Ah yes, it’s been a while.
Not sure how it happened, but I used to be pretty good about going to the gym. I enjoyed it. I saw some improvements in my strength and I felt better. Then one morning I skipped a day. Then a few more days, and 22 years later I still have not gone back.
Sure every once in a while I’ll find myself in the gym, but not on purpose. And nothing consistent.
Until recently, we joined the YMCA.
And my kids, particularly my oldest (Benjamin, 13) wants to go all. the. time.
And left to his own devices, he would. But he can’t drive.
So it’s forced me back into a place that used to be a thing for me.
I have a hate/hate relationship with the gym.
I hate everything about it.
It’s intimidating for me. I’m surrounded by 20-something year olds with tank tops and creatine shakes. It can even be challenging to know when it’s my turn to jump on a bench or take a machine. The bros seem to have a code as to when they’re getting close to done, because the incline bench is *never* open.
I’m also embarrassed to be out lifted by the 60+ year old women in yoga pants and headbands.
I can see why people don’t start or re-start getting healthy. It can be a very solitary experience.
But my son. He wants to go every chance he gets.
And the amazing thing?
He doesn’t have his buddies there with him.
He takes his two basketballs, some drill cones, and a bottle of water. And for the next 90+ minutes, he practices his dribbling, shooting, and step-back moves.
Have you ever tried playing basketball alone?
Ugh. It’s dreadful after 10 minutes.
You really have to be dedicated to the sport to play alone for that long.
But he’s committed to becoming a better player. He wants to make the 8th grade school team. In our school district, over 120+ kids try out for the top 20 spots. Not good odds. But it doesn’t deter him from practicing.
He’s determined. And he’s consistent. Even on some days when he doesn’t feel like going, he pushes himself forward.
But this post isn’t about my son.
It’s about everyone.
His resolve to become a better basketball player has had an impact on my life.
Because it forces me to go the gym every time he wants to go.
If he can practice alone for almost 2 hours, I can get back on the treadmill for a few minutes. I started to research how to get back into weight training. I’ve reached out to a few of my friends and I’m now starting a higher rep low weight training schedule.
I’ve also ditched the idea that people are looking at me.
Everyone is too busy being self-conscious about their own exercise goals to worry about you.
No one cares what you look like.
They care about 2 things:
- Don’t be a jerk.
- Clean up after you’re done.
Sort of like how I treat my kids.
So after a 22 year hiatus, I’m back in the gym.
I’m not trying to become gallon of protein shake jugging meathead. In fact I don’t really have a huge goal in mind other than to try to get a bit healthier.
Actually, I do have a goal. It’s to be able to do one full pull-up with no assistance.
That way, if I ever find myself hanging off the edge of a cliff, I can save myself.
But other than that, no huge and unrealistic goals.
But the one metric I will use is, I want to go every time my son wants to go.
Sometimes, you have to borrow some motivation from other people.
Maybe this wasn’t your plan. Maybe your in a spot in your life where the motivation to get restarted is nil.
I want to encourage you to get back up again.
And if you can, find a partner or someone who is relying on you to take them to where *they* need to go.
“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley