Posted on: February 16, 2012

(Disclaimer) The fact that I attempted to post this entry last night and was unsuccessful perfectly illustrates the message I intend to convey with the following:

“Hillsonhillsonhills”–my tweet from a few days ago referring to the extremely varied altitudes during one of my runs seemed to be perfectly applicable to varying ease of sticking to a health and fitness regimen. Speak English AnnMarie.

There are uphill climbs and downhill slides (and flatlines) to so many aspects of life and it is the force and positivity with which you attack the climbs that determine the success and positivity of the remaining portion.

As I jogged through the acres (a hilly area on Purdue’s campus where many Fraternities and Sororities are located) two days ago, this idea hit me: The uphills are tough, almost like a road trip when you have an important training run, or a roommate who brings delicious leftover sweets home from a Valentine’s date, or a packed schedule in which you’re almost sure a sweat session will not fit, or even a group of friends crowded around a table offering you cheesy bread and milk shakes. Remaining positive and forceful is deciding to stick to a marathon plan during a weekend out of town; it is making the conscious decision to late-night the gym to burn the calories you consumed in a impulsive brownie; it is squeezing in a solid workout on a day ridden with classes and exams and meetings; it’s even (like the toughest, steepest, nastiest hills for me, and a major win when I conquer them) realizing you’re not hungry and politely declining when your friends offer you an in on their junk food frenzy. These small wins make the downhill slides more enjoyable.

I descended a hill, my form relaxed and light, my feet moving much more quickly and steadily. I powered forward toward Ross-Ade stadium where the Boilermaker football team plays; I powered forward with the same vigor that one might approach new year’s resolutions, vacation body goals, or a summertime fitness regimen. The stakes are high, if you break form (diet, exercise schedule) you’re  you risk injury (being another statistic as far as throwing in the towel on your resolution come February, having your less-than-chiseled physique littered all over Facebook in beach pics, or getting insanely bored and sloth-like). It is easier to maintain momentum on the downhill slide because the challenges of tempting food, easy excuses, and busy schedules are left on the hill behind you; you just conquered them, you feel strong.

Flat road finally; I turned the corner and spotted Stadium Ave. bustling with students. The flats of a run are the norm, ridden with minor obstacles, traffic lights, crazy bikers (sorry, I’m one of them sometimes), hoards of people at bus stops, but nonetheless, a rather simple jogging plane. Day-to-day life is filled with minor obstacles for your health and fitness: no open cardio machines at the gym, your favorite dessert at the dining hall, a night out with friends the induces sleeping through your workout, illness, etc. Sometimes you avoid these obstacles, sometimes they get in the way. Sometimes those little obstacles offer an unexpected joy. No matter what, you’re probably going to continue running at a fairly steady pace once you pass up whatever’s in your path.

Health is a journey, it’s a run. If you’re on that journey remember to maintain force and form and allow yourself to enjoy some obstacles. If you haven’t started your run, lace up your shoes and get ready for the hillsonhillsonhills.

Tomorrow: a less metaphoric guide to college snacking! Get ready for the weekend!


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