Fitmark Athlete, Kim Miller, explains why “fitness matters”.
I didn’t see the car coming but I felt the full impact and before I knew it I was on lying on the pavement. My first thoughts went to running and the fear of that being taken away.
See, I’ve been running for seven years now chasing goals of ranking at the top of every local race in which I participate. Looking back the idea of that almost seems unfathomable that I’d be among those categories, seeing that as a new mom I was fifty pounds overweight and completely out of shape. The desire to run started for one reason; I needed to find health, not only for me but also for my young family.
Months of running turned into years and were coupled by the other sports that helped me develop my fitness level. One day a few years back I woke up, ready to race, and thought about my goals. It dawned on me, I’d become an athlete. That’s how people perceived me. When you turn fitness into a career it adds a particular kind of demand. The pressure builds to perform at a higher level, to look a certain way and to achieve a specific set of goals. When you find yourself in that category it’s easy to lose perspective of why you do what you do.
I could hear ambulance sirens roaring down the street as I lay waiting not knowing my fate. What if the injuries I’d sustained were long term? Would I ever be able to explore the desert trails on foot again? Would I find myself in a yoga studio feeling my body flex and move in a way that brings me inner peace? What did my future hold? The fear of not being able to do what I’ve done now for seven years caused great insight which made me grateful I’d found myself on that pavement, struck by a car in a busy intersection while running on Thanksgiving morning.
Fitness is a mindset and through it we develop strength. We often see the visible results of fitness as our physique changes and we become physically stronger and faster. What we don’t always immediately see is it transforms our mind and empowers us. It’s in those challenging moments were we question our strength and ability to handle a situation that we realize we are capable. Our body might quit but our mind carries us, and a strong mind can help our body overcome over insurmountable obstacles.
Every day as we challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, whatever it is we do to become fit, strong and healthy, helps us develop inner-confidence, the kind of confidence that picks us up when things go wrong. That confidence helps us maintain faith that we can handle whatever it is that life throws at us.
I was fortunate to not sustain any lasting injuries that morning. People commented on my attitude toward the situation, saying I didn’t seem mad or overwhelmed. While I can’t say that I enjoyed being struck by a car, the incident reminded me of who I am and why I do what I do. The next time I find myself struggling through a workout, pushing myself to exceed my own expectations; I’ll remember exactly why it’s worth it. Fitness matters. It’s the insurance policy that always pays out in the end.