I know what this means for me. I am only now beginning to appreciate what it truly means to be well. In my own words, wellness means living healthily and happily at the same time.

It wasn’t always the case for me. Back in the day when I was still at college, I was on the track and field team. My forte was the eight hundred meters. I wasn’t fast enough for the sprints and I certainly never had the stamina to manage the mile or five thousand meter state championship pace. But I did alright; I won a few house meets and was always fairly well placed in the more prestigious events.

In later years I tried out for the marathon. To mark the occasion of my debut, I chose the New York City marathon. Don’t ask me how I did this, but I broke the three hour mark on my first tryout. I didn’t train well for the event because I was unfortunately injured for a couple of months before the big day. I was running on cortisone the whole way. I was also running on empty but fortunately I was well hydrated. In fact, I may have just been over-hydrated due to guzzling far too many corn-syrup flavored soda cup drinks.

Back then I was hooked on sodas. I should rephrase that. I was hooked on sugar. I was also hooked on cheesy pizzas and meaty and saucy pastas. You see, then we had what was called the carbo-loading craze. If you’re old enough to remember such days, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The day before a big race we would even get together for a carbo-loading feast. Man, I tell you. It was like attending an orgy, only I wouldn’t really know what that’s like because I’ve never been to one.

Let’s paraphrase what the experts have to say about what wellness is. They say that wellness is an active process of being aware of your personal life and all of its weaknesses, both physical and emotional. You then react positively and affirmatively to your poor condition. Basically, you get up from your chair and you take responsible action for your life. Your health is your life. Wellness is a lot more than simply being fit and healthy and even being free of any form of illness. It’s a progressive personal evolution which entails achieving complete physical, mental and social well-being.

And so there you have it. As I look back on my life, no matter how healthy and fit I was before, I can be honest with myself and look me in the mirror and say that, strictly speaking, I have never been well. Today I have embraced the concept of wellness. You should too. It’s really no effort. Actually, you will be raising a sweat every now and then, depending on your current state of fitness, your weight and your personal well-being.

But the progressive wellness program takes time. It does not need to be rushed. It’s a rich and invigorating experience of ongoing searches and new discoveries. It’s a spiritual growth path, second to none. So, let me put it to you another way. Let me go back to my athletic and marathon analogy. I’m too modest to tell you that I’m wiser. But the numbers speaking for itself, I am older. I still have my dreams. And I’m still running long distances and taking part in a marathon every now and then.

But I’m not racing against the clock and I’m not pushing my body to the limit to break impossible records. I’m having too much healthy fun as it is.