Five Years Plus

{April 11, 2010}   Extra Ordinary

The early spring we are experiencing in Upstate New York is spectacular and I am enjoying the warm sunny days even as I consider the underlying worry about climate change. This was the week when the lilac bush’s leaves grew in front of my eyes and the daffodils reached their peak. I especially like this magnificent bouquet that is out standing in our field.

This weekend we attended an open barn event and lambing – a regular rite of spring at Meadowood Farm – one of our wonderful local pasture-raised meat and dairy producers. We had the good fortune of watching a mother give birth. In this picture, moments after the birth, she is licking her newborn clean and dry.

One weekday afternoon I had the pleasure of talking with an arborist, seeing the world through his eyes as we discussed the health of our trees. He was a walking encyclopedia skilled at adjusting his comments to my level of understanding. Proper nutrition, sunlight, pruning and plenty of clean air and water are all important for a tree’s well-being. When trees have a disease, we need to decide whether to intervene with major surgery and harsh chemicals or not. One way that trees differ from people is that people need plenty of regular exercise.

My personal health emphasis this week was to begin a regular work-out schedule. Although I maintain general fitness through playing tennis, walking, yoga and sporadic workouts, I need greater strength and cardio capacity to successfully compete in tennis – especially singles. I enjoy working out and the feeling of well-being it brings but lost the rhythm of a regular work-out over a year ago. I decided to get going again with the help of a local trainer and initiated my plan to commit to work out three times each week – once with the trainer, once on my own and once in a boot camp class.

Regular exercise affects many aspects of daily life including appetite, energy, sleep and immune function. When beginning a new exercise regimen it is important to look for and respect changes that occur in these factors. I am pleased to report I am sleeping well. Strangely, when I’m sleeping well I often experience periods of tiredness during the day. I find that it is important to listen to my body and rest even when I feel pressured to get things done. Invariably my energy returns and I’m able to accomplish what seemed impossible when I was tired.

This has been an altogether ordinary week. What stands out is how the collection of moments and happenings that fill my days create a satisfying harmony. There’s a saying that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. These days I often remember to be grateful to be alive and healthy. In this moment, I feel contented and extraordinarily fortunate. What could be more perfect than a perfectly ordinary week?


jim says:

I love the concept of ordinary…as ordinary as a field of wildflowers on a summer day…as ordinary as water. yes.

how about an entire blog or more devoted just to the importance of exercise (of all kinds) to our health and well-being?

gyatazen says:

Thanks for your comment. As always, great to hear from you on the blog. For you and all my readers, if you click on the “exercise affects” link within the blog it will take you to a well-written piece on the mental/physical benefits of exercise.

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