A friend of mine, Brenda Haskill,  posted this picture in a social media channel for Lift Heavy Run Long®. She made the disclaimer that this was “not a fitness picture” but she wanted to share her view of the bike trail on this particular morning.

I certainly didn’t want to argue with Brenda but I had to disagree.

Everything about this picture, to me, implies fitness. When I am unfit, I don’t give a damn about a sunrise; I don’t give a crap about the colors of the morning sky; I could care less about the shadows of the trees as the sun fans out behind them.

When I am not physically, spiritually and emotionally fit, nothing is new; nothing is exciting; nothing is beautiful.

When I am not in a conscious state of gratitude, I am perpetually unimpressed with God and his creation-  by nature, I am discontent and unappreciative. Gratitude takes work, and work provides a payoff, and that payoff is in the form of appreciation for that which surrounds me.

So, I will have to disagree with my friend, Brenda: This is a picture that represents the exact reason that many of us work so hard in so many different areas. Nature’s beauty is reserved for those who want to appreciate it. For some of us, that appreciation takes work.