Making Spirits Bright & Muscles Sharp

Dear December,
While we appreciate your schizophrenic personality disorder, the question needs to be asked: What’s up? A lot of people were looking forward to a long winter’s nap, but here you come, knocking on doors, asking who among us wanna come out & play. How can we say no to that? We can’t, we won’t. We do, however, appreciate whatever the heck it is you think you’re doing. It may not last long, but anytime spent outside is long enough, and we thank you for recognizing that.

That little love letter, filled with warmth & appreciation, may only represent a small percentage of the country, but it does represent some of us, and never do we pass an opportunity to show thanks or go outside. It’s where the action is, even if by “action” we mean a slow walk in the park.

December is the time many of us file away our workouts and focus more on racking up massive amounts of debt so that we can prove to our kids for another year that there is a Santa, he does in fact work in the petroleum & credit manipulation industries, and most importantly, that we love each other. But, love is never enough. Love without gifts is meaningless, and gifts without debt is heart wrenching. Add to that fewer hours of usable sunlight, our sloth-like attitudes towards anything gym or physical related, and it’s no wonder depression plummets us through the dregs of the earth.

This may not be the season for running trophies and resetting personal best records, but this is the season when exercise does us the most good. Some of the overly ambitious already have their abs set on the shirtless attire of Spring & Summer, and there’s nothing wrong with getting an early jump on the body you suspect you’ll likely want. For others, the pool & beach months are too far away, and any attention given to them spreads our weakening sanity even thinner. That’s fine, too, but let’s not all go gentle into that good night. Not yet, not ever, not until all other options have been exhausted.

Happiness hangs out in a lot of places, not just at the end of Marathons and two hour workouts in the iron pile. A brisk workout each day is all we need to fend of the Winter blahs and to keep us sane while the holiday shopping season makes every effort to spiral us out of control. Call it Daily Grounding. Monks Meditate, the religious pray, and the fittest among us never miss an opportunity to keep a little edge on our blades. Do a handful of burpees during the commercial breaks, keep a dumbbell by the couch for a quick set of tricep extensions, learn to squat fully, deeply, comfortably, sit there for a while, and repeat.

We don’t need to maintain a rigorous schedule of prolonged gym time, we just need to stay active, stay moving, and keep chasing strength. Sweat in the face of the status quo. Love isn’t something you buy, love is something you create. Don’t let the season define you, define the season, define yourself, define your happiness, define love to mean what you think it oughta mean. I wonder sometimes about Santa, but I’m absolutely sure about the Spirit of Christmas, and what we do defines whether it is a good spirit or a bad spirit.


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