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Daily Archives: April 26, 2016

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Fitness: Taking Time Vs. Making Time… It’s not just Semantics and a Phrase that Rhymes

I have a confession:  When it comes to making fitness as a priority in my life, I cheat.

Recovery from addiction, if done correctly, changes a person down to their core.  Once I went from a doctor or two and my parents generalizing about how “I was slowly killing myself” to a place where I could actually see solid evidence of my coming demise, things went from abstract to real very fast.  All of a sudden those liver enzyme readings meant something more than a doctor’s over-reaction.  Originally, when that doctor said if I didn’t quit, and in a hurry, I wouldn’t make it to my 30th birthday I took it as an over exaggeration.  Within a year, I could see Death walking up to the door to knock.

Let’s just say that for me, the self-preservation aspect of recovery meant that I had to do certain things… I had to prioritize things in my life better.  Quitting drinking quickly became priority number one.  More important than a job, a girl, my relationship with my parents…  Recovery came first because without that, the rest was impossible anyway – including staying on the right side of the grass, pumping air.

This was early on in my life.  I was young, only twenty-three when these changes started taking shape.

Then my metabolism slowed down and I got lazy.  I watched a lot of TV and played a lot of video games and I started putting on weight, 50 pounds in just a couple of years.  I went from the low-end of the BMI scale to overweight – and I didn’t care.  I figured everyone else was fat, what was the big deal if I ended up that way too?  That line of thinking lasted approximately twelve hours unchallenged.  Then I had one of those, “What the hell are you thinking?!” moments.  See, I’d changed.  I know damn good and well allowing myself to get fat will kill me just as sure as being a chronic drunk will, it’ll just take a little bit longer killing myself with food.

Immediately on waking the next morning I had an entire change of heart and mind.  I started running that day, with my wife and a friend of hers.  I was slow, maybe a little better than 9-1/2 minute miles, and it was a short run at only 1-1/2 miles but by the end of the next week I was up to three 5k’s a week – and the weight started coming off, slowly but surely.  Then came changes in diet and even more weight dropped off of my flabby backside and gut.

Starting that morning I applied the same mindset that I’d used on alcohol and drugs to staying fit and trim.

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Today, I don’t take time for fitness.  I make time.  While there are events that can crowd my time and make getting a ride in difficult, I make a way.  Period, end of lecture.  Without my fitness I am slowly killing myself, one burger at a time.  I make time for fitness just like I make time for my recovery, because without those nothing else is feasible.  Granted, recovery always comes first but fitness is a close second.

I plan on being active when I’m 90 so I have to be on top of it now.  My friends, the less I treat fitness as an inconvenience and more like a necessity, the easier it is to make time to get it done.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, but the fact that there will be fewer tomorrows is a promise, if I don’t attend to that which matters most.

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