I kind of chuckle when I hear someone say, “I love working out.” I exercise because of the results, not for the process. Not one time have I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and said, “Yes! It’s time to punish myself for forty-five minutes!”
I never experienced a runners high…ever!
I am by no means a fitness nut. Maybe at one time someone may have been able to call me one, but that was a long time ago. It was the Army that started me on the path towards understanding the importance of staying fit. At nineteen, I was embarrassingly out of shape when I arrived in basic training. I was a year out of high school, already suffered from chronic back pain and was a smoker. In eight short weeks, I was a lean mean fighting machine with a smokers morning cough.
As you struggle to get into shape, you tell yourself, “Once I get there, I am never letting myself go again.”
But we do.
Like all lean mean fighting machines, once the Army discharge me, I did what all good former soldiers do. I let myself go. But not for very long because I was single. You want a hot girlfriend; you had better be hot yourself. It also helps to have a decent paycheck, so I went to truck driving school in hopes of getting the big pay check.
I was twenty-two, and headed into a truck driving career, and yes, I still smoked. Nothing like a sedentary occupation and an energy sapping habit to see how quickly a person can become a portly. But one day I was lying in bed and noticed something laying with me. It was my stomach and I was appalled. I started doing sit up and pushups in my truck to arrest the growth, but it wasn’t quite enough.
About a year into truck driving, a sweet Pennsylvania girl convinced me to quit smoking. I found myself with this new found energy. I decided to expel that energy by running whenever I had the opportunity. That along with taking an interest in what I shoveled into my pie hole, I soon found myself in the best shape of my life. At twenty-seven, I was in better shape than I was after eight weeks of basic training.
As I jogged up into the parking lot of the company I drove for, one of the other drivers stopped me.
“Why are you doing all that running around?” He asked me.
“So as I get older, I won’t have to deal with a pile of health problems.” I responded
“You get to be my age; you won’t be doing any of that.” He retorted in reference to my exercising.
“Well, I hope your wrong, or this is all in vain.” I told him and walked away. He was forty-one years old. The man had more medical issues than most hard living sixty year olds.