This blogpost is brought to you in association with
Steve O’Reilly www.stephenoreilly.com
I’ll start this post off by happily admitting that I’m aware that I’m a lucky guy.
I’m lucky in many ways.
If you were born in the western world, like me, and you have the following things, one could indeed argue that perhaps you are lucky too. Let’s have a look if you have:
Certainly this checklist is not exhaustive. The point is if you checked the majority of these things, why is it then that even though we ‘should’ feel lucky, so many of us in the west often feel depressed, frustrated, and generally unhappy in our current lives?
One key component, as many of us know by now is that what we eat and how much exercise we do plays a key role in our mental and physical well-being.
I would also add here that despite not always being the most active person, I do, however feel strange if I do not do any exercise for 2 or 3 days at a time.
As a kid I was always running around and playing football at any opportunity I got. After three breakages in team sports I became interested in minimising the odds of any more damage and I remember focussing on running and going to the gym regularly in my early twenties.
This gave me control of my time and now it was only myself to blame if I got injured.
My Mum always reminded me that, “When you were younger, as soon as you could walk you ran. That was it, you were off”.
I’ve been doing this now, on and off, for over 20 years.
Driven by the mental and physical challenges of sport
The biggest challenge I set myself to date was back in 2011, when I joined my best buddy and some friends to cycle from London to Paris in 4 days, in order to raise awareness and money for Prostate Cancer, in honour of a family member who was affected. The distance was around 550 km. It was an incredible experience. It was brutal and punishing. I was fit but not living a healthy lifestyle at the time. Nonetheless, the training for this journey and the motivation of a big event has always been fascinating to me.
After this event I continued to cycle an average of around 100 miles a week for a couple of years, until I decided to leave Madrid, at some time in the summer of 2016.
I love the physical and mental challenge of sport and fitness, and for that I will always feel lucky, as all aspects of my health benefit. There are many people, however, who do not share this passion or excitement for physical and mental challenges. Their health suffers as a result and the body and mind and muscles shuts down as a result of lack of consistent movement.
I never want this to happen to me. I always want to find a balance of sport and relaxation and feeling that I can find a level of control.
Finding the balance in life is key
Steve O’Reilly, at www.stephenoreilly.com adds,
It’s all about achieving a balance in life. The body does not react well to extremes of any kind. In my training and consulting, one of the ideas I adhere to is the Japanese word called ‘kaizen’ which reflects the body’s need to constantly move forward. So, essentially, balance and progress are keys to progression. The body is either growing or dying, it’s never fixed. Being mindful of this simple truth is also fundamental to achieving your health goals, both mentally and physically.
This blog will continue and you can follow more of this journey with Steve and Tom here on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestephenoreilly/