Two weeks ago, I took a vacation to go skiing with my son Justin in Colorado. We skied (actually I ski, Justin snow boards) in Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail. On the first day snow conditions were okay for Colorado. But during the next two days, it snowed and with the fresh snow the conditions were great.
Every once in a while, I would stop in the middle of my skiing to check up on my body, admire the mountains and the vistas all around me, to express my gratitude, or to be simply mindful of the phenomenal opportunity I had to be there.
I was very happy with my body. It was providing me all the energy, endurance, strength, balance, quickness and flexibility that I needed to be able to enjoy the slopes. And, on top of that I was able to push myself just to improve my skills by attempting some challenging expert trails.
I did take a few spills too. With the flexibility and quick reflexes that my body afforded me, the spills were uneventful.
Throughout our time on the slopes, Justin kept saying, “Come on dad, lets do what we came here to do.” And, that led me to the following thought.
In the previous posts on this blog, I have talked about how Bio Markers are used to define Optimal Health. Reflecting upon the ski experience, I thought a good “clinical” way of defining Optimal Health beyond the Bio Markers was simply “having the ability to do what one wants to do”.
On a typical day, it could simply be the energy you need from when you wake up in the morning until the end of the day. Or, as I often like to say, “Optimal Health is to run out of the day before you run out of energy”.
But through the ski vacation, it is clear that what we need is more than the energy. Isn’t it?
So, for Optimal Health, in addition to Energy, we also need:
Endurance – to be able to go the distance, when we need it. Not all days are equal.
Strength – to conduct whatever our work or play requires
Flexibility – some say that flexibility is the real power or strength
Balance – the stories abound over the last two weeks of slips and slides on the ice and snow
Quick Reflexes – we require quick reaction times to adapt to the circumstance
So, Optimal Health for me is not only all bodily systems working well without any fuss or muss, but also having sufficient Energy, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility, Balance and Quick Reflexes that matches your lifestyle.
How do you define Optimal Health?
I would love to hear from you.
Please feel free to leave your comments or questions to this post, so others can participate, share and learn.