Minneapolis-St. Paul was recently named the healthiest city in the country by The American Fitness Index. If Santa Barbara had been named #1 I would have simply rolled my eyes, because who wouldn’t be healthy when you can be outside and go to the beach all year round! But, Minnesota? Well, that is a little humbling. It is honestly very cold there and often. Like right now.
It is pretty dang cold just about everywhere today. These cold spells have been very inspiring for me. I have been inspired to make banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. I’m not normally a baker, but it will warm the house up, and the treats will be so nice with my 4th cup of coffee or maybe an afternoon hot chocolate, while I flip through magazines in my pajamas, with the sweet sounds of Dora the Explorer entertaining my bored children.
I am having to really fight being pulled under by the polar vortex of lethargy. When it is so cold outside, what else is there to do but wear sweatpants for days and refill the crock-pot full of potato-bacon-beer-cheese soup?
How, in God’s name, is Minneapolis-St.Paul the healthiest city in the U.S.?
It seems to me that they must do two very important things.
1. They must decide to exercise, despite the weather, and follow through on that decision. They are determined and won’t let a two minute freezing walk from the car to the inside of a building stop them from exercising. They go to the gym, walk in the mall, or whatever it is they do that is invigorating and warms them up on the inside. This determination to get up and go; the decision to get inertia to work for you (a body in motion stays in motion, remember?) is called “tapas” in yoga-speak. I think of tapas as a mental muscle that is strengthened and developed through the countless decisions we make to show up in our life, despite feeling tired, overweight, anxious, depressed, unprepared, sick, embarrassed, or just wanting to hide under the covers. Showing up is half the battle. I think Minnesotans must have some seriously huge tapas.
2. Minnesotans see themselves as hardy, tough people who do stuff like cross-country ski to work when there is too much snow to drive. It’s just who they are and what they do. Right now I’m stuck in the rut that I stay in my pajamas and drink coffee all day when it’s cold. But, who I am isn’t a fixed thing, like a chair. I can change, evolve, and grow and thank goodness. I do a whole lot of things today that I didn’t do years ago. So, I could also grow into a person who decides to take a cold day by the horns and not let it stop me from showing up in my life, and not in my pajamas.
This Saturday is the next Daily Bread Yoga retreat at Philo Presbyterian, 9a.m.-noon. The topic will be our CORE; as in the central region of your body and the core of you as a person. So, flex your tapas and show up on- time Saturday morning, even if you aren’t that kind of a person. Surprise yourself. Surprise me! But, let me know you are coming so I don’t have a heart attack from shock when you (of all people) walk in the door.
Peace and a warm hat on your head,