My brother was convinced growing up that if he didn’t exercise, then his body would not burn calories, and thus he would not need any food. While he realized at some point this was a lie, I still woke up at 8am this morning in Colorado after a 12-mile hike yesterday to find my brother doing pull-ups from the deck, my mother walking, and my dad running sprints up the drive way.
I would venture to say that the 6th love language of our Voss family is that of exercise.
From the age of 10 to 20, one of the best quality times I had with my dad was associated with my swimming – traveling to meets together, talking about races together and fueling up together for a big practice (which he would do some sort of exercise on his own). My biggest fear when I quit swimming after my sophomore year of college was that I would loose some of this special relationship with my dad. So I picked up running, so that we could run together when I went home to South Carolina, talk about it together, and even ran a half-marathon together.
My cousin Derek and I used to joke as young adults that if our boyfriend or girlfriend could survive “Voss Camp,” our self-proclaimed name for our thanksgiving reunion with 20 Vosses due to its large amount of physical activity, then we could marry the person. Voss Camp is normally 3 days of high-intensity exercise, during which a day might consist of an “optional” pre-breakfast run of no less than 3 miles, 2 hours of soccer, picnic lunch at the field, 2 hours of frisbee, hot tub and some swimming races in the afternoon at the pool, and then finally some dinner.
I think its fair to say that exercise has shaped me into who I am today. When I was recently traveling in Europe, I always could find an hour or so to run by the river and do some yoga on my own. When I skype my parents on Sundays, one of the things we always talk about is exercise – how we are doing in our running, if we have been doing yoga, or what other exercise we have been up to.
I don’t quite feel myself without exercise. I am a swimmer, runner, yogi, hiker, exerciser, and most importantly a Voss through and through.