Monday, July 1, 2013

The GIFT of FITness

It was July 1, 2008 and after a particularly stressful spring I had not worked out for several months. As a result I had gained fact I weighed more than I ever had. At my height I don't have a lot of room for extra pounds and when I get out of shape it effects a lot of things in my life, like it does most people.

June of "chubby summer"
So, that day as I got on the treadmill at the gym I made a sincere promise to myself. From that day forward for the rest of my life I would work out regularly. At least 3 times a week, minimum. No gaps. No stops and starts, not from my schedule or stress, or just plain lame excuses. Unlike some people, I am not an exercise or sports buff by nature.  I absolutely hate to sweat and get dirty, so this was a commitment to myself not easily made.

Like a lot of people I had gone through many phases of my adult life working out and doing great and then something would happen and I would stop for a few months and get out of shape. It doesn't take long for it to happen to me. I knew I couldn't keep doing that because with every passing year it got harder...I couldn't just work out for two weeks and lose 5 lbs like I used to. It's not worth "getting off the horse", it's just too hard to get back on! Plus, like what happened in the spring of 2008, gaining weight just added to whatever problem(s) I had to deal with at that time, when exercising regularly would not have been very hard and would have done me a lot of good.

October 2012 American Heart Association 5k

So, here it is, my 5 year anniversary of this promise! I have kept it. I lost a month to pneumonia in 2011, and a week off here and there over the past five years for particularly busy or stressful times, but I HAVE kept it...and it feels good. The promise has been bigger than my mood that day, my physical energy level, or my schedule. I have to keep that promise. So I do. It has not been about vanity as much as health and consistency. Of course I wish I was more "fit", but by dropping that ideal version of myself I have found true health. Have even run a few 5k and 10k's and learned to swim better than I ever have before. I noticed from a recent physical and blood test that all my numbers are risk factors. Not one moment that I have spent exercising has been wasted!

The video below was sent to me by my sister in law, Anita. It reminds me that the ability to exercise regularly is a GIFT, not a burden. The larger message is that consistency and day to day action, however small, can add up to a whole lot! This is a disabled ex-paratrooper who spent one year doing yoga and changed his life, it's worth watching....

Disable Ex-Paratrooper's Amazing transformation...YouTube