A message to a few people I know… ([rant], you have been warned)
August 7, 2015
I’m a husband (20 years), a father (10 ½ years), a person (way too many years), an employee (again, way too many years, and why the hell do I always gravitate to insane hours at startups?), and an athlete. I’ve been doing the athlete thing for several decades now. It hasn’t been easy. At times it is glorious. Like when I have just hiked, sleep-deprived, overnight with a 40 pound pack up a steep assed trail to over 10,000′ of elevation and see a sunrise that makes me remember just how amazing life is.
In case anyone missed it…. the sunrise was glorious, but I earned the view of it.
I have heard some of my favorite phrases over the last few weeks, and my head is about to explode.
“Staying fit is easy for you”
“It’s much harder for me to workout. You workout all the time and don’t know how hard it is for those of us who don’t do that.”
“If I only had as much time as you do to workout.”
and, of course my favorite,
“You want to gain weight? I wish I had that problem.”
No, really. I mean that.
I love to workout. I absolutely, positively love it. It’s part of my psyche. It’s part of my being. It’s central to my sanity.
But it ain’t “easy” and it never has been. Here’s the deal – the feeling of accomplishment that I get after a workout far surpasses any other feeling of accomplishment that I can get on a regular basis, and I am addicted to that feeling.
OK, that’s not true. Seeing my wife or daughter’s smile blows all the other stuff away. Comforting a scared/stressed kid and know that I’m truly making a difference in someone’s life is a feeling like no other in this world. But I digress.
Back to the workout stuff. It’s a HUGE pain in the ass to get to the gym every day. It’s time away from my family. It’s time away from my job. It’s time that could be spent doing a zillion other things – things that REALLY need to get done. But there’s a catch. Without my health, without a good sweat, without endorphins in my blood stream, without a feeling of accomplishment that comes from hitting a solid workout – I’m freakin’ useless.
I’ve been through 4 major surgeries. It should have been 5 major surgeries, but I just couldn’t deal with another surgeon cutting into my spine again. Once was enough. After each surgery I could have quit. Instead I took the brutal path of regaining strength, doing the days and days of physical therapy, the embarrassment of lifting 2 pound weights when I had been doing 50 pounds, 200 pounds, or more…. the frustration of walking 30 minute-miles instead of running sub-6 minute miles… because I didn’t give up. I didn’t quit.
So you chose to quit. Fine. Honestly, I’m not judging you. I’ve got enough on my plate to worry about that your choice of lifestyle is totally, completely, and utterly irrelevant to me.
I got shit to do.
I’ve got a wife I want to stay married to, and marriage takes work.
I’ve got daughters who need my care, direction, love and support.
I’ve got a mind that has suffered through over 40 years of extreme anxiety that needs to heal and start a new way of thinking.
I’ve got a career that consumes a lot of time and energy.
I’ve got a busted ass old body that needs a lot of work to stay healthy.
Those are my choices. Those are my priorities. Staying fit is not “easy” for me. It’s a lifelong commitment. There are days when I can’t even think about going to the gym, but I go. I get in my car, I drive to the gym, and I figure it out from there.
Usually I figure it out by going in the gym and busting my ass. Hell, I’ve already driven there, right?
And, yes, there are some days when I say, “Fuck it. I’m not going.” Yep, those days happen, and sometimes it’s a really good decision. Sometimes I really hate myself for giving in.
But the next day I get back to it.
I’d love to see you at the gym. I think it’s a boost for anyone, but I’m not going to cap on your for not going. It’s your life and your choice.
Just don’t try to insult me for choosing to go…..