I am sweating and I didn’t want to be.
If you know me, you know that I love my work. Right around the time Kelly and I had planned to fire up our daily routine in INSANITY MAX:30, I got really involved in one of my cases. It’s juicy and technical and complicated and loaded with ridiculously complex equations, and I love it. So, it’s easy to get wrapped up in it! An hour passed, and I was making good progress, so why should I stop working when I am on a roll? Yes, I know exercising is important, but this is my job, my livelihood, and there is a lot on the line with this case. So, could you have held it against me if I had skipped out on thirty minutes of working out? I mean, by the time that I worked out, cooled down and showered, I’d have lost a solid half hour. Who has that kind of time to throw around? I certainly don’t.
But this is where the coolest part of being a human comes in. With a head full of all those thoughts, reasons and rationalities, I stood up from the computer. Just like that! Out of alignment with all that noise in my head. Because I knew what I was committed to. And then, I saw something interesting in the last document out of the corner of my eye, and I sat back down to check it out. But then, I remembered what I had been doing, and I stood up from the computer again. I walked to the living room and told Kelly I was ready now, hoping the video would start before I found another metaphorical squirrel to chase around the house. And it did. But then, I realized that I forgot to set up my phone to record, so we stopped the video, I grabbed my phone from my desk, almost put my hands on the keyboard out of habit, but consciously avoided looking at the fascinating documents on my monitor, got the phone set up, and we were ready to go. Restart and proceed, we did.
I was so conscious at that moment of how much I didn’t want to work out. I was suddenly thirsty, hungry and had to pee, all at the same time.
I let the body sensations come and go, quickly falling into the rhythm of the workout, as I have for almost a year now, every day.
By minute three, I wanted nothing more than to quit. There had to be a reasonable excuse not to do the rest of the workout, right? I mean, 90% of people aren’t doing this to themselves every day. Why do I feel the need to be so special? Can’t I just post some inspirational quotes on Facebook once and a while and consider my contribution to the world of health and fitness a net positive?
My lungs felt like they were going to explode. I had flash backs to being the kid picked third to last in dodgeball, or laying down in the woods during track practice and pretending I ran the whole circuit without working up a sweat. Basically, I was fully in the headspace of a time when I felt bad and self-conscious about my physical self, and physically, I felt absolutely terrible.
You wouldn’t have blamed me for calling it a day and begging off, would you?
If you’re truly a friend, if you truly care about my self and my life, I hope that you would be just a little upset with me. Not the kind of mean, nasty, dominating upset, but just the gentle, because-you-love-me kind of upset. Because you know that I’m committed to feeling great about my physical self. Because you know that I’m committed to being an inspiration and a demonstration to anyone out there who is open to it. Because you know that I am always preaching about how I don’t care whether you want to (because unless you’re just plain weird, you won’t), or whether you feel like it (at any given moment, who doesn’t feel like plopping on the coach and taking a break from it all?), or whether you think you don’t have time (because I’ve seen so many people who literally had NO time, make time, because you can). I am always preaching that your wants, feelings and schedule are only on your side when you decide that they are. So, I hope you wouldn’t just let it slide.
Knowing that you all were out there, despite feeling bad, lungs burning, tightness in my throat, uncharacteristic tiredness in my body, and calves starting to scream, I said to my immediate desires, my habitual thoughts and my fickle feelings: “I get to say how this is going. And we are doing this.” For me. For you. For life.
I put the thoughts away. I gave them a little space to run around my head while I got back into the groove of the workout, I worked on being with the feelings (because if my body was already hurting, it was a good time to get a little emotional catharsis out of the way at the same time, right?), and I just kept moving.
Summing up a longer story for another day, the short version is that I started this journey into fitness because my mother and grandmother both died of breast cancer before age 50. My Mom was just a couple of years past 40. I am 37. My 38th birthday is this weekend. You do the math. I had to do something.
So, when this fitness thing began, it started with me walking 10,000 steps a day and trying to take heed of my physical body during any spare moments. Waiting in line at the store? I would stand on one leg and learn balance (and, depending on the length of the line, possibly work up a sweat). Sitting at home watching Netflix? I would sit on a stability ball, do some stretching or work on good posture and core strength.
It was only three years ago when it started, and then, it didn’t look anything like it does now. For the first year, you probably couldn’t have seen a single change externally. There was no jumping, no sweating, no proselytizing, nothing. Just a little more movement, and a conscious commitment to prioritize my health, vitality and wellbeing.
But guess what? After about two years in to working on workout out, I finally got in the habit of exercising every day for thirty minutes. And for the past year, we have. Religiously. Daily. All those days we wanted to, and the many more that we did not. Truth be told, it wasn’t a habit that I succeeded at forming without a community. So, I found and made a community. And community worked. Because it does. Because, human nature, and scientific evidence.
And guess what else? If you’ve come this far into my life (and into this post), you are most certainly a part of that community. So if you don’t have the habit of working out for a half an hour a day, of working up a sweat on a very regular basis, of feeling strong and vital and comfortable in your own skin, then I have work to do. And that’s what I’m doing. That’s why every night, I check into a special little app that has a special place on my phone (thankfully, that is no longer a group on Facebook), and I log my workout and my daily dose of dense nutrition, and I get to see what all the amazing challengers in our groups are doing. I have the opportunity to see their achievements, boost them through their struggles, and encourage them to keep going. Until it’s a habit. Until it is just “what you do” — because that’s when something shifts.
To fulfill on everything we’re committed to, Kelly and I will be starting a new challenge group especially for lawyers, legal professionals, paralegals, admin, and anyone else whose life seems dictated by the demands of the almighty law. We are filling the group this week, and will start on July 11th.
If you’re not a lawyer, (smart move by you), and we have a challenge grow that has a rolling available start at anytime in the first two weeks of July. Everything is done virtually, the workouts are done at home, on your schedule, and at your current level of fitness, and I promise you will get everything you need to start to form the ultimate habit.
Come and see what all the fuss is about. Set aside any nonsense about how it won’t work for you, how I’m talking to the other people out there, how this isn’t something that your body and mind need. I call BS. And I want you to experience your body (and mind) as strong, comfortable, flexible, resilient, powerful and full of vitality. We have helped dozens of people, and we are committed to helping tens and hundreds of thousands more. We are just getting started, so get in on the ground floor.
I’m confident if you have figured out social media sufficient to be reading this, you know how to reach me, but to be clear, you can comment below, private message me, yell out your window (only applicable to those who live really close by), text, call or send a telegram. Or a raven. But please, if you opt for the latter, no three-eyes and no spoilers.
As much as it might seem otherwise, Kelly and I don’t live (or love) to workout. But we absolutely work out to live (and love).
And we want you to, too.