The Happy Life – Exercise

Nutrition and exercise they say.  There are no shortcuts they say.  Well “they” have never tried the Ken Catmull program where you can eat anything you want and never exercise….and still be the most physically fit person on your block!

If that got you excited stop reading here.  What follows won’t help you.

I’m no expert on nutrition or exercise and I am no shining example of great physical fitness.  But I do have a story to tell on the exercise side of the equation.

When I was a kid I was thin and athletic.  All things athletic came easy to me.  Fast forward 30 years or so and I’m an overweight middle aged adult who, in his mind, is still that kid with that athletic skill set still available to him anytime he wants to pull it out of the closet.  I simply choose not to….because I’m busier now.

There’s a word for that….denial.

My wall of denial started getting cracks in it the older I got because, on occasion, I would pull the old athleticism suit out of the closet to try it on for size….and it no longer fit.

A few years ago I took a session with a personal trainer my wife was using after her knee replacement and he quickly took me to my physical limits.  It was a short trip.

Years ago when I went through boot camp our physical fitness was measured with push-ups, sit-ups and a timed two mile run.  Middle-aged Ken gave those a shot and…..well.  You can imagine.

What to do, what to do…

I didn’t want to go to a gym because that’s boring and frankly who needs to be judged by all the hard bodies in there.

So I did what Ken Catmull does.  I thought about it.  And thought about it.  And thought about it some more.  Softball league?  Fat guy holding a beer at second base….that’s out.  Becoming a running enthusiast?  I hate running long distance….that’s out.

Somewhere along the way I came to the conclusion that while I am figuring out how to add some exercise to my life in a sustainable way….I would go the gym for a little while even though I knew that would not be sustainable.  At the very least the misery of it would be a motivating factor for figuring out this puzzle.

So I signed up.  I’m a morning person so I started going around 5am Monday thru Friday.  Then they opened a Planet Fitness in our area with more equipment so I moved to that gym.

I learned a few things:

  • The ratio of Mom/Dad bodies to hard bodies at the gym is probably 10/1.  Not an issue in real life.
  • I like going to the gym.  I feel weird on days I don’t go.
  • Cholesterol numbers improve when you exercise.
  • A recurring trick knee problem evaporated.
  • Going to the gym makes me happy….and makes me more energetic throughout the day….

….and that will be helpful until I figure out the long term solution to the exercise problem.

It’s been about 5 years now at the gym.  Keep thinking Ken…you’ll find the solution.  It cannot hide from your eagle eye.

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