Day 1: Baby Steps

I went to bed last night around 9:30 after declaring sometime earlier this past weekend that I would begin waking up before work and exercising–starting today. Monday–what a splendid day to start anew. Specifically, I told my wife that I was going to begin another round of P90X–approximately six years after the last round I completed! The truth of my fitness and health is one of great flux, a trend I’d like to rectify.

4:45 a.m. Beep. Beep. I slid the red “X” across my Samsung immediately, silencing its alarm, and for a moment, I contemplated sleep. I offered myself the idea that I could exercise after work, which is a dangerous promise that presents obvious pitfalls for any working adult. So as I laid in bed for another 30 seconds or so, I asked, “How many times have you told yourself that you would ‘just exercise after work?'” Then I awoke from my slumber, moved toward the chair adjacent the bed, and proceeded to gear up and lace my shoes. Sensing that I was outside of my comfort zone, our yellow lab followed me from the bedroom–but then again he follows me everywhere. Yet I digress.

Returning to the notion of my fitness, health, and the great fluctuation of both in my 31 years of life, it is essential to say that when motivators and goals have been part of a consistent and intentional regiment, I have prospered in attaining a body and level of health desired. However, when I have questioned my motivations for exercise, justified poor choices, and sought excuses, then I have found predictable results that have left me unhappy and dissatisfied. I am never happier than when I am fit, as consistent exercise and moderate food choices and intake has always generated confidence, self-esteem, and a desire to improve. When my body is out of whack and ill-prepared, it affects my mind in negative ways. And for years, I have searched for what would hopefully reveal itself as the best workout plan, but in this quest I failed to make sacrifices. I failed to schedule the remainder of my day in a manner that would compliment and make possible my athletic endeavors–and maybe this was a product of being fit for years without giving great thought to diet, sleep, rest, and other habits. But now, when I go to bed too late, drink a few too many beers, consume foods high in fat, salt, or sugar, or fail to plan my next day, then I am typically subject to its will when the alarm clock calls. And isn’t that the lesson to be learned? “Woe is me” is often an attitude adopted by those willing to accept circumstances rather than defining them in the first place.

On a heavier note, bringing a child into the world has rocked my own existence, and it has started to bring my wife and I closer than ever before. And yesterday, as he rolled from his belly to his back for the first time, I knew I had to do everything in my power to be present in his life for as long as possible. I knew I could not be severely overweight and expect to play basketball with him. I knew I could not be hypertensive and expect to serve as his role model for positive and healthy food choices. I knew these things almost in an instant–and I also knew that I could change the way I live with deliberate planning and moderation. I knew I could still plan for some weekends of old–weekends of burgers and beer, cigars and golf, and things of the sort. But I knew these could no longer be my consistent habits. These days need now to be the exceptions to more meaningful and investment-based choices.

I’m on the grind, homies–rolling over a new leaf like my boy be rolling over on his play mat. Protein shakes and fish bakes, homies. I’ve found real and true purpose, and I plan to make it my greatest symphony yet.

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