When it comes to the relationships in our lives that support our health and happiness, there are so many kinds. There are friends who make us laugh and who can tell us scary truths, who travel with us and sweat with us and work with us. There are boyfriends and husbands and dates and great loves. There are little ones who look up to us and those who, even as we become older/wiser/more successful, we look up to. And that's not one to be overlooked. We should all always have a bank of people who inspire us, whom we aspire to be like, and who show us the way.
My mother is definitely one of those people for me. She's paved the way for me to live a life I love. I thought it would be fun to ask her some questions about her own journey of health and happiness and to share her wisdom with all of you!
Me: I've told the story before about how far back my memory of the smell of sweat goes, and that's because fitness has always been a priority for you. How has that evolved over the years and what are the greatest benefits you receive from fitness?
Mom: Fitness has been a priority to me most of my adult life. It has evolved over the decades by what I have learned from many different sources. It has become more about fit and healthy rather than fit and thin. The greatest benefits I have received from making fitness a priority for so long have been, in my opinion, a healthier me, a happier me, the friends I have made from the fitness classes I have taken, walked or ran with and an even closer relationship with my Lord and Savior. (Talking about prayer walking here) Not to mention passing on the importance of health and fitness to a new generation.
Me: Even for being a health conscious family, we ate our fair share of fast food, fried food, and bagel bites. What's changed? Information available publicly or just individual awareness?
Mom: You are correct that we ate our fair share of not so good food......What has changed is EDUCATION! This education has come from both being more individually aware and therefore seeking information that is more publicly available.
Me: You were a twenty-something in the eighties. What were common goals of young adults then? How do you think that's different now?
Mom: I can't speak for all young adults in the 80's but that is the decade I got married, had children, started a business, bought homes and started "raising a family". So, my goals were BIG! Be the best wife and mother I knew how to be, be a good daughter, sister, friend and make a difference in the lives around me. I believe we were a more materialistic young adult generation. Remember Yuppies? If you WANTED it, than get it. I think young adults today are more focused on NEED. Asking "What is BEST for me?"
Me: If someone had asked you at twenty five what you would want your life to be in your fifties, what would you have said? How does the reality differ?
Mom: Wow! Tough question! If someone asked me at 25 what I wanted my life in my 50's to look like I probably would have said to have raised our children to know the Lord and be what he wants them to be. For Ron and I to be retired (ha ha) and enjoying traveling. How this differs is the way the world has changed we sure are not retired (though I love my job!) and therefore don't get to travel like I had hoped. But, we have a good life living in a beautiful area and enjoying it!
Me: What's the best thing you've done in your life? What one goal do you still have to achieve?
Mom: The best thing I have done in my life is accepting Christ as my Savior! That touches every aspect of my life including my fitness. The one goal I still have to achieve (do I really have to pick just one?) is possibly do a half marathon. I tried training last year and was not able to do it. I am trying to figure out how to do it with the challenges I had. I sure did learn a lot from that disappointment though!
Me: What do you think are the keys to health and happiness?
Mom: I think the keys to health and happiness are taking care of yourself by eating nutritious foods, exercising, surrounding yourself with people who are good for you (and you for them), doing things you enjoy and doing it all for the glory of God.
Me: Thinking back to your thirties (I can't believe you had two kids in school before you were 30!) what advice would you give thirty-something's today?
Mom: My advice for thirty-something's would be to think and pray before you act, react or make a choice. This is a time in your life when big life directing choices are made and you want to look back and know you made the right one.
Me: You and dad have been married for almost 34 years! (Thank you!!!) What advice would you give younger married couples, or aspiring married couples?
Mom: I give God the glory for our almost 34 year marriage. He is the center of it and that is the advise I would give young married couples or those aspiring to be married. That God has to be in your marriage or it is just two selfish normal people doing life together and that makes for some really tough days and years. Putting God first helps you to put your spouse before yourself and that helps build the friendship you need to have. Do fun stuff together too! Be cautious not to build separate lives. Enjoy the precious life you get to share!!
So, that's what my mama has to say about life, love, faith, food, and fitness. I still want to grow up to be like her!