Life Puts Fitness to the Test

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It hits like a grip on a pig” – Dutch Proverb meaning, "It makes no sense at all"

I truly appreciate the many benefits of being fit and well. Wellness, as you know, is defined as the state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. It’s also a balanced state of emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, occupational and spiritual wellbeing that happens with commitments to lifestyle choices based on healthy actions and a positive, healthy outlook.

Physical fitness, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies.

Only recently has this notion of fitness helping us meet unforeseen emergencies become relevant to me.

I’ll refer back to my opening proverb “It hits like a grip on a pig,” meaning “It makes no sense at all.” In this day and age, it makes no sense at all that a ruptured appendix can be so easily dismissed and misdiagnosed by the staff in an ER, as was the case for my extremely fit husband. Five days after the misdiagnosis he underwent emergency surgery to remove his appendix and clean up the resulting mess.

Growing up in Northern Ontario, unforeseen emergencies meant the possibility of outrunning a bear in the wilderness (even though that was quite contrary to the advice found in every survival guide out there). Only recently did I get a firsthand look at the body’s ability to fight back with full vigour and strength to overcome all odds when faced with an unforeseen emergency.

It takes constant and deliberate effort to stay fit and healthy and to achieve our highest potential for well-being. It takes perseverance, regardless of the discomfort, to keep at it when the going gets tough and to achieve our goals. It is this perseverance and grit that eventually rises to the top when one’s life is in the balance.

There are some things over which we have no control. What we can control, though, is the actions we take to stay physically fit and improve our well-being. As archaic as the definition for physical fitness may appear to some, it is certainly worth our while to live by it. Engaging in a lifestyle that optimizes all aspects of health is important not only as preventative medicine, but as a potential lifesaver when we least expect it.

In my husband’s case, this was a close call. He is slowly recovering from this ordeal and I have no doubt he’ll rebound more quickly than most. I look forward to seeing him back on his bike once again, rebuilding his fitness and preparing for the next challenge.