I’ve always been a relatively active kid; my awesome mom and dad saw to that by enrolling my brother and I into a multitude of sports when we were kids. Before I started rock climbing, I was dedicated to badminton; swimming came after in spurts after I came back from HK. But really, it was rock climbing that opened up the world of the ‘fitness junkie’ for me. A lot of people who are involved in an outdoor sport are also involved in other outdoorsy activities or at the very least, are open to trying something new as long as whatever their doing gets them to the natural playground they love so dearly. In addition to rock climbing, I do a multitude of other things. It’s not so much for the pursuit of getting lean and mean or performance training although those are secondary reasons but mainly because I have a blast at doing whatever I’m doing. I love pushing my body and seeing the improvement and I love the people that I get to meet through the avenue of sport. There’s also a sort of freedom that comes from cutting through the trees on your own two feet, on a bike or being one with a mountain.
Recently, I began swimming again with a local triathlon club called Athletes in Action (AiA). Although the particular group I swim with is geared towards triathletes, AiA is an international organization that sees and values the avenue of sport and the community it cultivates as a way to share God’s love with others. It makes complete sense in my mind especially in consideration of the fact that you do build deep bonds with the people/team mates you train with. The triathletes I know/have met spend a lot of their ‘free time’ (outside of work) training so ultimately, you also end up spending a lot of time with the people you train with. It’s like having what we Christians call fellowship…but without calling it fellowship. So since I’ve been hanging with AiA, it’s hard not to get excited/consider doing at least a sprint triathlon. I played with the idea a couple years ago but decided against it because I wasn’t sure if I was really up for it and to be honest, a couple years ago I probably wouldn’t have been fit enough to consider a sprint tri. Even now, it’s going to take some time to really pull myself up to a level where I would feel comfortable (but not really…I can only imagine the pre-race jitters) to register for a race even if my goal (which it most certainly would be) to finish the damn thing. Another major factor that held me back from triathlons or the like is the time commitment I knew that would come with training for races. I wasn’t sure and still am not sure as to whether or not I want to commit so much time to it. Or perhaps, the better question is, if I am, what am I willing to sacrifice to run, swim, bike and strength train? Looking at my summer schedule punctuated with a couple runs and sprint tri, my climbing time has been nibbled at. But perhaps even more telling is the schedule I’ve developed for the next couple of weeks. A few months ago, I realized that it was hard to keep all the different activities I pursued in line in my head as I used to so I started mapping them out on my calendar. Holy batman, my entire calendar turned green (green being the colour code for ‘outdoor/activity’ on my calendar). And here I was, looking at my triathlete buddies and thinking that they were nuts and hyper version of myself…maybe not so much. Granted, they are much more fitter than I am (I am newb sauce in comparison).
I was talking with one of my new AiA friends about the cross fit training he dragged me to the day before (and the day right after a long swim/core workout) and he told me that I was ‘intense’ just like the rest of them. Oddly, I didn’t take this as a compliment…it actually got me thinking a bit worried. The general sentiment I get nowadays is that people in general don’t exercise enough and that is most likely very true but I have the opposite problem. You must wonder, what could be so bad about getting super active? The biggest concern for me is that I would begin once again to skew my priorities to all the activities I am involved in instead of the other more important things in my life such as my faith and people in my life. That I would begin idolizing rock climbing (again) or running/biking/swimming and have those things as my main priority. It is always a fight to pursue the delicate balance between these things and the rest of my life.
Then, it makes me wonder about the characteristic I would look for in a potential partner. I’ve always imagined or knew that I would like to be with someone who was (hyper) active in addition to being a man of God. I could not imagine myself being the ranting spouse about how much time he would be spending running or whatever just because I would probably be doing the same thing. But then, is that healthy for a relationship? Sure, you can train together and that’s awesome but is that all there would be to the relationship? I immensely treasure the time when I can just lounge in the sun be it alone or with someone else. I’m terribly at ‘being still’ but when I manage to do it even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it’s amazing. Would being with someone who was just as, if not more, inclined to be hyper active disrupt the balance I’m constantly trying to pursue and achieve? An immense amount of self-discipline and leadership would be needed to be that voice that says: ‘relax and be still, seriously’.
So not to end this post on a seemingly serious note because after all, going out and play is really about having fun..you must be wondering what the connection is between laughter and fitness. There is one! Kind of. Not really but the common theme I find between them is that if someone is genuinely excited (or stoked in everyday lingo), that excitement infects others. I love it. I was doing yoga yesterday with a friend of mine that climbs and he started going off about how awesome the sport was. I must admit, even though I wrote an entire post about the awesomeness of climbing a while back, I wasn’t quite feeling it yet. There is a slight apprehension associated with my return to the sport…but that was before talking with my friend. His excitement has most certainly been passed onto me. I think it’s the same deal with triathlon; again, I have reservations about trying it out but the enthusiasm that my friends have for it is just so real.