Very often I hear people telling me that my lifestyle and their lifestyles will equally result in death, and they are right. What they don’t know is how good it feels when you have a high quality of life.
Ever since I was young I’ve had a lifestyle dedicated to sports and health. I didn’t know much but I tried to inform myself as much as I could.
When I was in University I was the guy always carrying an extra bag full of gym clothes and Tupperware boxes with vegetables and meat. Most of my fellow law students were too busy looking cool on their business suits, smoking and drinking heavily to “be” cool.
I was the guy in the gym at 6 AM and the same guy at a different gym at 9 pm. I held a full time job as well. Not too cool.
People told me the same ever since, that I thought too much, that my efforts weren’t worth, and that I was going to die just like them.
Fast forward 20 years and we are all middle age.
One of me best friends then, a guy who drank and smoked heavily was about to die a couple of years ago. I don’t have a relationship with him anymore, but through Facebook I have read every time he thanked God for the life he had granted after whatever terrible sickness almost got him to the grave. That probably isn’t about having a good quality of life.
That former friend isn’t the only one. A few more I know from University, celebrate these awkward-cheesy “birthdays” that count the years they have lived since the day they almost died – they were not even 45!
I am not rejoicing in people’s suffering, but I am proving a point: we will all die, the difference is how we live, yes, quality of life.
Thinking about the future
These men and women I am talking about, don’t have and won’t have a normal life. If they want to extend their lives past 50, they will have to start living in a way that is more conducive to good health. Given than most doctors give terrible nutritional advice, their chances are not very high.
And that is the difference, a good lifestyle assures you the quality of life to live with plenitude. People who focus on increasing their quality of life can still die on a car crash, a motorbike accident or choking on a piece of steak, but they get to enjoy the beauty of life unadulterated by sickness, pain, lack of mobility, disease, and constant fear.
Those who prime instant gratification over long lasting quality of life will never know the feeling of running like a child without feeling out of breath, run upstairs just because you can, learn to surf at 44, hike in Nepal at 5,500 meters altitude, or play with their kids without the constant fear of a heart attack or a knee injury.
They will never know of the joy of indulging on food and wine occasionally without having a gout attack the day after.
What probably is most important, if they ever get sick and are about to die: they will not have the peace of mind of knowing they did everything in their power to keep themselves healthy and alive. They will leave behind kids and spouses too soon, just because they were simply too lazy and cynical to take responsibility over their health and their bodies.
How to increase your quality of life then?
Health can sustain life, it can sustain effort, and even some abuse. Life is resilient and doesn’t ask much in return other that love and appreciation. If you love and appreciate your life, you will take care of your body, you will feed it what is best for it, you will let it rest when is necessary, you will use it extensively for what it was designed to do: move.
Why do we love things more than life? You can leave your comment on the comments section, if you have found a reason for that, I still haven’t found one myself.
When you choose a lifestyle of sports and improve your relationship with food, of mental balance and harmony, you are saying yes to a fulfilling, joyful life.
You aren’t taking anything for granted.
Last thought about quality of life
So remember these words next time you go cynical telling people they will die too – you are only stating the obvious -, what truly matters, and the point you are missing is living this life to the fullest, without impediments, without excuses, without blockages, without limitations, without pain, fear and disease.
Invest your time and every effort on building a body that is mobile, strong, flexible, coordinated, balanced, and explosive, that is the only treasure, nothing, not even time, can take away from you.
Learn new stuff, go and make new friends, visit places you have never been to, develop new skills, move, play, that way you are telling life you are not through with it just yet. When I look around, I see people that live in a state that I can only describe as “waiting to die”.
Material things come and go, but what you are at the core, belongs only to you. Sports, food and a deep drive to learn and enjoy, make a good part of who you are.
Yes, you still can get sick, but your chances of fighting and surviving a disease are way better if you start the fight in an optimal health state. Plus you will be a fighter, if you have committed yourself to sports, a good diet, and a life of learning new skills, you know how to sacrifice the momentary pleasure for the long term success.
You know about discomfort, you know that those things that are most valuable, require an investment. Your chances of defeating a disease are high, and if you succumb to it, you go to heaven or hell on a blaze of glory and bravery. You set an example to those around you. You die, the same way you lived, like a true champ!
So don’t wait for long, make a change, change that thing in between birth and death called life, it is worth, it is in fact, the only thing you truly have, and for a very limited time only. Live to live, don’t live to die.