Yet again we have been faced with a series of tragic events in America. The reality is that tragedy and violence occur daily in every city and town across the country, but in times when the media coverage is thick and takes up the majority of time and space on our radios, TV’s, and newsfeeds, we are forced to reflect on the implications for society and for ourselves as individuals; thinking about our values, behaviors, and choices is brought to the foreground.
We opened POINT Gym and Kitchen with the goal of spreading the philosophy that health is so much more than physical fitness and nutrition. Reflecting on the goings-on in our greater American community is a continuous thread throughout our lives, especially recently, and we are honored to have a platform to share our thoughts and experiences with such a wonderful group of people. Thanks for reading each of our thoughts; please feel free to share any reactions in the comments.
By Coach KB
It’s an understatement to say that it’s complicated. You can’t “fix” the problem until you “fix” the systems and you can’t “fix” the systems unless you “fix” the people but you can’t “fix” the people until you “fix” the systems… It’s a vicious cycle; it’s a catch-22; it’s a cluster-fuck; it’s whatever you want to call it.
And all of this assumes we actually know what the “problem” is.
In this case, the problem is that white cops are killing unarmed black people. Or is it that innocent cops are being killed in revenge? Or is it that cops are not receiving adequate de-escalation training? Or is it that the culture of racism in America is still rampant? Or is it that mental health is overlooked in the screening of people in positions of power? Or is it that generational poverty is a large indicator of crime? Or is it all of these plus so many more?
There are lots of problems bigger than we are - these are typically the issues getting a lot of air time on the media and, consequently, in our own lives. We spend a lot of time talking about them, thinking about them, and offering solutions into the ether about what “should” be done.
Examining greater world problems is important - it leads us to be critical thinkers and to be aware of what experiences shape the lives of those around us. But what if we spent even half the time we spend pondering the atrocities of the world instead pondering how our lives can make changes for good in the face of evil? Not sure where to begin? Here are a few questions to start you off:
How much time have you spent lately wondering how you could become a happier and healthier person?*
How much time have you spent lately wondering how you can make OTHER lives happier and healthier?*
What does it look like to be happy and healthy?*
What in your life is blocking you from happiness and health?*
What needs to change in order to prioritize removing those roadblocks to become happier and healthier?*
And finally, what are you going to do about it?* Because all of the thinking and talking in the world does not solve problems. I am not here to offer solutions for you; I’m not here to tell you what to do. But what I can tell you is that the quote “If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem” resonates with me.
You cannot change the country’s political structure or the criminal justice system. But you alone can change your life; you are in charge of your actions and attitudes, your happiness and health. And when you make positive changes in your life something shifts. Other people notice and are affected. I would love to hear what some of your thoughts are after reflecting on those questions. If you are reading this please leave a comment with one way you will work to be a happier and healthier person. Your words might inspire others reading this and create a positive outcome in our community.
*Please recognize the privilege we have to be able to ask these questions. But given that privilege, what can we do with it to be the best people we can be and help others be the best they can be? Additionally, I choose the words happiness and health because people who are truly happy and truly healthy (mentally, emotionally, physically…) are typically not part of the problem.
By Coach Mel
It’s easy to read the headlines and get discouraged, outraged, or sad. It’s common to feel guilty for emotions you have or don’t have or feel guilty for privilege you have or don’t have and go through the myriad emotions without registering any impact you might be able to put on the situation. And this goes without fault. Because how could we be so audacious to think we could have any impact on terrorism, or gunmen, or rapists, or racism, or whatever other terrible things are happening right now. But what if we all took whatever small actions we could to influence or change something in the life of one person and they did the same. We live on a planet of 6 billion people. I went to art school so as to avoid required math credits but I know enough to know that if even half of the population did a small thing and it exponentially caught on…well that would be cool.
For me and Kimberly it’s health. Again it sounds crazy. How could we think that a workout or a carrot could bring peace to the world? Here we go back to the point. If we think smaller and stop overwhelming ourselves with the task of world peace, then maybe little by little we can start to make a difference. If one person in our classes has their mood lifted by a workout, which is scientifically proven that this happens, and they go home and have more energy and are nicer to their partner or roommate or whoever because of this, and then that person senses the good mood and it turns their mood around then we have created a happier situation that can start to snowball. Another example: Some have expressed they come to the gym to avoid going out drinking with work people. Maybe you make bad decisions or are violent or an asshole when you drink (or fill in the blank with something else) and so working out becomes your outlet and way to avoid placing yourself in a situation that might make you do something you would otherwise regret. Maybe your friends catch on to this and they start making health more of a priority. Whatever the reason, choosing a healthier decision can directly affect those around you, which can affect those around them, which can grow larger than we can comprehend without even realizing it.
Another piece to the health puzzle: Food. Food affects our mood and the sooner we stop pretending like it doesn’t the sooner McDonald’s can die. The very short of it… We’ve all been hangry and felt the effects of not feeling like ourselves because of food. When we inundate ourselves with processed food and sugar day after day we put our bodies in a constant state of blood sugar dysregulation. This is part of what’s responsible for our mood swings, tendencies toward depression, and tendencies toward disease states. Ever wonder why you crash at 2pm, or feel out of control with your moods, have headaches etc.? Any number of symptoms that our society looks at as “normal” can often be connected with our food choices over time. Imagine the difference it could make if you just felt great all the time. When is the last time someone asked “how are you?” and your response was (honestly) “great!” How would that change your mood toward others and in turn theirs… what impact could it have?
This is why for me and Kimberly our passion for health is what we turned into our jobs. We wish we could do so much more but we have to be content in knowing that having built an amazing community around POINT we will hopefully do our small part to make our community a place where people want to live.