My friend Allison is a fierce salsa and flamenco dancer. A nice Jewish girl from Long Island, she dances with the reverie of a woman born to it. Her passion has had the serendipitous result of introducing her to a community of likeminded women that resonate with her spirit, layering camaraderie onto her vibrant fitness routine.
Another friend Jon became a marathon runner, turning his hobby into a passion that requires endurance, consistency, and a whole lot of mileage. Through sponsorships, he’s also raised thousands of dollars for charities, appealing to his philanthropic spirit. Jon’s commitment keeps him fit, motivated and involved, allowing him to contribute to the world in ways he values.
Despite its benefits, exercise gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s essential to your health, having proven to enhance mood, lower stress, protect your heart, strengthen your bones and keep you slim. Yet, I’ve had clients who’d prefer to whittle their diet down to mixed greens and poached chicken rather than break a sweat. There’s no way around it though. Exercise is vital. And the best way to find what works for you is to mine your memories while exploring your curiosity.
Did you find solace on long bike rides as a kid? Then map out a trail near your home where you can ride your bike through the woods on a beautiful day. Maybe you’re drawn to the quiet introspection of Yoga..? Take a class and pay attention to the mental chatter that springs up as your arms buckle under the weight of your 20th downward dog. There’s a message there you may need to know. Or perhaps you dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro but haven’t hiked a day in your life. Join a Meet-Up group and start training! You’ll pursue fitness while making new friends.
Personally, I embraced hiking as a serious hobby when I trained for the Tour Du Mont Blanc. That experience turned me into a trekker, taking me to Annapurna Base Camp and the Spanish Pyrenees. In aligning my passions for fitness and travel, I’m insuring that it’ll always be a part of my life. It’s also introduced me to wonderful people, most notably Fozzy. We met the final night of the TMB in a pub in Chamonix and have been together since.
Wandering outside your comfort zone may be necessary in order to find what most appeals to your spirit. The serendipitous benefits of pursuing a passion may not be immediately clear, but in time they reveal themselves. Allison simply wanted to dance, Jon wanted to run and I wanted to hike and in the end, we all found something of enduring value. It is this that keeps us going back for more.
What kind of workout do you do? Has it offered unexpected benefits that enhance the quality of your life? I’d be curious to hear how kismet shows up when you’re inspired to dive into your interests… Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a magical week!
Chia Bircher Muesli Recipe
The first time I had Bircher Muesli was in a chalet in Champex, Switzerland towards the tail end of the TMB. The combination of soaked oats, nuts and fruit was the perfect fuel for the strenuous 10-hour climb towards France.
Life in New York requires another kind of endurance. I turn to this chia version of Bircher Muesli in order to have the physical and mental stamina to get through a hectic day. It sustains me well into the afternoon. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond, cashew or coconut milk
- Splash vanilla extract
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp Goji berries
- 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp coconut flakes
Place ingredients in a mason jar, seal and shake well. Store in fridge over night. The next day add:
- 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
- 1 teaspoon Goji berries
- 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts
- ½ chopped apple
Mix well and enjoy!