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Fit for Life: …Because Life Can Change in a Moment’s Notice

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Two sad events happened this week that got me thinking a little deeper than usual. First, it was the anniversary of September 11. Second, I heard the announcement that the store Benny’s was closing. Obviously, the 911 event takes precedence over some store closing, but both events carry topics to think about.

September 11

Please realize I am not comparing the two, just some similarities, and thoughts derived from each occurrence. Even though I didn’t know anyone that died or got hurt on 9/11, I remember exactly when it happened, where I was, and how I felt the days after. I remember going home in the afternoon, and watching TV in awe, disbelief, and shock at the events taking place.

It made me realize that we are all vulnerable and fragile, and in a moment’s notice your life can totally change. Even though it made me feel like that, I wasn’t scared by the media hype and all the security measures that were implemented after that fateful day. I am not trying to sound like a tough guy by saying I’m not scared, but it made me think the opposite.

If my life can end in a second’s notice, I’m living it to its full potential, and not running scared, and hiding. If a super power country can be attacked by a few haters, then I am taking advantage of my limited time here. I am going to stay fit, strong, and live a healthy lifestyle for the short time that we exist on this earth.

I also remember how nice and compassionate people were to each other after the event.
It bonded this country together, and everyone was affected by what happened. Everyone was being nice to each other because it made us realize that we need each other, and we are all in this together.

But we have lost that bond since then. We are back to being divided by hate and resentment to each other. We were attacked by others, not only out of hatred, but out of jealousy and rebellion.

The fact that we are a free country, and the land of opportunity enrages people from other countries that don't get the same rights as we do. And what bothers me about how we live is the fact that we don't take advantage of these rights and opportunities.

Again, if our time is limited and there are opportunities all around to better ourselves and our lifestyles, I feel the need to take action every day, and take advantage of the opportunities that are there for us. We all have the same opportunities, and we would take better advantage of them if we opened our eyes, and realized how fortunate we are, instead of finding negative pathways and finding fault with everything, blaming others when we miss out, or worrying what everyone else is doing.

Hello, Benny’s

Now the Benny’s issue. I was a little sad and disappointed by the news of the company closing all its stores. I didn’t go often, but when I did, they always came through. They carried everything from batteries to fishing poles to folding chairs, and it was always a great experience shopping there. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and the store was always tidy and clean. They always greeted you at the door when you came in. And they seemed to appreciate your business. They were a great business model.

So how can such a great business just close? The owners are doing commercials on the radio, and they say that the changing times with Amazon and all the online shopping ruined the retail business. This bothers me, because I think that human interaction is important. Even more so in this day and age. I like to go to places and people watch, and drum up senseless conversations with strangers waiting in line. I like human interaction as opposed to looking at a keyboard while shopping. But that’s just me. I feel that humans need interaction in order to establish strong social skills, and I feel like good social skills are a step towards positive self-improvement.

So what does Benny's closing and 9/11 have in common?

They both prove vulnerability, albeit very differently. It tells us that nothing is exempt from destruction at any given time. From human life to business. They both express the nature of people and the spirit of camaraderie are powerful alliances and it makes the world better when they are in place. They both signify that people make the world go around. Not money, computers, iPhones, fancy cars or houses - but people.

I have come to the conclusion that nothing is guaranteed and there is uncertainty with everything we do - from business to life. With that being said, it’s important to be nice to your fellow man, work hard, hustle, and do the right things, so you can live this short life on a higher level. Live your life to its fullest potential and never feel like you are invincible.

It’s not about how long we live, but the quality of the life we live. So, take care of yourself for the short time you are here!

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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