Everyone has their reasons. Lots of reasons.
Some are vain. Everyone wants to look good. To look appealing. Attractive. Strong. There’s nothing quite as simultaneously satisfying and annoying as having to buy new pants due to a large weight loss.
And people have different preferences to accomplish this. Some choose to lift. Others do “cardio”. Some run. Some CrossFit. Some insane people choose to run ultra-marathons.
To each their own.
But why do we do it? Why do we truly do it? Exercise and fitness should be a way to improve our quality of lives. All aspects of life should be inherently improved as your health and fitness level improves.
I’ll ask again: “Why do you do it?”
I know why I do it. Take a look:
Are you a father? A mother? Sister? Brother?
These are my girls. Each of these pictures was snapped mere minutes after birth. Due to c-section deliveries, I got the opportunity to give each of them their very first bottle. These exact moments, captured in these photographs, are moments I will cherish for the rest of my life. Every time I look at these pictures, I am reminded of why I try to keep my health in check. Every time I need some motivation to get to the gym, my mind goes to these two girls. If you’re a parent, you know the feelings of emotion children evoke. It’s like you have this switch, deep inside your soul, and at the very moment one of these precious angels is brought into this world, someone reaches deep down your throat and into your belly, flipping the switch and eternally changing your life.
And the switch never goes off.
You have good days. Bad days. Okay days. Days that piss you off. Moments that are so difficult you question your decision to bring another life onto this planet. But then, just like that, in the blink of an eye, one of those little angels turns to you for help and guidance, and you’re done. Just done. Completely melted into a puddle on the floor where you once stood.
I’m in some serious trouble when these girls are teenagers.
Life is short. Life is precious. In the past two weeks, I have attended two visitations for people who have passed. One was a little girl. A small child stricken with Neuroblastoma. A sister of one of my former students. Here’s a girl who should have been getting ready for middle school. A wonderful time full of friends, uncertainty, puberty, and the Pythagorean Theorem. Dances. Mixers. Parties. Sports teams. The works.
At least she’s in a better place now.
The other was for an acquaintance at my wife’s work. Her husband passed away while doing yard work. I had met him on a number of occasions. He was, by all means, a wonderful man. Full of life, smiles, and happiness. Him and his wife invited my family into their home on a number of occasions. They even gave my oldest daughter her own, special Halloween treat one year when we stopped by. He had recently retired and was spending some time making sure the landscaping at his house was up to par. He was found by neighbors, unresponsive. He will be sorely missed by those near to him. My deepest, most heartfelt condolences go out to his close friends and family.
You hear the stories all the time. The mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, and brothers who head outside to do some sort of activity, and never make it back in. The stories are heartbreaking, but common. Shocking, but seemingly completely normal.
I guess that’s a big reason why I do it: FEAR.
Yes, I want to be something my daughters and wife can be proud of.
Yes, I want to have a body image that is aesthetically pleasing.
Yes, I want to turn heads when I go to the beach.
But more importantly, I want to be Superman. I want to live forever.
I never want my girls to have to go through the anguish of having their father leave them.
I don’t want to die.
We are faced with our mortality from time to time. In society, we often see people who obviously haven’t given the slightest bit of thought to personal appearance. Sloppy. Unkempt. Obese. At times, unshowered. And some of them have kids with them. My mind often goes right to those kids and I wonder: “What do those kids think about Mom and Dad? Are they proud of them? Are they scared Mom and Dad might not be with them much longer?” Generally, with young kids, the answer is no. Young kids don’t think about such grave matters.
But those kids won’t be young forever.
We are given one body. It is a sheer miracle of Creation and it is an absolute work of art. The way our processes interact with each other to produce the outcomes they do…………….boggles the mind if you truly ponder it.
It is our right………..our mission to try to enhance those processes. Make them as efficient as possible. Maximize your body’s output.
Every time I see someone who can’t physically train, I am reminded of why I push myself through every deep squat, every heavy deadlift, and every bench press.
Because I can.
To train is a privilege. Not everybody gets to train. Injuries and disabilities cause lots of individuals to be wheel-chair bound.
What an absolute slap in the face to those individuals that don’t have the option to exercise that you can’t be bothered with it.
So, let me ask again: Why do you care? Why do you train? Why do you want to lose weight and become healthy? Is it for a person? For vanity? For your children? For your grandkids? Your husband? Wife? Girlfriend? Partner?
Or is it “because you can”.
Sometimes “because you can” is simply the best reason to do something.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my favorite part of the day: Picking my girls up from daycare.
Happy Father’s Day.