It’s taken me years to come to terms with it, but I am still an athlete to some degree. A good one? Physically speaking, ‘Hellnaw. I’m about 55 lbs away from that, and when I get back to my playing weight I will forever be, “for my age bracket.” But as much as I try to fight it, my body is what my body is: an athletic body that craves being in motion and testing its strength and endurance. It has to be treated as an athlete’s body. If not, it tries to sleep and shut down, shutting me down with it.
Apparently there’s no relevant place in my career history for, “can burn 900 calories on an elliptical workout,” or “once had a university school record 6 3-pointers.” So for years I tried to cut athleticis out of my life because my life goals couldn’t be found on a basketball court. I mean, you know how many hours it takes to make 1,000 jumpshots a day when you’re in peak condition with sharp skills? That’s a half-day’s shift. That’s 4,000 words of content – if the content schedule is sorted out.
Hell, the last game I played was 12 years ago down at the Mound St. courts in the VU late at night. I was so out of practice that I walked off the courts in disgust during the middle of a game and walked home. And I never looked back. Ask the neighborhood friends. We haven’t as a group played since.
For years I tried to figure out why I could put in two days worth of work into one day and still feel like crap. I didn’t understand. I felt accomplished. I felt like I was moving forward in life, but I still felt like shit.
It wasn’t until I kept going to the gym that something clicked. I made a point to say I’m going. Even if I didn’t have the feeling like I have energy, I was going to do something because anything was better than wearing this fucking fat suit all the fucking day.
I’ve been able to increase the intensity of the workouts. I’ve traded in long, slow walks, once again, for the elliptical machine. I’ve had two good runs of consecutive trips to the gym, but each time they were ended by trips back to Valparaiso or to Oregon. Or, in the case of the last one, trips to Oregon followed by a trip back to Valparaiso. So the overall results have been counterbalanced.
One day lead to two, two days lead to four. I started to get a good string of workouts at the gym. Then I’d get home and I was able to work about 50% faster than on days I didn’t go.
I’ve been back at the gym every day since I returned home from the and a half weeks on the road. The body’s starting to crave it more and more. Because of the previous two streaks, I’ve been getting my wind quicker and my levels have returned faster.
I’m not concerned if I can do 5 straight months because I don’t think of it as a road to travel or a hill to climb but I feel it is a life to live. I’m more looking forward to seeing what the results will be come Thanksgiving week when we head back to the Oregon Coast.
That in itself makes me happy.
We have a string of family and friends visiting from August to November, but I don’t have to go anywhere. I get to sleep in my bed. I get to be near my gym. And as much as I love them, there’s going to be a couple hours a day where they can either workout with me, watch TV or go to the pool. I’ll be right there.
And the world can fuck off if it tries to interfere.
The only thing the workouts will miss is a fair amount of weight lifting. I don’t want to bench 300 lbs – unless it helps me do pull-ups- but that’s not the reason.
See, over the next few months I want to get into shape to climb mountains and walk with Katie. Go find Zen – those moments of peace that belong only to us. I can’t do that they way I want to right now. I can’t do a fucking pullup.
But, before the iron is pumped, I need to find an Atlas Chiropactor out here who’ll help finish my neck therapy. The good doc in Lansing gave me a few names. I just need to track them down.
I learned that if I get a full day’s work in but no workout, I feel like the day is lost, but if I don’t finish everything on my work schedule yet get a workout in, I still feel incredible and have a great mindset going into the next day. And, nine times out of 10, I get whatever I didn’t get finish on the schedule completed the next day along with the day’s schedule.
I let go. I put my health above my career. And I find out, in turn, my health improves my career.
Maybe I can get someone to endorse this logic on my LinkedIn profile.