21 February 2010

The Circle of Life...

You know that phrase - you've heard it before: "The Circle of Life". Sure it has to do with life cycles and the interdependence of all creatures of the world. But, for me, its much more than that. Its every day life. Its cause-and-effect. Its balance.

Its becoming aware of your surroundings, your body, your impact. And, sometimes, that realization has an unusual impetus.

Strangely enough, mine was a race. Yup, it started innocently enough. I knew I needed to shape up. I knew I needed to lose some weight. So, a 5K race seemed like a good idea. And pair that with Disney World, and well, that was all the encouragement I needed!

But, for some strange reason, it didn't stop there. The closer I get to my physical goal, the more I see the impact that small changes can make. Sure, a diet change and an exercise routine makes a difference in my health. BUT, its also a chain reaction.

Those diet changes (ok, sometimes enforced on the family since I'm the cook!) have a side effect on my family. And, when the kids see me out there making an effort to exercise, maybe they're spurred on to try a new sport or to realize that soccer conditioning really isn't that bad. Maybe it means that my son will choose a healthier lunch at school - small changes like giving up a hot dog and having a yogurt once a week is great.

Change starts small and grows big. And those changes snowball - we don't live in a vacuum. It is the Circle of Life - a web.

So, with that in mind, my 5K goal has grown. Now its not just me. Its my husband. Its my daughter. Its my son. We're going to be active (MORE active). We're going to do it as a family. We're going to encourage each other. We're going to suffer with each other (hey, who says running is fun? Really? I'm not there yet. Maybe someday!).

And you know what? It'll be good for all of us. And I think Walt would agree. Even more than 45 years ago, he knew that.

(Dallas Morning News 10/14/1962)

And I think Walt would be proud of us. Exercise, activity, and family are just a few of the things that those changes are encouraging in our daily lives.

Who knows- maybe it won't stop there. Maybe the changes we make in our health will encourage us to make better choices for the environment. Maybe the changes will encourage us to make better choices for our community... Who knows where the Circle of Life will stop - or if it will.

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