Thursday, January 5, 2012

Here's to you, Bucket Listers!

"I want to run a marathon before I'm 30."

"I want to lose 15 pounds before my wedding."

The One-Time Marathoner

You want to try out some rigorous form of exercise before life catches up with you and you are either too busy, or your body is "too old". Or maybe you lost a loved one and want to raise money in their honor. Fine. I'm sure there are plenty of people who do an extreme event once, hate it, and hang up the running shoes. (My wetsuit was given to me by a woman who did the ocean swim once, and swears she is finished with the kelp crawl.) But, do you really want to be in the best shape of your life and say, "Oh that was fun being fit and feeling pretty fantastic, but I'd like to go back to eating potato chips now..."?

If you didn't like the event, didn't you at least like the way it made you feel? The rush, the sense of accomplishment, the camaraderie with friends? It makes me sad to think that for many, it stops there. They cross it off of their bucket list and never try to get back to feeling good again. Sure, we all have our ups and downs with fitness and laziness - but why go back the lazy way for good? By the way, they say runners who maintain some distance during their 30's through 50's have a health peak way above others in their age group, especially at the age of 60! (Has anyone else read the book Born to Run?)

Finally, charities will continue to need contributions, so you can keep giving back to the memory of your beloved sister, aunt, father-in-law, or friend year after year. Sure, you can write a check. I ran the San Jose Rock N' Roll half marathon two years ago. Many people run it because it's a relatively easy/flat course for first-timers or those who want a personal record. I remember watching people cross the finish line with pictures of their loved ones, just absolutely in tears. You know what struck me the most - they were tears of joy, not of loss. They finished a 13 mile race, and they felt JOY. Not pain.

The Soon-To-Be Bride
Here's where people really start to hate me.

The Man: "She looked the most beautiful on our wedding day,"

What I'm thinking: "That's because she killed herself with diet and exercise for 6 months, but stopped as soon as the wedding was over. Good thing she has a stunning personality. Your wedding photos look great, by the way."

Ladies, ladies. I know there is a societal pressure to look flawless on your big day, but doesn't your fiance/husband, friends, and family already love who you are already? Your fiance/husband, friends, and family obviously love who you are already. There are plenty of designers who can make a dress look flattering on you. And photographers can Photoshop you to flawless perfection. If you are going to exercise and/or lose weight before the wedding, and it made you feel beautiful - why not keep it up?

Oh, I know why. It's the same reason I've not yet committed to a real diet. Exercise makes me feel great, but giving up cheese and fat makes me sad. The problem with giving things up is - you can't just give them up for awhile... You have to give them up... (cue the scary music).... FOREVER.

I feel sorry for the men who married that sexy minx in a white dress and perfectly coiffed hair, and will never get to see her looking (or feeling) so fabulous again.

So, here's to all of you bucket listers! Why the time constraint? Distance training and dieting is a huge commitment for only a one-day event.

1 comment:

  1. Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com