A reader wrote in response to my column last Monday (where I shared my daily exercise routine)…
“Now that you’ve described your routine, could you do one for the 99 percent of your readers who don’t have your luxuries or live in opulence?”
I found this reader’s comments a little confusing. You’d think I was paying hundreds of dollars for a gym membership, rode an expensive Tour de France speed bike or was paying Jack LaLanne to be my personal trainer.
Instead, all I do is some strength training (without even a dumbbell) and stretches (nothing joint-defying) in the morning… Speed walk with my husband… And swim in the ocean or pool.
Not exactly what I’d call “opulence.” Or at least not in the traditional sense. It’s certainly not a routine limited to 1% of the population.
If you want a club atmosphere, the YMCA has special sponsorship plans for those who can’t afford membership – giving them full access to their complete facilities.
But you don’t even need any of that, really.
Last time I checked public sidewalks – and public parks and conservation areas – were fairly common and free to use.
And even if it’s the dead of winter outside… you can do super squats in the comfort of your home. All you need are a pair of legs. Even one leg would do.
And even if you had no legs, you could use your arms to do body lifts.
And even if you had no arms or legs, look at Nick Vujicic (www.lifewithoutlimbs.org) who swims every day.
Now, I realize I may live in a nicer environment, here in Maui. It’s spring-like weather year round with the Pacific on my doorstep. But why do you imagine that only 1% of the population can live this way?
By calling a good climate and great scenery “luxury and opulence” you are further pushing it out of range of your possible experience. That’s only arguing for your limitations.
This isn’t extravagance… it’s nature.
After many years in New York City, I dreamed of a better climate, better air and cleaner water. I was on my way to Costa Rica but ended up in Maui. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I’m making the best of it.
Begin your own dream and stop arguing for your limitations. You can actually live a much higher quality of life in many South American countries for a quarter off the cost of living in North America or Europe. Sure, you need some money in the bank. But unless you live in a developing country this should not be impossible.
If your current job doesn’t provide for your needs and/or sucks up too much of your time, learn a new skill and find a new career (or start your own business). Put a plan together for where you want to be in ten years.
It may not be easy to go from where you are now to where you want to be… but all the sweeter when you arrive. Thirty years ago I left the wintry Eastern coast of Canada… today I live in Hawaii. It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen without sacrifice. It didn’t happen without facing the impossible (try being a female medical student with an alternative kick in the 1970s).
As for the luxury of “time”… I’ll talk more about this in a future blog post. Stay tuned. If you’re not a subscriber just enter your email in the form at the end of any of my blog posts.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.