Recently Josh was talking to a friend. The friend is someone that is overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle, and starting to have some negative health consequences as a result of his lifestyle. Josh was saying how he thought that health insurance should work the same way that car insurance does - basically that we should be rewarded for "good behavior". (Lose weight, exercise more, be in good health, etc. would mean lower premiums or deductibles).
The friend's response was, "Yeah well, you live an extreme lifestyle."
That has had me thinking.
Do we live an extreme lifestyle?
I am aware that I am probably more invested in my running than many. I know that getting up at 4am everyday, running 80+ miles a week, racing multiple marathons a year, training at a high level, etc. probably seems "extreme" to a lot of people.
But the comment was made to Josh. Josh runs five days a week most weeks (when he is training), averaging around 35 miles a week. He does several running races and a tri or two a year. He has lost and kept off about 60lbs. He eats fairly healthily but can and does eat pretty much whatever he wants. He is in great overall health.
Is that really an extreme lifestyle?
Then I realized that I was thinking "extreme lifestyle" was a bad thing. I looked up the definition of "extreme" and dictionary.com says, "Reaching a high or the highest degree; very great, intense".
Heck yeah then. Call me extreme. :) I think living our lives to the highest degree (in all areas), or at least striving to, is what we should be doing. (And I am currently reading and LOVING "Run the Edge" by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano which basically is all about this idea. I will post a more detailed review once I am finished reading the book, but this is my favorite read in quite a while).
I can't help but think that it is sad that a healthy lifestyle is seen by some as "extreme" though, and that it's perfectly acceptable for so many people to live life so passively. No one seems to think twice or have any problem with all the people who live their lives without any great passion... who settle for "good enough" with their jobs, their marriages, their parenting, their health... who forget about their goals and dreams... who give little thought to the care of their bodies...who let life happen "to" them instead of living life to the fullest. (And please, I am not saying you have to be a runner to live life to the fullest. I think there are countless, endless ways to live life to the fullest.)
I strive to live my life to "the highest degree" as much as possible. I want my marriage to be filled with fun, joy, happiness, laughter, passion, emotion, gratitude and LOVE. I want to be a mom who is involved, aware, playful, loving, attentive, connected, and treasures moments big and small - continually aware of how blessed I am to have these kids. I strive to be a loving, loyal, dedicated, sensitive, and fun relative/friend to my close family members and friends and to be there for people when they need me. I work hard at my job and truly try to make a positive impact in the lives of children in need. I try to find ways to serve friends and neighbors. I try to inspire others to find the kind of happiness I have. I am continually working on my faith and my relationship with my Father in Heaven and my Savior, and striving to be the person He made me to be. And I work hard to be the best runner I can be and to reach my goals. I certainly come up short sometimes in all areas, but I keep trying!
My life is full. My life is good. My life is so very blessed. Extremely blessed. :)
So what do you think? Is an "extreme lifestyle" a good thing or a bad thing in your eyes? Do you think runners are extreme? How do you live life to the fullest?
"There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them." -
Charles D. Gill
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky
"Above all, try something." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."- Marilyn vos Savant
"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" - Dr. Robert H. Schuller
“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
“The sky has never been the limit. We are our own limits. It’s then about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives.”