2.27.2008

Why I Exercise

Just over a year ago I had a minor injury which prevented me from exercising normally. I used to go to the gym four or five times a week but, with this interruption, my exercise routine quickly dropped down to little, if anything. This time period overlapped with my wife's pregnancy, and during those months I found it hard to justify the time or expense of going to the gym on a regular basis. I would walk during my lunch hour on nice days, but this ground to a halt as the winter weather worsened.

For the past few months I have done almost no exercise what so ever, and I can clearly see and feel the difference. I kept intending to start exercising again, but it wasn't urgent and I never got around to it. Then I realized that I was starting to sound like other people who make excuses for why they don't eat right or exercise enough. They intend to, but there's always presently some inconvenience stopping them. The most common line people use "I'll start as soon as... [fill in the blank]" and that just never happens. It's pushed off to some indeterminate time in the future, and that's what I had started doing. This realization started to alert me to the fact that I needed to take some action.

Then, after repeatedly hearing the phrase "before you know it he'll be in high school" in conversations regarding my son, I realized that there is an urgency in making sure I'm physically fit. So, I listened to that little voice in my head and renewed my membership at the gym.

It is important to me that I spend as much quality time with my son as possible, and that I want to be able to keep up with him when he does reach high school (which is only about six weeks away for him, or so I'm told.) And while that is a ways away, I don't want to be fat and miserable, trying to play catch-up 15 years from now. Even before he reaches that age, I don't want to just pass time together, I want to experience things with him and spend time interacting. I want to be able to do things with him, from skiing and camping to hiking and soccer. Active things. Things that I will need to be in shape to do. Exercise will not only help me get there a few years down the road, but it will improve my quality of life with him in the mean time.

I have started a new exercise program and feel better already. My shoulders are fatigued and my hands shaky after my work out tonight which makes typing difficult, but it's worth it. I exercise for my son and I exercise for my wife. I exercise because I want to be there for both of them for many years to come. I want to fill up those years and not let them slip buy as empty pages off a calendar.

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