Today here in the USA we celebrate out independence, the day that our country became a country on it’s own.  There are so many things to be thankful for that come with that freedom; so many people to be thankful to for it as well.  I am grateful to my family and friends that have served in the military and to their families who share them with us.  I was never in a military family, not directly, but have two uncles that I am very proud of for serving and their families that I know were impacted by their time away.  It’s a big sacrifice that not everyone is willing or able to make.  Thank you Wil and Tim, thank you Linda and Lori and thank you cousins.

That being said I want to bring up another way that we have freedom that I think many people take for granted.  That ability to walk, to reach, to bend and move, and to use these hands to type.  I am very blessed in this way; I can pretty much tell my body what I want it to do and with practice it will do it.  I have that ability to run 7 miles without stopping using my own two feet and it’s pretty awesome. 

Every day at work I meet with individuals who took this fact for granted, until they lost it.  Rarely do we consider the impact of choices on our ability to remain free in the future.  I know I didn’t and I suspect I am not the only one.  What we put into our bodies and whether we move our bodies greatly impacts our freedom in the future.  Smoking, some things that we eat, some things that we drink, and whether we get up and move regularly will all tell you what future you might have in store.  It should be no big surprise that diet and exercise directly affect chronic disease.

The reason I choose to exercise often is both because I enjoy it and because I see people in wheelchairs and bed bound daily and I don’t want that to be me.  I know that the choices I make are no guarantee and life may throw me a wrench or two, but they are one of the few things I can make choices about that will make an impact.  I hope that you consider this and I hope you start making change and choices that will help.  Think of it like algebra and geometry, if you don’t use it, you will lose it.

If you stop walking, running, jumping, reaching, and stretching your body will stop allowing you to do it at will.  I for one don’t want to stop being able to do that.  I want to maintain my personal freedom from machines, walkers, wheelchairs, and not be stuck in bed.  I want to be able to climb a mountain (going on Saturday hopefully) and run a half marathon (November..eek!).  Heck I am pretty sure next year I will do a whole marathon.

Washington DC is one of my favorite cities

So celebrate your freedom today by getting up and moving.  Celebrate it by not stuffing yourself until you can’t move.  Celebrate it by deciding this is the day you declare your independence by taking steps, big or small, to change your life.


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