One night watching, something else caught my attention. I found myself recognizing how cool it was that each person doing their particular event could be a champion. As amazing and inspiring as Michael Phelps is for his all-around performance (who hasn't had their jaw dropped by what that guy does), stepping out of the pool and watching women and men sling a shot-put, swing a hammer throw, hurl a javelin, jump long distances, cycle up mountains, or flip on a 4-inch wide beam made me see something different: each of us has our own unique talents and abilities.
But you already knew that. Hopefully you've been told that for years and know it to be true. Hopefully you know what you're talents are and some of your weaknesses. But I also want to shift this to conversation to how you keep yourself healthy. There are going to be different ways for each of us in making sure our bodies and minds stay as agile, flexible, strong, and durable as those athletes in Rio.
The unconscious lesson I want you to consciously recognize is that, just like in everything else, there is a method for YOU to find health and wellness that is specific to YOU. Sure general rules apply (each veggies, exercise, etc.). But your life and your body might need something slightly different than mine or your spouses to keep it feeling at its best. The hardest part is finding out what those differences are.
That's where the "unconscious" part comes in. In order to start noticing how to make these changes, you have to gain some level of awareness. Pay attention not just to the food you eat but how it makes you feel in the 30 minutes to 2 hours afterwards. Recognize if your exercise routine is causing more boredom than weight loss. Notice if your days are spent stressed out agonizing over all the potential bad things that may happen instead of an optimistic outlook. Each of these plays a role in your overall well-being.
I first learned this lesson in school during a physiology lab where we were testing the kidneys. I had been trying to keep up with my roommate who consumed huge amounts of protein that fit his heavy workout style and physique. Even though I worked out regularly, often with my roommate, I discovered trying to eat that much protein was damaging my kidneys. For him it was okay. For me it was dangerous. I had to learn what worked for me. And in doing so I discovered how good I could feel.
I was lucky to have a test show up that let me know something else was brewing under the surface. I was unaware of the damage I was doing to my kidneys until that test. But it served as a lesson in how each of us is truly unique. Just like the variety of talents and skills displayed at the Olympics, we each have our own methods of health that serve us best. The first step in capturing that awesome potential is becoming conscious of what works best for you.