Oh the outlier. The exception to every rule, concept and theory. But, what is an outlier? One definition is that an outlier is a “statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others in the sample.”
How does this relate to humans? Outliers exist in every thought, theory and opinion about life. These are the people who can do something that you cannot and their baffling modalities perplex you. You question, “how do they do that and why can’t I?” If you are not completely confused yet, I will give you several examples.
An outlier is:
-The green-bean model-thin girl who can eat all the junk food in the world and not gain one pound.
-The man who smoked a pack of cigarettes everyday in his life and did not get lung cancer.
-The man who can roll out of bed and run an Ironman with only three months of training.
-The people that can read a 700 page book in less than a week.
-The person who has no formal education but is a millionaire.
We often associate outliers in health and fitness because it’s a more noticeable field. We’ve all heard and seen those stories, but somehow they are an outlier to the rule. We don’t know why nor can’t explain it. The answer comes from something that is beyond our understanding or from a greater power. But, we use outliers to observe our lives either excuse ourselves to something “because uncle Tom has done it for decades,” or compare ourselves (often negatively) “because she can do it and I can’t.”
For most, it would be God’s gift to man to devour junk food all day and maintain a 120-pound figure, but that is not the Utopia we live in. Somewhere in life you are an outlier. Do you know where?
I’ll share my example and another example I struggled with as young teenager.
At 30 years old, right now I am an outlier in the world of techno parties. Sounds weird, huh? Techno raves have a stereotype where “everyone” is on drugs in order to enjoy the music. Yes, drugs exist, but I have never done one drug. In fact, this type of music combined with dancing changed my life at twenty-years old. It helped me overcome issues and gave me confidence while experiencing a blissful and freeing experience.
One night in the Kiste Club in Hannover, Germany a popular German DJ played named, Alle Farben. I stood next to the DJ booth while standing next to two lurk-like German boys. They were about 20 years old and wore sweatshirts and Adidas shoes. All three of us were glued to the same position for near three hours straight. At times we danced a sidestepped and lifted our hands upwards (similar to a Christ stance). We rolled our wrists to the beat and all three of us were in sync with the music. With my eyes closed, I experienced what I call, “meditation in motion.” Visions of book covers and chapter titles came to my mind and then I went into Reiki healing mode where I started sending healing light to people and the planet. After 15-minutes, I opened my eyes to pry myself out of this deeper brain-wave state. We all kept moving and somehow I get a spiritual high off this music. It sounds weird and strange, but I am an outlier (although people who attend those events do love the music and dancing). Most people find a high and connection to the music with drugs, mainly ecstasy to elevate and enhance the experience. In fact, many people (mainly Europeans) are shocked that I can listen to this music and not do drugs. I associate electronic music and dancing as a spiritual experience. The music has and always will inspire my creativity. (Remember folks - drug free is the way to be. And remember not everyone who listens to EDM/techno does drugs!)
The time I struggled with an outlier was during my freshman year of high school. My sister was a senior and had the metabolism of the sun. She could eat anything and everything at any time of day and remain model-thin. In fact, she did model and I was an athletic somewhat "Tom-boy" girl. I entered puberty that year and blossomed from a size zero to five in one year. My hips got wider and I developed a frame similar to my mother’s. I constantly compared myself to my sister and wished my body type were different. Not accepting this, it eventually led to problems with eating. Later in high school I went through a phase where I would eat no fat. So I ate salads without any oil or dressing and became an even pickier eater. Luckily, that phase did not last long. But my point is that I can easily gain and easily lose weight. I am not an outlier in the weight management sector of life.
We have entered a stage of life where cancer and disease “rule” America. There are many causes of illness and disease. Throughout my years as a fitness trainer, I have heard every story about how the guy who eats fast food everyday has perfect heart health, but a healthy person had a heart attack at 45. There are many reasons to why this could be, and some of it could be related to stress and mindset. But, that pop-drinking guy is an outlier. Plus, you never know when the time will strike. That is the risk of life, and if he gets a heart attack, is his body strong enough to survive? The human body cannot sustain long-term damage without adverse health effects.
Understanding outliers’ helps us overcome ego and ignorance. Being an outlier usually relates to your strengths and special gifts in life. If you take one lesson from this it’s to embrace your gifts and stop comparing yourself to others.
To sign off I’ll leave you a message from Buddha.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com