I read an article today about how leadership is like riding a bike (http://business.financialpost.com/2011/10/12/how-leadership-is-like-riding-a-bike/).
While it is an interesting take on some of the responsibilities of leadership, it got me thinking about its relevance to health. Sometimes maintaining or improving our health can feel like an individual competition. But it's really a journey that requires preparation, stamina (mental stamina to keep at it), resiliency to overcome setbacks, and a community of support and encouragement.
There’s more to riding a bike than riding a bike; there’s more to health than being healthy. As the author writes, I've been able to ride a bike since I was 7, so what's the big deal about my health? Well, forethought in balancing family, work, friends, and commitments. Vision to have the perspective of a healthy lifestyle today means a better quality of life, lower medical expenses, and a greater probability that I will be around long enough to enjoy life. And of course my clothes will hopefully fit better.
Being healthy doesn't mean always being on your own. One of the biggest advantages of cycling is that others can pull while you enjoy the benefits of the draft. While this doesn't eliminate the fact that maintaining our health is work and someone else cannot do it for us, it does mean we can benefit from the experience, learnings, and expertise of others.
Lastly, we don't have to go it alone. While sometimes I enjoy a lengthy ride by myself, there is no substitute for a community (peloton in cycling circles). Others who care about us, can protect us when needed, and most of all, support and encourage us through the inevitable climbs that are too tough to go at it alone.
And remember, if you fall off the health cycle, just jump back on again tomorrow.