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

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


April 2016

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.


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.


  1. Eric says:

    I feel like many people make an attempt at becoming fit and give up because it’s hard in the beginning. I’ll admit when I went from doing 20 mile rides up to 30, 40 and 50 it really hurt at first. Once you get over that initial hurdle next thing you know 50 miles isn’t even a big deal anymore. Fact is once you get fit life is much more fun. Cycling is a great way to meet new people next thing you know a good chunk of your life revolves around rides with friends.

  2. Gail says:

    Exactly!! You can’t wish, hope and pray that you will get fit. it takes planning and commitment, One of the biggest segments of my client base is the newly divorced woman. They never seem to care abut how they look whilst married, but the second that relationship is over, they do start to care. Sometimes that caring is sustained, sometimes it peters off the second they find another man. My job, as I see it, is to do my best to make them understand that they should care forever. How you feel about yourself is directly connected to how you treat your body. I’ve seen so many people bloom emotionally, mentally and physically once they control their health and wellness. It never gets old for me. Love your blog. Glad I found it…..even if you are a biker….though U’m sure you’d never clip Seamus O’Malley and me! LOL 😉

    • bgddyjim says:

      Humorously, I just got done reading your rant post a short while ago. In the 30,000-ish miles I’ve ridden since I started riding, I’ve never once buzzed or clipped a pedestrian. If you walk where I ride, you have bigger problems than a cyclist – namely much larger vehicles with four wheels. I rarely ride rail trails, never a sidewalk (it’s illegal) and I ride too fast for the bike paths. Typically I’m a road only guy.

      • Gail says:

        Clearly we need you up here in my part of Canada then. Perhaps yoi could teach a masterclass?….Canadians are supposed to be polite, eh? 😉 Seriously though? I find if I drive out to the escarpment to run there, which is all country roads, the bikers I come across are extremely polite, let me know they are coming and often have a friendly wave or positive comment to make about Seamus O’Malley. In the city is where I come across the most boorish behavior. As I said, I’m a cyclist as well, and I truly do my best to obey the rules of the road. We are not allowed to ride on sidewalks either. Against the law!

      • bgddyjim says:

        Ah, now we’re starting to make a little more sense! I live in the country – out in the sticks, farm country. We take care to be polite. The closer you get to the city, the more wrapped up in themselves people are, the ruder they get. We aren’t bound up by that selfish crap out here in the sticks. We’re not perfect by any stretch but we do our best to be decent.

  3. Manu Stanley says:

    Quite an inspiring story, brother. I also have this habit of cutting things short when it comes to fitness. I used to have a good work-out routine until 4 years ago, and I am trying every bit (or so I think) to get back to that. So yes, as you said I shall ‘make it happen’ from now on!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Believe me, I know how tough it is to stay with it (I’ll be publishing a new post that gets into that specifically in a couple of hours). You’ll get there, brother. One day at a time.

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