Lessons Learned

Stop Being Lazy.

That was probably the biggest lesson I could learn.

Sure, I’ve heard people say it to me and others for a long time.  And it made complete sense.  How could one be both healthy and lazy?  That’s a difficult one, with different answers for different people, but for me the answer was that I absolutely could not be lazy and be healthy.

But being lazy is a much more complex thing than you might think.  Instead of putting something off, do it now: later never comes.  Having to do something at the last minute is frustrating, it causes a lot of unnecessary stress, and is completely unnecessary.

Just Do Something.

Working out was the “something” for me.

I wanted to work out, but I just didn’t know how.  I’d use that as an excuse to avoid it altogether.  “I don’t know how to lift weights.”  “It hurts when I ride an exercise bike.”  “My knees are bad.”  “My back hurts when I walk too far.”

Amazing things happened when I just started doing something.  Walking, working out at the gym, playing outdoor/physical games, etc were all things that helped push me in the right direction.  And they made me realize that I’m actually quite fond of exercise.

Stop Making Excuses.

Excuses are like belly buttons: everybody has one, and nobody wants to hear about it.  They are invalid reasons to avoid doing something: if they were valid, they’d be reasons.

I used to convince myself that I couldn’t work out because my knees were bad.

Or because my lower back would tighten up instantly when I walked.

Or my hip hurt because it was malformed.

Or that my face would feel like it’s on fire because of my Rosacea.

Lo and behold, these problems started going away when I started working out.  My knees hurt less.  My back didn’t tighten up anymore just from walking a little.  My hip stopped hurting all the time.  Using a cold wet rag on my neck (and keeping very hydrated) keeps my Rosacea from flaring.

Don’t Lie To Yourself.

As I’ve become more introspective, I’ve found that I haven’t been honest with myself.

Like the reasons why I avoided walking.  Why?  Because I didn’t want to breath hard.  WTF.  I realized that I made a concerted effort all the time to avoid breathing hard.  Because breathing hard meant that I wasn’t in shape.  And I didn’t want anybody to know that I was out of shape.  What.  The.  Fuck.

Like the reasons I avoided lifting weights.  Why?  Because I didn’t want to look like a wuss.  I knew that I had to start somewhere, but somehow my brain didn’t let me see that I had to start somewhere to get past that “wuss” stage and into the “strong” stage (which, by the way, is where I’m at now).

Stop Trying to Look Cool.

This was a big one.  I felt like I had to look “cool” all the time.  Sweating, breathing hard, showing any pain or weakness of any kind wasn’t cool.

Not that I thought I was cool.  Like, ever.

When I went to the gym, I would do things to avoid sweating.  Sweating was bad.  It was gross, smelly, and turned the girls off.  Then I “heard” myself say that… why do I care what they think?  I’m married to the love of my life, I don’t give two shits (let alone one) whether or not the girls think I’m hot.  They could think I was transparent, translucent, transpiring, or transsexual, it just doesn’t matter.

How I Roll Now.

Now I go to the gym three or more times a week.  Even when I don’t feel like doing anything.   The only thing that stops me is if I’m deathly ill.

When I go there, I work out hard enough that my shirt is soaked.  Soaked so much that going home before showering simply isn’t an option.

I wear a cold wet cloth around my neck to avoid overheating.  And I nod at those jerks that give me that look like, “oh, he’s cheating, trying to make himself look like he’s working harder than he is.”  And then I work even harder, just to spite them.

I take ibuprofen or acetaminophen beforehand to avoid stopping because of my hips or knees or whatever.  Not heavy painkillers that mask pain, because pain means that I’m pushing too much.

I lift as much as I can as many times as I can, even if it’s a lot less than the last person that used that machine.  And now I smile when I sit down after that guy that I thought was so much stronger than me and add 100 pounds (and pull it more times than he did).

When one of my friends asks me to go outside and do something, I try to do whatever I can to make that happen.  Disc golfing even in high winds.  Walking even when it’s colder than I’d like.  Moving around even when I’m really focused on that video game.

Remember Nobody Is Perfect.

I find myself breaking the rules all the time.  It’s part of being human.

But I try to do the right thing more often than the wrong thing.  I try to eat healthy more often than eating garbage, even after I ate nearly an entire pizza by myself yesterday.