Investing in Yourself
In my last post I mentioned the commitment and investment of working out and getting healthy.
What I’m spending financially in September on my health goals and personal training, once it’s all said and done, could do a lot of things. It could get our family a new television, a new computer. It could buy a new set of winter clothes. It could help get our old car ready for winter. I had to get my brain around spending that money on myself in order to get healthy, especially with the fact that I am not overweight or in poor health to begin with!
I wanted to discuss it further here because I think the idea it’s ok to invest money on our health while we are healthy is something which is not thought about or supported in our culture. We are taught to consume and to play and to have fun, to spend millions of dollars on items we are told we “need.” It’s even alright to spend money on fixing ourselves AFTER we have consumed too much; IE – food, movies, video games, etc. Yet, when it comes time to spend that money on ourselves and improve ourselves, when there is no “obvious” reason why we should do it, the mind (and the minds of your friends and family) seem to take a stutter-step. At least this is what I found mine doing. Why is that? What is it about our culture that teaches us to hesitate on our goals like this?
I latched onto the idea of an investment. This is my investment to myself. However, it is also an investment for my family, for my wife. By getting healthy I am insuring I am able to help carry items in my son’s move, to pick my daughter up for a hug, to go for a long, adventurous hike with my wife to see beautiful wilderness or to help my mother as she gets older to help keep up her house with outdoor maintenance chores. When I go to volunteer, as I did last weekend for a food drive, I could carry more bags of food to the waiting car. I could stand longer on the concrete and hand out flyers without my back or feet hurting. The amount the investment will return on itself is incalculable because it does not focus entirely on dollars and cents. It has a much higher payout down the road.
On the fifth week of my Spartan workout (my second 4th week because I repeated it) I had to do my workout later in the evening. It was close to 9:00 PM, going on 9:30. I had a full day under my belt and not much food in my belly. I was tired. When I took a breather I muttered, “Why am I doing this again?” I laughed because the answer came to mind immediately.
Because, right now, I’m building the body I will grow old in. As time goes by, do I want it to be strong and healthy or weak and problematic?
As I looked at our budget and what my wife and I are doing for ourselves, I shared this thought with her and she agreed. Our souls may be fiery meteors of energy and life but our bodies are infinite and will, eventually, decline. We, right now, are building those bodies as strong as we can so we can, hopefully, grow old in them.
And that, hands down, beats any kind of new television, clothes, laptop. Besides, when I get in better shape I won’t need a car in winter, right?
I’ll just super leap over to my job! Problem solved!