I have come to the conclusion that my body does best when I push it a bit. And also my mind.
It seems to me that really when we stop pushing ourselves, that's the moment when things start to go downhill. Now granted that can mean different things for different people at different points in our lives. But really, if we're not willing to push ourselves some then aren't we just waiting to die? That may sound harsh, but I can't really justify softening the sentiment when I feel so strongly about what happens when we just settle in and get too comfortable.
I've seen this idea in action many times. We all know people who have pretty much given up, even at a young age. They sit in front of a computer or TV and slowly watch their lives slip away. Or they sell their lives out to long hours at work that don't ever really produce all that much. Their health goes downhill fast. They lose their zest for life.
Meanwhile there are those who seem to make every last drop of life count to its fullest. I once worked for a 93 year old woman who had always told herself that her home would be ready for visitors at any given moment and she made sure that it always was. Not only was her home a wonderful and inviting place, but she was a fantastic conversationalist who had clearly kept her mind at the ready for those she would entertain as well.
I almost always feel good when I have pushed myself some. Sometimes the process is scary and feels a little edgy. In the end, the satisfaction with learning that maybe there is one more limit that I can break for myself is immense.
While there is no good reason to do things that we absolutely do not enjoy, surely we all can find something that will stretch us just enough to keep the mind and body elastic and living well.
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