What is FITNESS? Hint: It’s not what you think it is

By Lara Foster

What is Fitness? A scary word, that’s what it is! People generally have a love/hate relationship with the basic definition of fitness. Most of the time people see the word Fitness and Run! Half those people are running towards the word, and the other half are running, ok maybe walking, far far away from it.

As for me, for a large portion of my 20’s (no pun intended), I just flat out ignored it. I boxed it up, dug a hole, and buried it. Deep underneath layers and layers of shame, guilt, and regret. 350lbs worth. It was a period of complete and utter release, in the extreme sense. More like quitting.

It was a Release of any and all involvement I had in Life. I GAVE UP. Consciously. I remember when I made the decision. Why I made the decision was because I thought I could not and would never do anything right, or of substance. In that conscious decision I also committed to giving up to the best of my ability. If I couldn’t do anything right, then I would prove that I could give up Really Well…

So I did, for years, and it was miserable. Fleeting moments of joy lasted no longer than a meal or deep drunkenness. I was completely addicted to food, alcohol, compulsive shopping, and shutting Everyone out of my Life. The emptiness was so painful that the only thing that numbed the pain was More. More alcohol, More food, Absolute mindless being. And all of that really just created more pain! It’s like I was taking an active role in speeding up the moment of my death.

Through this pain and misery a very clear understanding presented itself. I had no one to blame for this moment in my life, not parents, not teachers, not priests, not society. I had created it all. And in that realization that I truly had the power to create, even if what I had created was Shit, also Empowered me to realize that I could Uncreate it, or create something different, something better, something less Shitty! If I had the power to create pain and misery for myself and those around me, I also had the power to create joy and love. That moment, that realization of power, filled me with purpose. I had one foot off the ledge, and I vowed to step back, turn around, and change it.

At this point I had no idea what Fitness was. I was an extremist. But what this point did do is Open the Door, literally, for me to take a different approach towards life. People RUN when they hear the word Fitness. Towards it, or far far away from it, generally in extremes. Take everything you Think about fitness and just let go for a second. Toss it out the window. You can go out there and pick it up later if you want, or just allow yourself to forget your initial presumptions.

Now, Try to think of Fitness as an Open Door.

How you approach this door is your creative action.

Your Fitness is IN your Approach.

Fitness is your ability to consciously approach your life through a centered and balanced space each day. What does that mean? Well, first of all it means you have to know what your center is. Secondly, you have to know how to be productive and active in a balanced way.

Let’s break it down. Center. What’s your center? How do you find your center? I believe that this place is your Heart, how you feel things. What moves you. How life resonates for you. You need to get in touch with this space and all of its layers. There are clues all around that’ll help you to figure out how to move down a path with Heart like they say. So that’s where you start.

Next. How do you Balance your center? How can you be productive while pursuing a goal? Do you push push push? Force force force? Do you let it go and just float down the stream? How do you become one with the stream and work with the stream instead of against it? I believe it’s a constant swaying back and forth between certainty and uncertainty. That’s how you move through your center by constantly touching back and forth in a 30 to 70 degree range, never falling into extremes for too long, and always passing through and staying connected to your center.

Fitness Trajectory

Your ability to balance your swaying from side to side is your ability to be productive as you’re progressing forward through your true heart, your true self.

How do you find your true self? Look at the clues around you in your life. Everything in your life has a story to tell. Why it’s there, how it got there, is it fulfilling, is it draining… All of these explanations are the clues. To get to the explanations you have to Ask Questions. The more questions you ask of Life, the more answers you will get. The better questions you ask of Life, the better answers you will get. It’s all in the asking of the questions.

Ask Questions

The clues, the questions, it’s a constant sway and balance, your discernment of what resonates is how you’ll begin to consciously move from a balanced center. You may already do so, but are you aware that you’re doing it? Are you aware of how you’re doing it?

All of this wrapped up as an action is what I like to call Fitness. Fitness often times gets narrowly categorized in the physical realm. But what happens to you physically is a manifestation of what’s going on in your emotional, mental, and spiritual realms. Physical is a great place to start and expand from, but it’s only one piece of the pie.

Fitness is well-being. Being well is being centered and balanced, and clear about why you’re operating in this way. In other words, Conscious. Aware of the actions in your life. The things that you do, feel, think, and believe in All matter. The things that happen inside of you when no one is listening, when no one is watching. Who is still there? How do you treat them? Answer this question for your self. Try to release the outside influences. Answer it from within.

I’ve spent A LOT of my life in Extremes. Fluctuating from go, go, go, to quit, quit, quit. I’ve spent years in the go zone, and years in the quit zone. Neither side gave me an answer. But they did help me learn that my well-being was somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the space between, acknowledging each brush and sweep towards both sides of extremes.

Maybe you have to know the extremes, your extremes, before you know how to balance it all out. Or, maybe you don’t, and that’s why I am writing, sharing my experiences, in hopes that someone will learn how to navigate their life before having to go to the extreme.

I am Fostering FITNESS Now.

Physical Fitness

Emotional Fitness

Mental Fitness

Spiritual Fitness

Actions. Feelings. Thoughts. Beliefs.

You have the power to change. You have the power to create.

Invest Yourself in Love and Joy. Nurture that investment. This is FITNESS Now.

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