I have come a long way on my fitness journey. I was fit in high-school (especially my senior year) and I was not in too bad of shape throughout the rest of my youth, but I was on a bad path. I did not watch what I ate (and was gifted with a metabolism that let me get away with that) and exercise and physical activity was usually an infrequent accident of circumstances.
As the years rolled by my inattention to my health started to catch up with me. I started putting on weight and every day tasks became more arduous. I recall at the end of my disregard for my health putting on a pair of boots was an endurance event for me.
I was out of shape, photos clearly showed it, yet I was able to lay in bed, suck my gut in and appear “thin” (at least to myself) and of course I told myself BMI didn’t matter after all how many “fit” NFL players do not conform to the BMI and they are pro atheletes!
Overeating was not the only physically damaging behavior I engaged in. I drank excessively too and in addition to the physical toll that took on me I also engaged in legally risky drinking.
My Fitness Journey — How Skiing Motivated Me to Change
I have discussed my ski history here, the upshot of which I started skiing in earnest late in life. It occurred to me to get a full ski life I have to ski later in life than most are able to. That still did not really do the trick for me, it was not until I saw the consequences of poor lifestyle decisions visit two loved ones that I finally resolved to change my lifestyle.
One such person went in for heart-bypass surgery and came out with more bypasses than they had bargained for (this is also after some joint procedures). The other person developed full blown cirrhosis of the liver and other consequences of chronic abusive drinking. I recognized I was headed down very similar lifestyle paths and the I took the healthy lifestyle fork in the path.
My Fitness Journey — Fits and Starts
Periodically I would get motivated to improve my health and either start a workout program or control my diet. People would note and then circumstances or just the feeling of arrival would halt progress and I would revert to my bad habits and the weight would come back and I would once again lose stamina and strength. Yes, this is a pattern many people are familiar with.
To be fair to myself, a major part of the problem was the necessity of earning a living. I went through a period of extended layoff and on both sides of that layoff my job was taking me far from home. I mean four hours of daily commute long. This meant not getting the sleep I needed, not eating well, and not exercising.
My Fitness Journey — This Time
However, when I finally landed a good job near home I broke out my bicycle and started to ride it regularly and not just for a few weeks in springtime. I rode it throughout the summer. This meant when it got hot out I was on my bike instead of on my La-Z Boy.
It also meant getting comfortable riding on the roads. Trail riding was getting to be a bore and did not give me any options to cope with wind and other weather conditions. So I started venturing onto the roads and became comfortable (not complacent) with riding on the roads. Then my mile totals started to move up. This then is when the penance repented and became a passion. I started out cycling to lose weight and now the cause and effect is reversed, I lose weight to become a better cyclist! I am not a licensed racer but am on the verge of becoming one.
My Fitness Journey — Start Your Health Journey NOW
You know the childhood ditty about Humpty Dumpty:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Once you lose your health all of the doctors, nurses, and therapists in the world are not going to get you back to where your health once was.
It is bad enough that our genetics and your fate, things you can not control, may be hiding thiefs to rob you of your health, so why openly invite that thief into your life to rob you willingly? You can control your diet and your activity to ensure YOU do not ruin your health voluntarily.
Do not count on doctors and drugs to save you, you need to make healthy lifestyle choices, do it now before it is too late!
Fitness is a journey and not a destination. Once you think you have arrived at Fitnessburg you get complacent and lose that fitness, keep striving my friends!