Do you remember when you were a kid and mom used to tell you to go outside to play? I remember, and with me and most of my friends we didn’t have to be told twice, in fact I remember countless evenings when the sun was setting and mom yelling for us to come inside. I would spend endless hours running, jumping, pushing, pulling, balancing, lifting, throwing and most importantly laughing and having fun. When I would come inside to eat I’d consume as much as I could of all those delicious grains, meats, fruits and vegetables that mom served up. I didn’t wake up each morning dreading to do it all over again, it’s just what I did. I didn’t care what the weather was like or what season it was, every day was like a new adventure. I was skinny, strong, healthy and happy.
I think most of us started out that way but then we have to “grow up”, you know, finishing college, getting a job, starting a family and accumulating stress. Adults don’t have time to go out and play anymore because they’re too busy being responsible. They’ll start slowing down and putting on weight, getting stiff and lethargic, not eating right and fueling on coffee for energy. Each year they’ll plan to take that vacation to some noisy amusement park, or maybe a cruise where one doesn’t have to lift a finger and massive amounts of food are presented for continuous consumption. This is what is needed to recharge right? As one of my friends always says “It makes sense”, or NOT!
It’s easy for adults to start convincing themselves that they’re just a little overweight and tired and stiff because they’re “getting old”. They convince themselves that it’s just the natural progression of life. There’s hope though we see it on tv that there are pills, machines, and clubs out there to get us looking and feeling good. It’s big business, people will pay a lot of money for an ab blaster or to join a gym so they can pencil in a few dreaded morning appointments of lifting weights and reading a magazine on the elliptical machine. That pain may last a few weeks or maybe even a few months but it eventually fades and it’s just another deduction from the paycheck. Heck most companies now will reimburse up to half of a membership…taxes withdrawn of course. Where did it all go wrong?
What happened to those days of going outside to play? Why don’t we step out into the backyard or nearest park and run and jump and climb like we used to. I guess we’d look pretty silly as a full-grown responsible adults running around doing those things right? Should we even care?
I like running on trails and one of my favorite places to run is Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville MI. It’s almost a 1000 acres of woods nestled in the corner of the state on the shores of Lake Michigan with miles of trails, unique sand dunes, bogs and open prairies. The Potawatomi indians used to say that it was a place of healing and with all the time I’ve spent out in the park, I have to agree. I always feel free when I’m running there and all my stress and worries seem to disappear. Even with the number of people who frequent the park you’ll rarely cross paths. I could run, and jump and balance and climb and yell and laugh and act as stupid and silly as I wanted and no one will know. I could be a kid again!
I have a good friend Bill Magley who I’ve spent years with exploring and running these trails. Bill worked 30 years as a teacher and administrator and has had his share of responsibility and stress working in the school system. Many times we’d show up in the parking lot feeling beaten down and stressed out from working endless hours dealing with issues and timelines. There’s been days that neither one of us felt like running but we knew that once we started out onto the trails all the stress and worries would melt away, it was our place of healing. I can’t tell you how many times one of us would call the other to go for a run. It might be 5 a.m, lunch time, or 2 in the morning in a blizzard, I can’t think of many times either of us would have turned down a run. We’ve gone out on 100 degree days with 90% humidity, nights with full moons, rain storms, fog, and winter days so cold and windy you couldn’t take in a breadth. Each run was its own adventure.
Over time we’d refer to our runs as adventures or vacations, never as a workout or training, even though we were basically working out. We were having fun and so many times we’d ask each other “why isn’t everyone doing this”. Both of us are passionate about people and are always wanting to share what we love to do with others. Sometimes we’d stop along the trail to talk with hikers and runners and strike up a conversation and share with them where to find the best trails to hike and dunes with the best overlooks or where to swim. Always we left them more excited to explore. We were talking pure Nature’s Fitness!!
Due to circumstances I changed jobs and moved from Stevensville to Grand Rapids. I still get down to run my favorite trails with Bill, but not as often as I’d like. I’m discovering new adventures in a new town and Bill decided to take his passion for health and the outdoors and start “Nature’s Fitness“. Nature’s Fitness customizes wellness programs for individuals and groups operating mostly in the outdoors. He does have a lab in his home dedicated to analysis and specific training but what’s makes Nature’s Fitness unique is the workout or should I say play environment. Don’t let the “play” fool you though, Bill structures his sessions to benefit any client with fitness levels ranging from just off the couchers to professional athletes and everyone in between. You’ll have so much fun you won’t realize how hard you’re actually working, but guaranteed, you’ll see improvements! That’s a true sign of a knowledgeable passionate trainer.
It was a perfect transition in Bills life, he not only has the passion, he has the credentials. Besides being a certified trainer, Bill has a degree in health education and PE and a masters in human resource development not to mention 30 years of teaching experience. Bills schooling and training are impressive but I think one of his greatest skills is that of understanding the demands that life puts on us each day and the importance of taking time for ourselves to play and keep healthy. At first it might seem hard finding time to get healthy but after a few sessions with Natures Fitness you’ll learn how easy and fun it can be.
Bill structures his plans such that after a series of sessions you can continue on with personalized training or take the skills learned and create your own adventures. Typically clients have so much fun with Bill’s “never the same” approach to his workouts and locations they sign up for more. Nature’s Fitness sessions are more than just a workout they’re a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey just like the one we started out on as kids. Don’t get bogged down with all the demands of life, most of the things we stress about arent’ as important as we think. Put stock back into your own health and well-being, and take time to play again. You’ll thank yourself!!
Find YOUR next adventure with Nature’s Fitness!!