Are You All You Can Be?

If you are reading this, following this blog or others like it, I am likely preaching to the choir.  I’m going to talk about it anyway because I believe it is that important.  If you are not already working out regularly, you should really consider it.

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When I say workout, I am generally talking about weight lifting, but any type of activity you like can work.  I just find the way weight lifting changes your body cannot be duplicated in most other activities.  I have worked out since I was about fourteen.  My buddies and I worked out in my parents garage using my dads cement filled plastic weights (remember them?).  Sand would fall out of the cracks as you lifted, but they did the job.  As soon as I started working, I immediately joined a gym and have had a membership ever since.  That being said, I am no sports model, I have never fully embraced the diet aspect, although it is the most important part of your look in my opinion.  I feel perfectly at ease going shirtless, so I use that as my measure of where I’m at fitness wise.

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Spending time in a gym is great way to relieve stress, think about a problem, come up with new ideas, or just relax and enjoy the high you get with a really good work out.  I tend to work out alone.  I have had gym partners, but they lacked the drive I had and I felt they were holding me back, or I was always waiting on them to go to the gym.  It just wasn’t for me.

I hate wearing headphones, but wear them because I don’t like to talk while I’m working out and they seem to deter people.  I’ve went so far as to wear the headphones and stick the cord in my pocket when I’ve forgotten my phone.  Terrible, I know, but it got the job done.

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The confidence and energy you get with a regular exercise schedule is incredible.  You look better, you feel better, you are better.  The biggest obstacle for most people (other than laziness) is time, particularly if you have a family.  My solution has been to go early morning, I’m talking 330-4am.  People think I’m crazy and ask why I go that early.  The truth is that’s the only time I have for me.  No job, wife or kids needing anything.  It is totally my time to enjoy.  I found that if I tried to go at lunch time or after work it never happened.  Life always got in the way.  For each person circumstances will be different.  You simply have to figure out what works for you and what’s important to you.  You’d be surprised how many people are in the gym early in the morning.  Apparently I’m not the only one with a busy life.

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For me, working out with weights has kept me feeling young and alive.  I love the way I look and feel.  I’ve tried running, I hate it.  I tried martial arts, not my thing either.

I’ve seen first hand how it changed my wife.  In 2004 we were living in the country on five acres.  I was working out in the garage at the time because we had no local gym, although I had membership for when I was in town.  The kids had finally become somewhat self sufficient, so my wife asked me to take her in the garage in the evening and show her what to do.  At 34, she had never lifted in her life.  She absolutely loved it.  She was never over weight, but three kids did a number on her body, and self esteem.  Lifting weights firms you in ways other exercise programs do not.  Fast forward to today.  We live back near town and she is firmly planted in the gym rat category.  She works and is also an early morning gym goer.  We are nearing 50 she is in amazing shape.  I’m talking there are times she comes home and is changing as we exchange stories from the day.  I stop her when she is undressed and have her spin around and give me a look before we proceed.  This is something she would’ve resisted prior to the confidence she gained from her hobby of weight lifting, along with sex with the lights on and many other fun activities.  Sometimes I love my life…

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As I read back through this I feel like it sounds like I’m bragging.  That is not my intent.  I simply would like to share the importance of regular exercise and how it has improved my life personally.  I am nothing special, I am just a man.  Which means if you want to improve your life, you simply have to find what it is you desire and make it happen.

Nothing worth having comes easy… Right Arnold???

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