Today marks my birthday but more important than that, it is year 14 of my “exercise sobriety.”
At About Men Radio, we’ve touched on health, fitness, exercise and eating right in any number of podcasts and blog posts.
And I discussed my training for the Warrior Dash extreme race. (Unfortunately my work schedule kept me from competing but there is always next year!)
Getting the right amount of rest, eating as close to healthy as you can and exercising take on a whole new level of importance when you reach, ahem, a certain age.
I know I’ve told this story before, but I want to repeat here today, partly to reinforce the lesson to myself after 14 years, but also to tell my brethren (and sistren) that it is NEVER too late to get started.
I was 37, woefully out of shape, stressed to the max and eating like a maniac.
My routine was a doughnut and coffee at 3 p.m., which would send my sugar levels spiking and then crashing, taking my energy levels with it.
Late nights featured chocolate dipped in peanut butter with a Kahlua-and-milk chaser, topped off with maybe five or six hours of sleep each night.
Rinse and repeat.
My fiancée at the time bought me a pair of push-up bars, a VHS exercise tape and a sit-up bar. They sat off in the corner for many, many months.
She never nagged me or even said a word about the equipment but I knew they were there.
My epiphany came after a dinner of three (or was it four?) slices of pizza followed by truly yummy Italian pastries from one of the local bakeries.
I am still not sure what happened, but something clicked (or snapped) and on my 37th birthday, I popped in the boot camp exercise VHS tape.
I had to quit after about 15 minutes.
I was winded and frustrated that I could not keep up. But I tried it the next day. And the next and the next and the next.
By the end of the week, I was getting through the entire 30-minute video.
Over time, I began biking, lifting weights, running and doing other forms of cardio. I dropped 40 pounds, about half of which, over time, I’ve put back on.
But that does not discourage me.
For about the last seven years, I’ve been doing P90x workouts with my man Tony Horton. He’s a good coach and I find him inspiring.
Do I fall short of my goals? Hell yes. Am I ready to grace the cover of “Men’s Health” magazine? Hell no!
But I’m averaging four to five days a week of exercise, and I keep just showing up and that’s more than half the battle.
If you’re looking to make changes in your life, start with small steps.
You will be amazed at the strides you will make.
Take it from someone who’s been there.
If I can do it, so can you.
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