The right thing to do

This blog entry is in participation with Take It and Run Thursday at Runner’s Lounge.

OK… So here is a top ten list of motivators for me.  Your list may vary.  Certain conditions apply.  Not valid with any other offers.  Void if prohibited.  Blah… Blah…  Blah…

  1. My children (being healthy enough to see them grow up and not be a burden to them)
  2. My father (didn’t take good care of himself and paid for it with his health.  I don’t want to be him)
  3. Being a role model for my family by having a healthy lifestyle (my wife and 10 year old son have both started running)
  4. Challenging myself (a little better, a little faster each time)
  5. Having something to look forward to (the next race)
  6. Watching my waistline shrink (I had a LOT to give, but it’s still fun.  I went from a 40 to a 33!!)
  7. Making new, like minded friends (I was tired of just “drinking buddies”)
  8. Trying new sports (I LOVE sports of any kind.  Duathlon and triathlon are in my future… how cool is that?  OH!  …and adventure races… trail runs… organized mountain bike races…W00T!!)
  9. BYFO (Burn Your Face Off) hot wings at CJ’s.  Best wings on the planet.  I don’t even want to KNOW how many calories they contain.  And I don’t care…  as long as I run it doesn’t really matter (in moderation… of course).
  10. Guinness.  ’nuff sed…

In the end it’s different for all of us.  The bottom line is that you will NEVER do this until YOU decide it is the RIGHT THING to do.  Other people, television infomercials, slick ads and Jenny Craig can tell you it is, but you will never DO it and STICK WITH IT until YOU accept it.

What finally pushed me over the edge and down the slope to a healthier lifestyle?  After the bazillionth call from my mother to tell me of some new and potentially life threatening ailment my dad had been diagnosed with (he has been an invalid due to a stroke he suffered when he was 54… 17 YEARS ago), I was feeling kind of down and had wandered downstairs  to take a shower.  This usually involves being nakey… so I disrobed and finally, for the first time (I think EVER), I looked at myself in the mirror and SAW me.   I am 5′ 7″ and at that point I was 240 pounds.  I was 39.  WAY to damn close to my dads age when he had his stroke and I KNEW in that moment that I was walking in his path.  It also dawned on me that, as I peeked out the door with tears in my eyes at my two wonderful children playing in the next room, if I didn’t do something NOW and FOREVER, I would be dead before they graduated from high school.

That was August of 2006.  It’s been a tough road.  Numbers 9 and 10 on my list tend to cause me setbacks.  I have a difficult schedule to manage with work.  BUT.  I committed and never looked back.  I have lost 50 pounds.  I have run 3 half marathons, 1 full marathon and numerous other races.  And once I heal up, I will continue along this new path I have chosen.  Because it is the right thing to do.

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10 Responses to The right thing to do

  1. alphameg says:

    Sorry it took a scare to get you started! But it sounds like you’ve turned the mental bit around and made health and fitness a celebration and reward instead now.

  2. chloeandersen1 says:

    I loved reading this! Way to go on the waist shrinkage. You are an inspiration!

  3. Betsy says:

    Very cool that your wife and son are running too. That must make you very proud.

  4. Nat says:

    You are inspirational. Thanks for this.

    I too run for health (I’ll spare you the list of genetic killers.) I also was tired of being the fat mom at the playground who couldn’t keep up with her kids. I wanted to be the one playing tag… 🙂

  5. kara says:

    Being a role model for others – great! I never thought of that one.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dee says:

    Thanks for some much needed motivation reminders. I’ve been slacking, but you helped me remember my reasons to renew my focus and get out there.

  7. OS says:

    This is why I come here every chance I get, ’cause you got it. The thinking straight part of it and the follow through. Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  8. […] over at Da Big Leap, my regular fitness inspirator, posted a great list of reasons why he is taking care of himself.  I’m going to do the same […]

  9. Bob Allen says:

    Good post. Several of your Top 10 are my motivators, too.

  10. Sarah says:

    Best one I’ve read yet!

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