Beware, this post may be all over the place.
I have been struggling for a while with lack of focus in what I wanted to do fitness wise. Months and Months really. Look at my post history over the last 4 months, even the stretch July 1 through Oct 10 when I lost 32 lbs and my posts have been sporadic at best. I am going to try and explain what’s been going on, and where I am going.
I have mentioned many times on these pages, that I have been over 200 lbs since 1999 (27 years old). I spent all of my 30’s, or 80 percent of them sick and or unhealthy, with a laundry list of issues that I don’t need to reiterate here. Needless to say, while I have certainly made progress with my health I still have a ways to go in some areas. Getting (and staying) healthy remains my number one priority. I simply must get myself healthy so I can be around for a long time to provide for, and enjoy life with my family for many years to come. Getting Healthy should be enough to get me off my ass and keep me moving, but its not really a measurable goal.
I did great from July to October as I was working my butt off to win a bet that 5 of us made as we were getting ready to go to Vegas. Vegas has come and gone, and I have struggled since then finding something that could stoke the inner fires and keep them burning. A couple weeks ago I mentioned to some friends I was thinking of doing a mud run in 2014 to have something to shoot for. I have had some interest in some friends to joining me and it looks like I will be doing a Mud Hero event July 5-6 weekend in Halifax NS, a couple hour drive from my house.
This isn’t something that is merely a whim for me. I have been interested for over a year after following the exploits of some good friends of mine that have ran various races over the last couple years. I have had a handful of friends that have been running various races 5k/10k/half’s, tough mudders, mud heroes etc. And the wheels have been turning for well over a year. I would read about these things and the non-confident part of me would quickly talk myself out of even mentioning it to anyone. I did however continue to watch the Facebook stories and pics of a few friends I knew, and I also had a few conversations with good friends that did these races.
I came to a realization recently that training to look a certain way no longer inspires me personally. Don’t get me wrong, I take before and after pictures trying to measure my own progress, and to show how far I have come, but it doesn’t fire me up any more. I grew up and athlete. I grew up competing at everything. Sports, marbles, grades (unfortunately I didn’t take the grades serious past grade 8). Competition is something that really still burns inside of me. I was telling a friend recently, I need to compete. It may not be the “me versus you” it used to be for me, but I at least have to compete me versus me.
So what is all this leading to? Well I still have a very long way to go in my fitness journey. I still have 50-60 lbs I want to lose. But if I can’t get myself to work hard enough shooting to weigh 180, or to look a certain way, what am I to do? Well, what I am going to do is to exercise to Feel (healthy, energetic, positive, pain free) a certain way, rather than to look a certain way. I am going to exercise so that I can perform a certain way. I am going to exercise so that I can get off the sidelines of life, out from behind the computer screen that makes up my work life and so much of my entertainment and start living.
More than anything I love to exercise outside. Hiking, biking, kayaking, snow shoeing. I no longer enjoy the gym environment personally and I am going to be doing lots more of the things I actually enjoy. I have told people for a long time that I don’t believe there is one best cookie cutter way to exercise or magic program that works for everyone. I believe the best exercise is the one that you will do consistently. Whether that is walking/running , yoga, the gym, crossfit, biking or whatever.
The second part of my realization is, I need a big scary goal to motivate myself. I need to be publicly accountable to people that will call my bluff if i back off or back out. So here it is. In 2014 I am going to run a Mud Hero event in July 2014. I am doing this with a bunch of friends that are using it as a fun thing to do and something to motivate them to exercise as well. I am also even thinking of doing a Spartan Race the very next week. A good friend of mine who has done some races is doing both and I am really intrigued by it. They are far enough away that I could train and do them both, while they will both be very challenging, they both will consist of a little over an hour each of exercise (5k races with 10-15 obstacles each. Top end finishers will be done in a little over 30 Min, i assume I will take 60-80 min?). I have been researching these races for about a year casually and fanatically for the last few weeks. I really want to get a couple races under my belt and see if they will provide the level of competition (with myself) that I really find is missing for me.
2014 is going to be more about doing exercise I enjoy. Not about making myself do stuff I don’t enjoy any more. It will be about moving more. Hiking (my favourite activity). Kayaking. Biking. Yoga. Hopefully a return to recreational sports (more ball hockey, soccer, tennis etc). Move more. Eat better and less. I still plan to finish P90x. I do enjoy those style workouts because there is a lot of variety. I am going to give running another shot. My wife enjoys running, and I would like to do something with her. I had a ball swimming this past summer. My wife says i swam more this past summer than I did in the last ten together. I plan to exercise EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Somedays it will just be a walk with the dog. Somedays it will be a workout tape. I will exercise a little each day, so that I can enjoy life more everyday.