Archives for posts with tag: health

After a 26 hour shift I was exhausted even after I woke up. The temperature was over 100 degrees and it was a run day; day 2 of week 2 of my new running program. 

I milled around and debated if I had enough justification to skip my workout for the day. I was tired, it was hot, and it felt great to just sit down and relax. I decided I’d go check the mail, evaluate how I felt and exactly how hot it was outside. No surprise, HOT! But I felt pretty good on my short walk. So I made myself a deal – walk to the gym and do my run on the treadmill rather than outside in the heat. Done! 

As I arrived at the gym, I jogged across 6 lanes of traffic at the last intersection (my community hasn’t grasped the concept of pedestrian friendly yet) and then I saw something that kicked me in my ass. 

Standing at the bus stop I saw an older disabled gentleman casually waiting for the bus to arrive. For whatever reason in nature, he stood there with his body contorted in its natural state. His legs and ankles jutting off at akward angles. His arm and hand unable to be straightened. And he didn’t look a bit unhappy. He was minding his own business waiting for the bus. 

Seeing him made me think of other people who didn’t have the option to be active. My father came to mind. He’s a pretty active and well-aged individual. In his 60’s he recently relocated to the southwest United States. He is an avid golfer, and motorcycle rider. He  recently took up kayaking, and is ecstatic to get back on his road bike. Unfortunately. He is recovering from a knee replacement and has been home bound with a walker for the past 2 weeks. He is undoubtedly going crazy. 

Here I was bitching to my able-bodied self that I didn’t want to get off the couch and go to the gym. I told myself my legs were sore, and there was always tomorrow. I discounted the good fortune of having a healthy body, good joints, and the ability to walk and run with decent grace. 

I stood taller as I walked into the gym. I competed my 4 mile run, with the occasional ache and desire to slow down. I kept thinking that so many people would love to have the ability or even the time to get out and get active. I felt great when I was done. I’m not sure if I would have won any medals or trophies for my speed, but I got it done.

Don’t take what you have for granted. It’s easy to discount your ability and opportunity and overshadow it with a bum mood or excuse. Always think of those people that would gladly take on your minor inconveniences and give you theirs. Use what you got while you got it. 

If you are lucky enough to dodge every other obstacle, there is a pretty good chance you won’t be able to dodge time and the journey of aging. 

Advertisements

  
Ok so if we tally up your resolutions from last year you should:

  • Have the body of your dreams
  • Be financially independent
  • Do charity work 3 times a week
  • Have written that novel

No? Me either. But that’s ok. I’ll be honest, I’m going to add those resolutions right back on my list again this year. I’m not upset that things didn’t turn out perfectly last year. My ideal plan didn’t work out the way I thought it would. But why would I let an imperfect conclusion make me feel like a failure?

I worked at each of my resolutions. And any action is better than no action at all. I may have not come as far as other people, but I also know I have done more than others. But regardless of how other compare, I was writing my own story.  

Life is always a work in progress. Even if you do achieve your ideal body, will you maintain it? I fluctuate, because I like beer and wings, and football Sundays. I don’t beat myself up about it. I enjoy it, then I use my other time to lace up my running shoes and hit the streets. I am not a financial savant. I enjoy traveling, going to restaurants, and building on my hobbies. It’s ok!

Life happens. You are never “there.” You don’t reach any certain point and just stop. You should be always working at something, trying to improve, and be setting new goals. But it’s ok to pause momentarily (a day, a weekend, sometimes even a couple months), assess and regroup, then react. That’s not a major setback. Football teams huddle and regroup, race cars have to enter the pits and refuel, people need a day of rest.

So don’t kick yourself and tell yourself that last year was horrible. And don’t think that it was all be fixed in 2016. 2015 may have had its imperfect conclusions, but so will next year, and the year after that. Keep fighting, keep regrouping, keep using each year as one step to the next. 5, 10, maybe 20 years from now you will look back and see how far you have come.

Cheers to the next step!  

Happy New Years to all!

Life gets busy. Work hours change. Kids need your time. The new episode of “Biggest Loser” is on. There is always an excuse to not be active.

Recently when I was in Palm Springs the weather ended up being cooler than expected. So my plan of waking up for a morning hike or run was put in jeopardy. I stayed out later than expected, drank a few extra glasses of wine, and found myself pretty damn comfortable under the covers. But I decided I’d get up and go. I forced myself to get up and go.

Chilly, tired, and with a sore body I made may through the neighborhood to the trailhead. Honestly I was a couple hundred yards into it when I thought about scraping the plan and heading back to crawl into bed.

Then I saw this elderly lady walking in front of me. As I got closer, and eventually passed her, I couldn’t help but notice her effort. We were on level pavement. But she was working so hard to take every step. No walker or cane, just sheer determination. It wasn’t fast progress but she kept moving. You could tell by her body movement that every step was a lot of work.

IMG_3747

It made me realize how ungrateful I was being for my health; For my ability to break out into a sprint and cut left and cut right. I’m nowhere near being in Olympic shape but I’m pretty active. My health is overall pretty good. But I know it won’t always be. I’ve had to work through a sore knee to get back into shape. My body gets sore when I over do it. And I see and feel that I don’t heal like I used to.

But you have to use what you have before it’s gone. There are people that would love to have the health, or even the limbs, to be able to do something active. Some use prosthetics to do it. Others, like this little old lady, use mental determination.

Don’t waste the days when you can be active and agile. One day walking across the room may not even be an option.

“In order to eat, you have to be hungry. In order to learn, you have to be ignorant. Ignorance is a condition of learning. Pain is a condition of health. Passion is a condition of thought. Death is a condition of life.”

― Robert Anton Wilson, Leviathan

Alright guys let’s talk. Tis the season… The weather is warming up, the New Year is wearing off but now it’s time for those of us who are serious to get into the gym. ( ok not to serious but we’re trying) . But before you jump back in there let’s learn some gym etiquette. What? Me? I don’t need that… Yeah .. Read on. If it’s truly not you, then pass it one to someone you know.

– We have seen every athlete in them. We got some new ones over the holidays. And we all have goals to look better and make them look good. HOWEVER… Very few of us can really pull off spandex UnderArmour shirts. Trust me, even on your best day, mine included, it doesn’t look good. Stick to a simple t-shirt and shorts.

– Keep the mirror flexing for home. Yea yea we all look and want to see what we got. But trust me we are all watching you. And even if you do have it, you just lost a lot of street cred doing the mirror flex.

– Replace the weights. Sure the next guy really really wants to know what you just lifted, I’m sure. But it takes time of of his schedule to clean up after you. And half of his workout shouldn’t be replacing your weights.

– Wipe down the seats and grips when you’re done. I get that the seat will forever be dirty and germ filled, and I don’t plan on licking it. But I also don’t want to lay down in your puddle.

– Do your exercises and move on. But just know, if you decide to go take a bathroom break or walk away from “you” machine for more than a few seconds. There is a good chance someone is going to take it. I understand that you’d like to complete your entire Men’s Health circuit without having people get in your way, but it’s a public gym. No dirty looks needed.

Any other ones out there that I missed? I just don’t want you to be that guy that ends up being the joke of the next dinner conversation.

I’ve always been somewhat of a fitness guy. But I have also also been fortunate to be naturally lean. Most of my fitness pertains to my job and my personal desire to do active things like hiking and bike riding for personal enjoyment.

But I have to admit, I have my lot phases. Sometime I get more interested in my DVR and relaxing on my couch. And age doesn’t help! I used to be able to take all the time off I wanted and jump back into the gym and bounce back into shape in about a week. But age hasn’t helped that!

But this past weekend I had a chance to watch an ironman competition and cheer on a friend. For anyone who doesn’t know, the ironman is a race that consists of a 2.5 mile swim, 112 miles bike ride and then a 26.2 mile run… Yea.. Not for the faint of heart.

But to my surprise the competitors were not all ultra athletes. Many had the body shape the appeared they hadn’t been to the gym in a while. And amazingly, there about 10 participants that were over the age of 70!

So standing on the side lines cheering these people on made me wonder why the heck I think I can’t complete a race like that?! Oh, I know I would need massive training. And I’d have to break through the mental barriers and trust that I can do it. But will I?

I’m a long way from an ironman but I have started to kick myself in the butt to get motivated and push myself more.

But more importantly, the entire experience made me wonder: if I set up mental barriers in my fitness, what other mental barriers have I let myself put up?

What have you talked yourself out of throughout your life? And what will you do to break free and excel?