A Different Point of View

by Mark Brecheen

Many people at KBS are enthusiastic about health and fitness but take a less scientific approach to the subject. While it is informative to know how glycemic carbohydrates work within the body to create increased insulin levels, the advantages of Fartlek training and even how the Swedish word was derived, it is often more realistic to discuss mental, physical and emotional health, as a more general subject. What if the word “workout” means “no fun” to you?  What if you’re not sure what you’re training for?  What if you don’t really like the gym with all of its connotations? Or you don’t want to wait in line for that certain machine or yoga class, or the spin class you prefer doesn’t fit your schedule – what do you do?  What happens when our agendas are so full that we are looking to off load any duties that aren’t mandatory? Plain and simple we avoid, postpone or ignore things we don’t enjoy. This is part of human nature.

On the other hand, who doesn’t like the beach, or the mountains, or a great sunset? We are extremely lucky to live in Southern California. We are blessed with some of the best weather in the world and because of that we can spend much of our time outside doing activities that are fun that also keep us healthy and fit.  Cycling, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, paddle boarding, swimming and trail running are only a few of the activities available in Southern California, often times with no waiting and many times free of charge. It is not necessary to regularly attend a gym or drink protein powders to be healthy. However, being active and conscientious about your health is essential to avoid injury and lower risk of serious health problems when you are older.


My level of fitness, enjoyment of physical activity and overall love of the outdoors increased immensely when I began to look at health and fitness differently. 


My level of fitness, enjoyment of physical activity and overall love of the outdoors increased immensely when I began to look at health and fitness differently. I found an activity that I fell in love with and that was mountain biking. Some of the most breathtaking sights I have seen along with the greatest comradery with friends have come from being outside on my bike.  The same can be said for my fellow outdoorsmen who enjoy many of the other activities I’ve listed.  Have you ever talked to a surfer when there is an offshore swell?  How about a snowboarder on a bluebird day with fresh powder or maybe a mountain biker who has plans to ride to the top of Saddleback Mountain on one of those amazing Southern California days in March, a day with snow on the top of the mountains and natural waterfalls along the way. My guess is words like “workout” and “training” are never mentioned but words similar to “epic”, “fun” and “exciting” are. I would also wager that a package of Fig Newton’s or half of a peanut butter sandwich your buddy offers you on the gondola ride or at the top of the mountain after a 2-hour climb would not be frowned upon by anyone in the group.  Not to mention the 800 calorie lunch complete with chips and salsa and a margarita at Olamendi’s after 2 hours of surfing being fully enjoyed without an ounce of guilt.

To me health and fitness is more about a lifestyle we enjoy than drudgery we avoid.  I urge everyone to ask themselves; would you continue to do your current workout if the only benefit you received from it was enjoyment?  Find something that is fun to do that you will enjoy; something that fits into your geographical sphere and then get outside and do it with friends and a smile.


A Different Point of View Mark Brecheen website A 240x300

Mark Brecheen is a Senior Vice President for KBS, overseeing over 1.8 million square feet in the western U.S.