Being Healthy is more than Diet and Exercise

by Catherine Serra

Experts say we need to eat right and exercise to be healthy.

I believe that is only part of the equation.

The presence of health encompasses a balanced mind, body and spirit, hence well-being. We all want to be loved and accepted for our authentic selves, have a peace of mind, move about in our environment freely and safely, and continue to evolve at our own pace.

My journey of connection started one summer when I was riding my bicycle in the park and saw my nutritionist friend that I had not seen in years. She said she biked at the park regularly and invited me to join her. We began cycling together, and as a result I joined two bike clubs and connected with others who shared the same passion of cycling. Additionally, I began to incorporate sports nutrition into my new lifestyle. I rewarded myself by purchasing a new road bike.

Once the season ended in the fall, I was lost. Since I lived in Michigan, I had to wait seven months before I could resume cycling outdoors again. A few people from the bike clubs reached out to me and asked me to participate in some winter hikes, so I decided to join them just to remain connected.

Although I enjoyed hiking, the energy I enjoyed releasing during cycling was not being met. On one of the hikes, I connected with an injured runner who insisted that once he was able to resume running we would run together. I laughed!

Needless to say I started running and joined a running club. My favorite part of running is being outdoors in nature 12 months a year despite the cold temperatures. Over the next couple years being with the running and biking groups, I met people who did triathlons. I had never heard the word “triathlon” before. A few of the triathletes joined a century ride I was on and encouraged me to come and swim with them.

Again, I laughed! Déjà vu was happening again!

Next thing I knew I was swimming in both an Olympic-size pool and an outdoor lake preparing for a triathlon. My journey was a success and I have since completed three marathons and three half-Ironman competitions.

Being connected with the people I have trained with over the years has brought me more diversity than I would have experienced otherwise. Sharing my passion for playing outdoors, fueling my body with nutritious foods, and having a sense of belonging continues to change and enrich my life.

Connecting with others and developing a sense of belonging is derived from sharing your passion with others. Although they may be extremely different from who you are, you choose to share the passionate connection that makes your heart sing. Whether it is running, knitting, golfing, hiking, singing, playing chess, biking, etc., developing these connections brings us support, playfulness, a safe place to call our own, and a desire to create more joy.

Once we have made the decision in our mind to live a life of health and well-being, our body will follow through with the commitment. The benefits outweigh the challenges; that is my point of balance. Ever since, I have chosen to live my life by example as a gift I pay forward, so others can be inspired and motivated to choose a healthy and connected lifestyle. Join me!

May 8, 2019

Posted in: Connect