Why is Women's Health, Fitness and Wellness my vocation?
Posted Aug 25 2008 3:19pm
I left off my last post with a comment about how women's health, fitness and wellness is now my vocation. I thought I'd explain some of the reasons why.
First and foremost, I want to make health, fitness and wellness a major priority for myself and my children. Since doing so, my spouse has gotten on the bandwagon as well, which is great. I am also now dedicating my working life to helping other women and their families live healthy and fit lives too.
It really hit me 11 years ago, when my mother at 49 years of age was diagnosed with an advanced stage of colon cancer. Although she had been very active and healthy as a child, teenager and young mother, she had been living a very sedentary lifestyle and consuming a diet high in saturated fats for a long time. Her colon cancer was not the type that was genetic, it was highly correlated with the life she had been living. Thus, with proper diet and exercise, it's perfectly likely that the big "C" would never have hit her in the first place.
A huge operation later and 1 year of chemotherapy and she was cancer free. It was awful watching her get her treatments and become ill from all of the chemicals she was ingesting each week. When her treatments had ended, we thought she would be okay, but we were wrong. What those treatments did was bring on severe rheumatoid arthritis likely 20-30 years earlier than would have occurred under normal circumstances. Not only that, but she developed Parkinson's Disease as well. Now, I'm no doctor, but her rheumatologist and her neurologist are both of the mind that the chemotherapy played a role in the diseases that followed.
Anyway, Mom celebrated her 60th birthday this year when I celebrated my 40th. She is fully disabled and barely can get from the couch to the washroom in her home. Her hands and feet (particularly her left side) are contorted and she walks while dragging herself across the floor. Her head hangs low, her neck and shoulders are curving as well. In a nutshell, she is as disabled as a very elderly woman, yet she is only middle-aged. A sad way to live, especially when she would like to do so much with her young grandchildren, yet she can not.
And, this story is the story that other close friends of mine have lived as well. Their Moms getting sick in their early middle-age, some dying, some barely recovering, others turning over a new leaf. The latter group are some of the people I want to speak to, the ones who are now determined to live their lives to the fullest, healthfully and happily. That being said, I would like my goals of "Healthy. Fit. Living Fully." to be the goals of all women. I would like women to bring their messages forth to those they love, especially their children, to instill lifelong habits of health, fitness and wellness.
I love my Mom dearly, but I don't want to find myself in her situation 20 years from now. I want to see my kids grow up, have grandchildren and be able to play with them without any restrictions. And I want that for all women. For that to happen, there is no time like the present to make health, fitness and wellness my vocation. How about you?
On a lighter note, I just got back from a 30-minute power walk and I am planning a 30-minute Turbo Jam session! Should be fun. Take care of yourselves. Have a great remainder of the day!