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Afraid Working Out Will Make You…Thor?

August 5, 2011
The Summer Movie Season starts earlier and earlier, kicked off this weekend with the 1st ‘blockbuster’ of the year- “Thor, The God of Thunder”. The attraction of superhero movies for me is that the main characters tend to be fitter than average and they use their Greater Fitness for the greater good of others. Thor, by contrast, doesn’t start out that way. Instead, his power gives him too much Thunder-God swagger. Disobeying his father Odin, he imperils his best friends and renews a war that nearly destroyed both realms and their respective races a thousand years before. Thor is then stripped of his powers and banished by his father to Earth and there his real ‘working out’ begins. He didn’t hit the gym, rather his powerlessness and inability to achieve his goals of defending Earth and ruling the Nine Realms hit him harder than anything else had done before. Once he realized his need, he was able to take the steps necessary to go from power-less to power-full, becoming all he was born to be and accomplishing previously impossible tasks. You may only ‘thunder around’ the house when you’re upset and the only hammer you’ll ever wield is the one most people hit their thumb with, but going from ‘less power’ to powerful is something everyone needs whether you are from Asgard or not. In spite of those facts, there are many parallels to this story, my story, your story and this retelling of Marvel’s comic book adventure. Thor was sent to Earth to learn a little humility and self-sacrifice, I don’t know about you, but the opportunities to learn those two particular lessons come every day for me, we must make the most of those ‘opportunities’ so do not have to repeat them so often. As King of Asgard, Thor would be protector, leader and ruler of the Nine Realms and Odin knew that those roles would demand more of Thor than he currently possessed, sort of like you and the ‘realms’ that you ‘rule over’. There are folks depending on you to put them, their protection and provision first ahead of yourself and unless you happen to own an all-powerful magic hammer like Thor’s, (or even Mario’s) you may need a different approach... First, we need to realize that there is some ‘heavy lifting’ to do in everyone’s life and to consider that we may need to get stronger in preparation. The ‘heavy lifting’ I’m talking about comes in a variety of forms, ever had to ‘double down’ to earn a big promotion? Extra hours, intense preparation for projects, less rest and more work can all take a serious toll on your health, relationships and your mental states unless…you’ve paid the ‘toll’ in advance. An EZ-Pass or I-Tag lets you roll right through the Toll Plaza without even having to slow down, your personal fitness program can serve the same purpose. A recent study described in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed that “workers who engaged in moderate exercise have higher work-quality and better job performance than those who lead sedentary lifestyles.” Just what you need to get ahead in today’s competitive work environment, you may not be vying for King of Asgard, but more money, better hours and benefits are nice too. A higher level of cardio-respiratory fitness allows you to get more done using less energy, leaving more energy for the things you really like to do! Many people hesitate to start a program for fear of getting sore, yet in such cases, pain is the signal of how far you have ‘let yourself go’, making it painfully obvious that you’ve been doing too little for way too long. When we truly realize our need, we do something about it, just look at your first couple of workouts as a Checkup at the doctor, you want to find out what Works and what Hurts. Soon you’ll have made to transition from ‘puny mortal’ to Mythological figure, putting you in a position to ‘rule’ and ‘reign’ with much more ease. That’s not to say that there won’t be any challenging Battles ahead, jealous siblings, Frost giants and seemingly impossible tasks may lie ahead, but for the most part, (like those Toll Plazas) you’ll just roll on through. One of the major lessons Thor came away with was the appreciation of how to be both a King and a Son, you may instead be a Queen and a Daughter reading this, but the principle is still the same. No matter what your responsibility or how hard you work, your relations and relationships are the most important things you have and only a healthy, strong and fit individual can enjoy the maximum benefits of that (or any) life. When ‘mood elevating’ drugs are the most prescribed medicine in America, we need to be healthy enough to savor living in the best place on Earth. True, it’s no Asgard, but here you can ‘rule’ instead of being ruled over. If you need help designing your strategy to ascend to the throne, give us a call, we’d be happy to help. In the meantime, don’t be afraid of becoming ‘Thor.'

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