When I chose the path of recovery from addiction over being addicted I chose a path that requires maintenance. When my wife chose me, she understood that this path requires that maintenance (not only was she on board, she is anything but shy about letting me know I should look at whether I have work to do in that regard).
My fitness is no different. My remaining at a healthy weight, fit and trim requires time. Between 45 minutes and an hour, each and every day of the week, minus a day off every now and again. I will bend over backwards to fit it in too. First thing in the morning, later in the afternoon, whatever it takes.
Typically speaking, I am an “all or nothing” kind of guy. I’m just pointing this out for any new visitors of course. Fitness, however, is often a lot like recovery when viewed in context because it takes a considerable amount of effort to start and then to maintain the lifestyle. My chosen kick, of late, is cycling (and I certainly hope it remains that way for a long time to come) and breaks that mould.
As a final piece of the background puzzle, my happiness and my recovery depend on my being active. I’ve done lazy and it just doesn’t work. My wife will attest to this unequivocally. Riding a bike, for just an hour a day during the week and a few hours each day over the weekends, gives me time to clear my head, dial in my focus, and put a smile on my face. I don’t stay fit to chase a good body, though this is a welcome side effect. I choose fitness because it makes me happy, and it works.
Too often I hear people make the simple reality that it isn’t all that difficult to fit a simple hour of fitness into their day more difficult than it has to be. While I understand this and often struggle to work around my other responsibilities as well, I don’t participate in using anything as an excuse for extended absences from my bike (injuries excepted, though I haven’t experienced one in several years). Over the last 14 years, I’ve found a way to make it work.
My wife, kids, employers, family and friends all need a focused, happy, healthy me. Without my fitness I’m tired, sore, slow and worse, old. I can’t keep up my kids, my work or life. Without my health I’m doomed to blowing a small fortune on doctors, medication, and unintended side effects. It’s not even necessary to explain happiness.
My only problem, if I’m honest, is in my head.
Living a fit life is not always easy and the one thing that saves me is the fact that I absolutely love riding a bike. As a runner I struggled with “want to”. I had to rely on friends to get through stretches where I just wanted to polish the couch with my butt. I had to throw every trick in the book at it.
Thankfully all of that angst is in the past and I’ve managed to get in with a great bunch of cyclists. Even if I hadn’t, riding solo or with my wife would be good enough. I have attained the holy grail of fitness; I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t have to stay fit. Fit happens as a result of simply wanting to go for a ride.