On the right: heart attack and died at age 43.
But then we have what’s on the left: I took my mom out for lunch last week about twenty miles south of Myrtle Beach; and afterward we walked out onto the pier, popped up a table umbrella, and painted those paintings together along the inlet. We painted, side by side, in the rain. It was beautiful. THAT was health and fitness. That trip - with my family, time together, enjoying the ocean, catching sea creatures, parasailing, helicopter tours, and making memories - was palpable, undeniable health and fitness.
Listen. I get it. I live the fitness industry. But shredded abs and insta is NOT health and fitness. Admirable? Sometimes.
My grandma, despite all her faults, figured out stress management to a degree that she was still kicking everyone’s ass at Scrabble until around age 90. No abs. My dad, despite his faults and a lot of untoward food choices, figured out peace in his heart to a degree that he lived a long and fulfilled life. No Insta.
We may want to think that quarterly the handful of ER visits and untimely demises of young fitness personalities and bodybuilders is an outlier set of events. But it isn’t. It’s a flag. Those are just the ones who paid the ultimate price, so we couldn’t equivocate anymore. Hell, I like Franco. But even he bit the dust at 78, which for a Sardinian who was paying EXTRA attention to health is ridiculously young. Like. RIDICulously. The fat slobs who try to die young in Sardinia AVERAGE 83 years for life expectancy.
And nobody is about to hop on here and even pretend like the mental health epidemic is better INSIDE the industry than outside of it. Lift some weights. Move. Eat like a grownup. But, man: LIVE LIFE! When I had Lyme disease, I literally couldn’t lie down without pain. Forget about stand or walk or exercise. It brought me back to writing music again. I picked up the 8 string guitar. That brought me back to life. THAT was health and fitness. Being with my kids all day three days per week and seeing them all seven every week, THAT is health. Being a unidimensional cartoon is not health even if it’s hidden inside pretend “fitness.”