Many years ago when I was about twenty years old or so, I gave windsurfing lessons, along with a good friend, who has since passed away, on Kaanapali Beach on Maui.
We’d arrive bright and early in the morning, before a soul was on the beach. Throughout the day we’d give lessons and when there was no one scheduled, we’d hop on the boards and sail out to where the humpback whales were playing. We’d dive off the boards and try to listen for their songs.
You would think I would have been the picture of health right?
I spent everyday windsurfing, surfing, or skim boarding; but I was far from healthy. I really hadn’t grasped the idea of what healthy meant at that point.
AND I didn’t care.
I was active all day, so keeping weight off wasn’t really an effort. I never really thought about it because my lifestyle caused it. Really it was by accident. I’m not physically blessed with some sort of special genes or athletic ability. I just played all day and thought pints of Haagen Daaz were a good lunch choice.
Fast forward 25 plus years.
Even though those early years set my healthy path in motion, when I look back, I can see some of it was just dumb luck. Lucky enough to live on Maui. Lucky enough to hang out on a beach all day. Lucky enough to meet some of the pioneers in the new sport of windsurfing. Lucky enough to fall in love with it.
When Things Change, We Must Too.
At some point you can’t live on luck and wishes. When I go home to Maui each year, I spend the first 5 days adjusting to the long days of playing in the water and I sometimes wonder how I ever had the guts to sail or surf in the conditions I did. But when you’re doing it everyday you don’t really think about it. But as life changes, we have to continue to grow. We can’t live on endless days of Haagen Daaz and 3 hours of sleep anymore. Our bodies start to to say “knock it off” by manifesting injuries, illness, anxiety, depression, and weight gain.
The longer I’m on the planet, the more I sense that worrying about aging is a waste of time and energy. We can’t stop time. But we can make the most of what we have. If we invest the time, energy, and money we would have used trying to look 20 again and instead direct it towards something positive that will have a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual return, we become more youthful on the inside. Our looks shouldn’t be our life accomplishment. A healthy physical body is nothing more than a vehicle we’ve been provided to accomplish great things.
Do you look at things differently than you did maybe weeks, months, or years ago? How have those changes affected your view on physical looks and their importance?