She schlepped me everywhere, my mother, poor woman. And for those of you who don’t know what schlepped means, it means she chaperoned and transported me, against her will, to every single sport, practice, activity and competition on planet earth from the time I was a young girl. Fall time was competitive swimming, every morning and every afternoon, for the better part of my entire schooling experience. Winter was basketball, and spring was lacrosse and track and field, and interspersed into all of it was eating, sleeping, and breathing sports in general, practicing the ones I had omitted from my routine nearly every single day, come hell or high water. Oh, and I mustn’t forget about running miles upon miles, almost nightly, on my parents treadmill in their basement gym, until I broke enough of a sweat and emitted so much energy that my legs were almost Jello-like.
The penchant and the yearning to play sports, watch them on TV, or simply be active in mind and in body through different forms of exercise is something that is inherited, genetic and craved, yet, something that can be taught, and easily so. There was this commercial on TV recently that focused on this old, stuck-in-his-ways man, who gave into the not-so-new wave of healthy living, trading in the chips he ate with his daily sandwich at lunchtime for fresh chopped vegetables instead. He began to like the changes as the results made him less tired, greasy and heavy in the end.
At professional sporting events, the homeland of fried foods and sugary snacks, there are many new options for people who favor a healthier way of living: salads, acai bowls, and even tacos disassembled on a plate without the shell. Combine this notion with the idea that physical activity and exercise, or simply just playing sports to accomplish the same results of increased heart rate and heightened metabolism as active players in our overall health and general lifespan and thus, people begin to see the light.
Just last night I watched the most recent episode of Family Guy with my husband. It touched upon the notion of push and pull in regards to healthy eating (and for the sake of a streamlined blog post, I will add in sports and exercise). People fight the idea of trading in trans fats for tomatoes out of plain stubbornness, fear of change, and simply, lack of understanding that being healthy does not detract from fun or taste or manliness/coolness in any way. The episode paid homage to the addiction that is unhealthy eating and the pandemic that is obesity, despite the studies and abundances of healthy options, and tasty ones at that, present to us almost everywhere we go. And, we can’t blink an eye nowadays without seeing a sports clothing store, a boutique or large gym, or an instagram account with body inspiration; all of it is simply implanted right in our faces. At the end of the episode, the main character, Peter, calls his wife’s vegetable side dish “vegan crap”, moments before getting stuck in his fast food truck and having to be removed via the Jaws of Life. Not ironic in name, the Jaws of Life is a metal tool used to remove people from their place of residences, as they are unable to do so themselves, due to their increasing obesity and weight, caused by none other than their own insatiable jaws for life.
If we view sports, exercise and diet as combined facets, yet individualistic opportunities to create the paths that work for us, fear will be the first thing to go in the steps to creating the healthy life that works for us as (insert name here). The ‘A Life Without Recipes’ exercise tip is as follows: make a list of all of the sports, exercises and healthy foods that seem interesting or pique your interest. Then, simply begin trying them out, one-by-one. If basketball is appealing to you and you sense you’ll garner the best results from cardio, or already know that you do, then trading in the running shoes for basketball shoes for a more interesting workout than your dreaded runs may just be the answer. It’s all about trial and error with sports in order find the best fit for us, and we must stuck with it so that we can create the best life without recipes, regarding sports and health, for as individuals.