This is your only chance.

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That was a bit dramatic but it’s true. I’m talking about our bodies. We only get one of these things and if we screw it up, there’s no do-overs. I’m going to discus how freeing up years of your life could be hugely beneficial to your health & fitness

It’s not lost on me that not everybody loves to spend time at the gym or prioritize their fitness. Some people may look at it as a gigantic hassle and decide to spend their time elsewhere. Others will say that they don’t have any time and man, if you’re juggling between work, family, and other responsibilities that’s understandable. I don’t buy it but its understandable. There is nothing more important than your health and like we’ve discussed in previous articles, fitness and health are inseparable. We want to make sure that we put ourselves in a position that allows for longevity and happiness. Fitness has to be a priority. In some way, any way, we all NEED to maintain some level of fitness or we risk the consequences. Would you really want to look back in another 10, 15, 20 years and think that if you would’ve just set aside 30 minutes a day, that maybe you would still be able to run around with your children? Or take them on that outdoor hiking trip but your knees hurt, or your backs killing you, or you simply can’t can’t your breath?

How selfish is it of us to blow off taking care of our bodies and then use our families as the reason that we don’t have the time when they ARE THE REASON we should be taking care of ourselves. We need to stop making excuses

I don’t have time. I have no energy. I’m getting older and my body can’t do that anymore. The list could go on forever and trust me, I’ve heard them all. The strange thing is that while I’m someone who has prioritized my fitness for over the last decade of my life, I understand where people are coming from with these excuses. Life in itself is a challenge that we all are still figuring out as it happens. It can be tough to align our time appropriately given all the unknowns and surprises that we deal with on a daily basis. But while that’s true, I also believe that almost everyone knows where to begin. Whenever I’ve had a consult in the past or talk with someone about what they’re doing to get into better shape, they spout off all the right answers: eating healthier & being more active. They give a good list of foods, a decent workout regiment they want to start, and they talk about their goals. So why aren’t we doing it? Simple. We just don’t want to. On average, people do not want to do things that are hard or stressful on their bodies. This is natural. When is the last time you’ve seen a tiger run around for 20 minutes purely to improve its cardiovascular system? Exactly. We look at strenuous physical activity exactly how the body has treated it for eons, work. Its hard work that should be reserved only for necessity.

Well, I consider myself lucky enough to have a brain that can solve problems. This pragmatism has allowed humans to do amazing things with technology and research. This brain has also allowed us to figure out that we can manipulate our health factors and increase our longevity. Let me repeat that, we can DECIDE that we want to increase our chances of living a longer life. We can do this through physical activity and eating healthier foods. No other species on that face of the planet can decide they want to be healthier and in better shape, let alone actually do it. So why aren’t we all just ripped, muscle-bound, yoga experts that can run 100 miles straight? Again, excuses, and because we don’t want to. We decide to let our life dictate to us where were going to invest our time and energy and it should be the other way around. We should be telling our life’s story, exactly how we want to tell it.

I consider myself extremely lucky. At a young age, like most people, I became involved in athletics. But it was at the age of 18-19 that I decided that I wanted to be in better shape. So I started running, a lot. I just got on a treadmill and ran. And while it definitely caused me tons of pain, over the next 3-4 years I would be running a minimum of 5 miles every single day outside and eventually completed the Chicago Marathon. After this I started lifting weights and was hooked on improving my physique and health and here we are today. I consider myself lucky, I was able to lay down a solid base of athletic ability early on in my life and its paid dividends. While I say that it is luck that helped get me to where I am today, it has nothing to do with luck. Luck didn’t run those miles, research those countless fitness articles over the years, and luck definitely doesn’t get me to the gym nowadays. Ive realized that I owe it to my family, friends, future children and wife, and most importantly to myself to be as happy as possible and that means, being as healthy and capable as possible.

You can either have your excuses or you can have success. But you can’t have both. I know it’s tough. I know that you’ll have to adjust and it’ll be uncomfortable. But its worth it. We all have our reasons for not doing the things we know we need to or that we really want to.

Next time your debating on whether you should run that mile outside in the bad weather or pack up your 2 year old to bring them to the daycare while you get to that yoga class, just think: These are my responsibilities. My responsibilities are either my excuse or they are my reason to be better. Only you can decide what you want them to be.

-Gabe-

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