We take care of what we love

At our weekly Rotary meeting this week (Rotary is an international service club that I belong to, we raise money to do charity work around the world and right here in Sylvan Lake) we had a young teacher speak on her experiences teaching in China and India.

She shared a very profound story, that really hit home. While serving in India, she was working with children and their teachers there.

One of the things they focus on most, is teaching children to love and respect the planet, because we take care of what we love.

Wow! Think about that: we take care of what we love.

Boy does that statement hit me hard! I love my son more than I ever thought I could love someone, and you better believe I take care of him! I would do anything for him! I take care of my wife too. I make sure I work hard so that my family has a place to live, that bills are paid and food is there to eat. I always do my best to make sure they get the best care available, and if someone ever threatened to harm them? Watch out for papa bear!

How many people do you know with really wonderful, well taken care of houses? Perfect lawn, clean windows, flowers, fence, all perfect! What about cars? Woah! Cars, boy, that’s a big one. Polished, cared for, best parts, best service, entered in car shows, shelves with awards, etc. Electronics – things like stereos and computers and expensive cameras. Kids aren’t allowed to play with them, we dust them, have power filters and warranties. We take care of those expensive items, don’t we?

Let me tell you though, if I were to poll the last 500 clients I have worked with, I bet I couldn’t find a single one that would say the LOVE their body. Not one.

“It’s too fat, it’s too thin, it’s too short, I hate my knees, I hate my….whatever!” You know what? I too am guilty of it.

I get mad at my tummy, that seems to grow an inch when I take a little time off, but then takes six months to reduce back that one inch. It’s frustrating, but it isn’t my body’s fault is it? It’s the choices I make, listening to that part of my mind that loves sweets and junk food too much instead of the part that knows that moderation is key.

For years I have taught people to love their sore joints and respect them. Get them help (physio, chiro, massage etc.) because let’s be clear – no matter what the advances of science, the original design is still best. While racing, many times I have thanked my body and talked to myself and made promises when I was in agony: “I promise when this race is done, I will get you taken care of, just get me to the finish line!”

I have stumbled around finish areas of races saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’ to my tired, weary body. True story.

We take care of what we love.

What if I loved my body as much as my family? What if we all did? I mean really, why don’t we? We only get one body….for life. Why do people smoke? Drink too much? Injure themselves? Eat chemical garbage pretending to be food? Why? It’s madness!

The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral this past few weeks, and I donated and made a video like most of my friends. I have watched a friend die from that horrible disease, and it isn’t pretty. He would have loved to get his beloved body back, so perhaps we could all love our bodies now….while we have them.

I accept that as my new challenge.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.