does, or has it been someone you’ve watched make great strides? So what’s your story?