ABUNDANT LIVING: Put a ‘well’ into wellness for health and happiness

In the early 1990’s, I, along with a few other college students, was blessed with the opportunity to spend a day with the strength coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chet Fuhrman.

As it happened, Fuhrman was a former Penn State University football strength coach and he invited us to Three Rivers Stadium to watch the Pirates play the Miami Marlins. The plan was to talk careers, strength coaching, and whatever else he wanted to talk about then catch the game in a private box.

We made the drive from State College to Pittsburgh without major incident and found the weight training facility for the Steelers. For those readers who are Steelers fans, Kevin Greene also happened to hang out with us that day. He actually started joking around and sang an Irish pub song with the equipment manager and then proceeded to dance a jig.

This was three-time all-pro linebacker, Kevin Greene. To say this experience was surreal would be an understatement. Shortly after the jig, coach Fuhrman proceed to kick the pitcher for the Marlins and his trainer out of the weight room. He informed them that it was for football players only and he didn’t care that he was throwing out the pitcher of the Marlins.

Other than how awesome this experience was for a 20-year-old, this story does have a point.

Of all the pearls of wisdom coach Fuhrman gave me that day, one has stuck with me over the years. This is what I call the Well Theory.

In this case the “well” refers to a well of water, used as a metaphor. I’m pretty sure that this metaphor was thought up somewhere else but has been, nonetheless, very useful to me over my 20-something year career as a health and fitness professional.

The Well Theory is simply this: your overall health, mind, body and spirit, is like a well. The water table is your balance point. When the well is full, the world is rainbows and puppies.

Certain things take water out of the well, however. Family stress, illness, work, social obligations, poor diet, smoking, excess alcohol, etc. … even exercise. Basically, anything that can be considered a stress. Other things such as meditation, rest, sleep, proper nutrition, good family relations, fun, laughter, etc. … put water back into the well.

If the water level drops below the baseline, you are out of balance and are unhealthy.

The lesson is that to be healthy a person must ensure balance in their life. To accomplish this they must be continuously adding at least the same amount of water to their metaphorical well as they are taking out.

So, balance the stresses of life, both good and bad, with rest, fun and laughter. Maybe even follow Kevin Greene’s example and dance a jig. If it was good enough for a three-time all-pro linebacker, it is certainly good enough for the rest of us.

Bellomo has a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, is a certified strength and condition specialist and performance enhancement specialist with 24 years in the fitness and wellness field. For more fitness tips find him at Dave Bellomo Training, on Facebook.