Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
“I just want to have sex again before I die.”
I was speaking with a 50-ish friend who was trying to get into shape again. I had asked this guy why he wanted to get into shape. He didn’t give any “Sunday school” answers like, “I want to be healthier” or “I want more energy” or “I want to set an example for my children”.
He didn’t even give the answer most people avoid, “I want to look better.” He took it a step further. Why do we want to look better? Sex. I loved his honesty but he was doomed to fail.
So why do we exercise? We exercise to exercise. That’s it.
What does that mean? We receive some guidance in the second book of the Bhagavad Gita starting with verse 47.
“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of the work. You should never engage in action for the sake of the reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world…as a man established within himself — without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.”
“Those who are motivated only by the desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do.”
We have been conditioned to think that every action we perform must come with a reward. Oftentimes our exercising does come with a reward but it doesn't show up for a while. If we're focused on results and the results take their time showing up, we might just throw in the towel.
That’s all well and good but how do we get to this point of detachment? How do we get to a place where we run to run, we lift to lift, and bike to bike without any attachment to how fast or far we go?
As in most cases, there’s a simple answer but most people don’t want to hear it. Meditation.