Like most people my age, I have a long history of stop/start fitness regimens. (I use the word regimen strictly as a means of making the entire process sound a lot more structured and realistic than it actually is, there has never been anything truly regimental about my fitness routines). Admittedly, the stopping is a hell of a lot easier than the starting. Once you stop and the longer you stop for, the harder it is to light that fire again. Finding the energy and time for that initial push or shove back into some sort of fitness/health routine seems to be harder to find sometimes than the Higgs Boson. My push came from within, the shove from my Brother-in-law, and so it began.
I read once that it takes 5 'sessions' of exercise to overcome the initial reluctance and lack of motivation for the new routine to become a routine, 5 days of pain before the gain. 5 days for your body to realise that something is happening and it needs to get its shit together before some real damage is done. If that is the case, I’m not even half way there. One weights session focusing on upper body strength (of which I have none apparently) and a 40-minute run/walk/fall over in the searing heat over two days and I am feeling every bit the 40 year old.
And that’s exactly the reason I need to push on, no WANT to push on. Will push on.
Half a lifetime ago, before fulltime work, before fulltime children, I was ridiculously fit. I know I am never going to achieve that level again, but I remember how good it feels, my body remembers what it’s like to be in shape. So I know what’s in front of me and I know what the possible rewards are at the end of the journey.
I don’t need to look far for motivation or inspiration to continue. I have 5 young reasons at home that are going to benefit immensely from a fit and healthy dad as they get older and inevitably more active themselves. My own health, both physical and mental, will benefit infinitely from regular exercise. The evidence that exercise has a positive effect on mental health is overwhelming and something I have experienced first hand in the past.
My life was at a crossroads towards the end of last year. I had hit a new low and the sobering reality was that it could have been the end of all I love, my entire world was falling away from my weakening grasp. Things happened that at the time appeared to signify the end of the world, little did I know they would bring about the beginning of a new world, a better one, one with a future.
I have a great deal of work to do to become the man, husband and father I need and want to be. This new fitness/health regimen (a real one this time) is just one part of a holistic and comprehensive self-improvement doctrine that will see me become the person I want to be, have been before and know I can be forever.
I am hurting all over, every muscle stings, but it feels good. For the first time in a long time, my future is bright. Bring it on!
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'it will be happier'...”