“The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful.”
~ Doug Henning
Today’s lecture is on habits, particularly those for physical health. Habits are hard work, making as well as breaking. And if you want to have some good ones while abroad, frankly you’ve got to get cracking on them long before you ever step foot in an airport.
I am not one of those people who naturally likes working out (those endorphins I’m promised? Lies. Never have they once materialized!) and so it’s something I do largely because I know I should, not because I particularly enjoy it. But it’s a habit now and I work hard at keeping it one. First of all, it is much easier to maintain your health, weight, workout schedule, and strength if you’ve already got it stabilized long before you move. Secondly, living abroad can be more physically demanding: no cars, all walking, lots of carrying, etc. It’s much better to already be in shape when you arrive than to spend a miserable few weeks huffing and puffing up and down stairs because you have to buy groceries more frequently (thanks to those tiny ice boxes).
The summer I did a study abroad there was an absurdly large number of girls who packed work out gear, clothes, and shoes that never once saw the light of day. I couldn’t have cared less about whether or not they went running, but as a traveler, I shook my head over the wasted space in their luggage and the silliness of their assumption that even though they weren’t in the habit of working our regularly at home, they would magically acquire it in a foreign country. Learn from their fail.