The Essence of Sports
ALLEZ - Jose Vicente Araneta (The Freeman) - October 21, 2019 - 12:00am

From wikipedia.com: “James Fuller “Jim” Fixx (April 23, 1932 – July 20, 1984) was an American who wrote the 1977 best-selling book, “The Complete Book of Running”. He is credited with helping start America’s fitness revolution, popularizing the sport of running and demonstrating the health benefits of regular jogging . He died of a heart attack while jogging at 52 years of age. His genetic predisposition for heart problems and other previous lifestyle factors may have caused his heart attack.”

Every now and then, we hear of somebody’s passing. A somebody who was an athlete, a somebody who religiously worked out and exercised, a somebody who keep watch on what they put on the table. In other words, a somebody who lives and eats a like Spartan, the last person who would drop dead ahead of anyone else.

And what do people say, the same people who have a hard time instilling personal discipline? Look at that guy, eating noting but leaves, weighs his food, keeps records of his calories, goes to the gym everyday, maybe even a vegan, and yet, he kicked bucket sooner than expected. It’s better to eat and drink and not exercise because in the end, we’ll all end the same way.

Stop.

There are no guarantees in life except for death and taxes as what Benjamin Franklin said. Just because you exercise regularly doesn’t mean you’ll outlive your peers. A lot of octogenarians, whose only time to run was when a stray dog gave chase, are still around today than their physically active peers who are now six-feet under.

Remember Hank Gathers, a famous US college basketball star who collapsed during a game from exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia? How about Boston Celtic Reggie Lewis, who died from cardiac arrest at age 27? Belgian pro cyclist Michael Goolaerts suffered cardiac arrest while racing Paris-Roubaix last year at age 24. Why do we need to exercise?

The author Simon Sinek said that it is biologic. Unlike prehistoric people, modern man hunt for food in the grocery. And for that reason, we develop the body that we have today. That’s why, Sinek says, we need too fill up the missing physical activity that our forefathers had- like hunting for food, chasing game, or running away from the enemy.

But if your physical activity is based on the belief that you can be a Highlander, you’re dead wrong. You’d hate it. Remember that you can’t keep the motivation 100% everyday. You have to turn it on and off the switch otherwise you’d be a mental wreck.

And that’s the reason why sports is better than exercise. You can easily turn on/off your motivation when there is an event you penciled on your calendar. Exercise, well, its something you do everyday. Sports is fun, exercise is boring.

Good health and a great body are just two of the many byproducts of sports. Your confidence and character also benefit from sports. But just remember that sports and exercise are not a guarantee of a long life, but I’ll guarantee you that it’ll be a life of fun and adventure. You can ask Jim Fixx about the former.

JAMES FULLER FIXX
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