Don’t Make Excuses

Have you been saying to yourself that you want to get back in shape? Can I ask what’s stopping you? Have you been telling yourself that you’re to old or you don’t have time? Quit making excuses! Some of you probably just said that those are not excuses but let me ask you some follow up questions. If I said I’ll give you tickets to your favorite sports teams game would your answer be I’m to old or I don’t have time? If I said I’ll buy you dinner at any restaurant you wanted to go to would your answer be I’m to old or I don’t have time? If your answers to these questions are no then they shouldn’t be your excuses to not take control of your health. I had to swallow that hard truth not that long ago. It’s funny how we have time to do the things that we want to do but don’t have any time to go workout. To be completely honest we have to make time to get a workout in. Think about this: a one hour workout is only four percent of the day. When you think about it that way it doesn’t seen like that much time does it? Have you thought about getting up one hour earlier in the morning to get that workout done for the day? You might be saying that you don’t feel like you’re not getting enough sleep so how could I get up earlier to workout. Trust me when I say that once you start doing it it’ll make your day go better. I challenge you to try it for seven days and see how it goes. If it’s not for you then at least you tried but don’t quit on your workouts just find a different time of day to do it. Some guys workout on their lunch break or right after they get off work. The main thing is that there is time we just have to take the time we have.

Now let’s come back to that I’m to old comment that some of us have used to not workout. Here’s the truth: I’m 38 and we all know that 38 isn’t that old. Well, maybe to some of you in your twenties it is, but it really isn’t. I made the choice to start getting my health back about a year and a half ago and trust me when I say if I can do it so can you. I know that there are some that are older than I am who are saying that is great for someone your age but it’s hard to be inspired when I’m older than you. My answer to that is my mom who never really worked out before is 65 and goes to the gym 5 days a week. I have watched her go from having high blood pressure and getting ready to go on blood pressure medication to having good blood pressure. She has also lowered her blood sugar from 8.7 to 6.6 in three months. This woman has also ways pushed me to do my best and to not give up on how hard I work. Watching how hard she works and how she is benefiting from her hard work pushes me to do more. I am very proud of the work that she has put in. Her story is inspiring and should inspire you as well however I have one more for you. I can’t brag on my mom and the great job that’s she’s been doing without mentioning my dad. At the age of 79 my dad has made the decision to start a small workout.

A little back story about him is three years ago he fell and broke and dislocated his ankle. He hard a long recovery because his bone came very close to pushing through the skin so they had to put three screws in just to hold the bone in place before the could even go in and fix it. After the swelling went down enough they put a plate in and about 6 screws to hold it in place. From the time he broke his ankle till the time he was able to walk again was about a year. Every time he would walk for a period of time his ankle would swell up and he would be out of commission for a few days. Just recently he has been able to walk for a while without his ankle swelling up. About 2 weeks ago he decided to start going to the gym. The past 2 weeks this almost 80 year old has gone to the gym 5 days a week to walk ride a bike and to do a small back shoulder and arm workout. I am very proud of both of my parents for making the decision to start working out. They are truly an inspiration to me.

I feel that it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve covered the age groups here and to recap what I said about I’m to old and I have no time are excuses for not working out regularly. Now I challenge you to stop making excuses make the time and go out there and get after it. I also challenge you to never give up and never quit. Remember that none of us are perfect and we will never be so shot for progress not perfection.

Setting Workout Goals Together

My son Jacob and I have been working out together for about two months now and I love seeing the sense of accomplishment on his face when he does something that he didn’t think he could do. We went to the Warrior Gym for the second time and Jacob went from just barely getting up the ten foot wall to making it to the twelve foot wall. The look on his face when he realized that his hard work is starting to pay off is something that I will remember for a long time. The more his confidence grew each time he made it up the twelve foot wall Jacob started trying different obstacles around the gym. The next obstacle that he try is called the spider wall. This is where there are two walls about five in a half feet apart and you have to jump up to from a small trampoline and reach out to both sides with your arms and legs. After you wedge yourself in between the two walls you have to strategically move along the wall for about fifteen feet without falling or losing your grip that you have with your hands and feet. This proved to be difficult for him since he is only five and a half feet tall so it takes every inch of him just to wedge himself between the two walls. After we left the gym he said that his next goal was to be able to run up the fourteen foot wall and complete the spider wall.

I love the fact that Jacob is starting to take a similar interest in working out as me. I also love that he sets goals for himself to be able to complete physical fitness obstacles and works hard to achieve these goals. The hard part is that I’m still a beginner and I don’t have all the knowledge. Jacob also has Scoliosis so I have to be cautious when it comes to certain exercises so that he doesn’t hurt his back. His physical therapist gave me a list of exercises that we can do at home and at the gym but I still have to make sure that he’s not over doing it and hurts himself. Just like any other kid when Jacob wants to do something he want to be able to it all right now. I remind him that this isn’t something that we can rush because that’s how we get injured.

Just like anyone else there are some workouts that he likes and others that he doesn’t like. He asks me why we have to do a certain workouts instead of this other workout. He doesn’t yet understand that we have to do certain things that you don’t want to because they workout a part of the body that needs to be strengthened to be able to complete a certain obstacle. One of the things he really doesn’t like to do is full arm extension pull ups. When we first started doing these he ask why he needed to be able to do them. I told him that since we both are not very tall that when we try to get up the fourteen foot wall we are going to have to pull ourselves up from a full arm extension position so that’s why we need to be able to do pull ups that way. I also tell him that the more upper body strength we have the easier other obstacles will be because we will have the body strength that is needed to complete them. Once I explained this to him it was as if the light went on and he understood why we do things that don’t seem important really are when we look at the overall picture.

Getting our kids into a regular workout routine now will make it easier for them when they’re adults.  I hope that Jacob doesn’t have to go through the same struggles I did when I first started but if he stays at it he’ll be on the right path.

Getting our kids into a regular workout routine now will make it easier for them when they're adults. Click To Tweet

Workout Together

The days that I enjoy the most at the gym are the days that my son comes with me. It all started one day as we were walking around The Man Show Expo. Jacob looked over and saw that there was a warp wall just like on American Ninja Warrior. We asked the guy if we were able to try it out. They said that they had a few obstacles set up that were open to the public to try out. For the next hour Jacob and I tried to do all the stuff that they had set up. At this point Jacob wasn’t going to the gym and really had no interest in working out. After we got home from the Man Show Jacob went on and on about how much fun he had. He kept on talking about if he did this or if he did that he would be able to get up the warped wall. I had mentioned to him that if he started coming to the gym with me I could help him start a workout routine that would definitely help him achieve his goal. That night we made a plan to go workout together two or three days a week. Just like when I started to workout I didn’t want Jacob to go big right out of the gate with the fear that he would get burned out quickly.

The first day that we went to the gym together was a proud day for me. I watched my son do things that he didn’t think that he could do. I was able to see the potential that I knew he had inside of him start to come out. He worked hard and was very observant to what I was doing and if he wasn’t sure how exactly to do something he didn’t hesitate to ask for assistance. It was fun for me to pass on the things that I was learning onto him. It was definitely a learning day for the both of us. For Jacob he was learning different weight lifting workouts and for me I was learning how to show him what to do and help him make sure that he was lifting the weights in the proper way so that he wouldn’t hurt himself. We were having so much fun working out together that we didn’t even notice that we had been at the gym for about 3 hours. It is definitely true when they say time flys when you’re having fun and for me it was double the amount of fun. Not only was I working out but I was using something that I really enjoy to spend quality time as father and son.

From time to time Jacob and I go to the Warrior Gym. This is a training gym that has the obstacles set up like American Ninja Warrior. These obstacles take a lot of upper body strength. To be honest these obstacles will give you a full body workout without you even knowing it. The first time we went I think we may have been there for thirty minutes or so. We both realized that we had a long way to go before we could do some of the obstacles. We tried our hardest to complete the ones that we thought we could do and at least attempted some of the other one as well. We set some goals of being able to complete the one we could almost do and also set a goal to get farther on the other ones we couldn’t get very far on. We both had a blast but when we got back to the house we were sore all over. In those thirty minutes we both definitely got a great workout. We also watch American Ninja Warrior to get some inspiration to keep us going back.

Our family motto is Never Give up and Never Quit. This helps us to stay focused on our goals. Now get out there and get after it.

Starting To Realize

If you’re anything like I was going to the gym to workout is not a priority. I would tell myself that I didn’t need to go because I worked all day. In my line of work I am always moving around and constantly bending squatting and crawling around on the floor. I also only live two blocks from work so I would either walk or ride a bike to work everyday. To me I was getting enough exercise everyday so why should I go to the gym? I thought that there wasn’t anything that I could do at the gym that I wasn’t already doing. I told myself that the gym was just going to charge me money for something I didn’t even need. If all this was true then why was I out of shape? Why was I gaining weight? Why was I so tired after work? Why couldn’t I walk home after work without feeling like I needed to stop for a rest? Like I said I only lived two blocks from work but didn’t feel like I could make it. After I got home from work I didn’t have the energy to do simple tasks around the house. I felt like I needed to rest for an hour or two before I could do anything. Why was I feeling like this if I was getting the proper exercise that I needed? The answer is because I wasn’t. I had a distorted thought process of what exercise really was. I had to change my perspective and had to get into the right mindset. The person that I asked for help without him even knowing hammered it into my head that what I thought about working out was harming my life. I’m so thankful that this person was willing to help because it literally saved my life.

After I got into the right mindset and changed my perspective I started going to the gym. I wasn’t sure what to do so I just started with things that I knew. Walking on the treadmill ridding on the bikes. I would to some weight lifting machines. It was painful to actually see just how out of shape I was. There were things that used to be able to do that I couldn’t even come close to doing anymore. One day while at the gym I saw one of the signs that was hanging on the wall that said “you belong” and after that I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head. The next day I saw another sign that said “in the end it’s all about you.” It was like the gym was speaking to me. That’s when it started to sink in. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know everything there is to know about working out. It didn’t matter that I was using the twenty pound weights. The only thing that mattered was that I belonged there because I was doing what I needed to do to get back into shape and in the end it was all about how I felt about myself.

Were there days that I didn’t want to go to the gym? Absolutely, but I had to remind myself why I started, which had to be a constant reminder everyday. There is a saying that says “you shouldn’t look back at where you were,” however the person that helped me talked about this in one of his posts before. He said that this path is a journey and we need to enjoy it. We also need to look back from time to time to see just how far we’ve come. We need to use things that we’ve overcome from our past to help motivate us on our journey forward. I’m not saying that I’ve overcome everything that I need to because I don’t think that I ever will. What I mean by this is that the day I’ve achieved everything that I want to will be the day that I have nothing to work towards. I think that there is always a goal we need to work towards to achieve. We should always be in the fight to make ourselves better everyday.

It might sound strange but to me starting a workout routine is like becoming a parent. Think about it. When I first found out that I was going to be a dad I was nervous as I’m sure some of you were too. I tried to learn as much as I quickly as possible but the day my son was born I forgot almost everything I learned. We think we are prepared but in reality we have no idea what we are doing. Some things come naturally and others we kind of learn on the fly. I’m not saying that we as dads just stand there and wing it but for the most of us we don’t know how to handle things until they actually happen. We try to be prepared for just about anything to protect our kids. We seek advice from our parents and anybody else we trust enough to give us advice on how to teach our kids. It’s almost the same when we go to the gym for the first time. We don’t know how to do this or that. We start with what we know and build off it. We don’t have the same endurance that we did when we were younger but we work hard to get back there. We can also seek out help from others who have been in our same situation before. I know being a parent is hard work just like getting back in shape is hard work but with the right mindset and determination we can do both.

You have to be the one to put in the work because no one else is going to do it for you. Click To Tweet

Last thing to end this is you have to be the one to put in the work because no one else is going to do it for you. Now get up get out there and get after it.

Deciding to get back in shape

I was never the guy who thought that I was out of shape or unhealthy. I would eat whatever I wanted and didn’t think twice about it. When I started to get a gut it didn’t really bother me.  When my clothes didn’t fit anymore I told myself that my metabolism was slowing down. When I was at work and I’d find myself getting tired and out of breath quickly I told myself that I was getting older and that’s what happens when we get older. The problem is I was only 37 and even though my son doesn’t agree 37 isn’t that old. It hit me one day at the doctors office that something was wrong. I had borderline high blood pressure and tipped the scale at 280. That’s when I knew something had to change. I didn’t have all the answers and still don’t so I asked for help. There is nothing wrong with seeking out assistance especially when it comes to our health. The person that I asked helped me change my perspectives on working out and my eating habits. He also taught me about the discipline of consistency. This means that we don’t get frustrated when life happens and we miss a workout but to be disciplined enough to get back at it the next day and stay consistent at it. For me I started small with just a run/walk around the block followed with some push ups and sit ups. I had to take baby step when getting back in shape because if I went to big to quick I would get burned out. I made the commitment to myself to do this 3 times a week  until I could run around the block without stopping to walk. I also committed to do 10 push ups and 10 sit ups 3 times a week until I could do them without stopping. After I achieved that I would increase but only a little bit.

I’m happier now that I asked for help and took the proper steps to get my health back on track. After I was doing this for a few weeks I noticed that not only did I feel good about myself but I gained energy as well. My happiness overflowed into other areas of my life as well. I became  positive with just about everything that came my way and it helped me strengthen some of my relationships as well. I took on the mindset that one day my son will have kids and I want to be that cool grandpa that can run around and play with my grandkids.

If any of this hits home for any of you then I would encourage you to make the same decision that I did and seek out assistance. Is it easy? No but our lives are worth it. There are no magic pills. There are no shortcuts. There is no easy paths just hard work but with the right mindset and positive attitude we all can push through the pain.

There are no magic pills. There are no shortcuts. There is no easy paths just hard work but with the right mindset and positive attitude we all can push through the pain. Click To Tweet

One of my favorite movies series that helps motivate me is Rocky. I’m sure some of you have seen them and probably know that he never quits until he wins. One of my favorite quotes came in Rocky 5 during the street fight when Rocky looks at his opponent and says “I didn’t hear no bell. One more round. “We can all use that line and use the next round to kick start our health.

To end this I’m going to quote  Jocko Willink. ” Get up. Get out there and Get After It!”