In 1976, my father took a medical retirement at age 45 due to heart disease. At that time, he thought that he should start exercising to get in better shape. He wanted to start running or at least walking so I decided to join him. He wasn’t able to stick with it but I did.
Eventually, I added in weight lifting. At times I would run more than I lifted and at other times, vice-versa. Sometimes injuries would occur and I didn’t do either for a while.
Then I joined the martial arts and added in a whole new range of exercises – calisthenics, jump rope, the heavy bag, forms. And just like running and lifting weights, I find that I will focus on one or two for a while and then my focus will change.
For a while, I beat myself up about not sticking with one routine forever. Then I realized that this wasn’t a shortcoming but a strength. For the past 40 years, I’ve exercised in one form or another for most of it. Sometimes more, sometimes less but it is something that is always present in my life.
As a result, I can honestly say that I have a life-long commitment to exercise. Yes, there are ups and downs, job pressures, injuries, disease, work and family obligations that get me sidetracked sometimes. But I always come back to it.
Though I didn’t plan on it, my daughters saw this and learned from it. Neither of them joined me in my exercises when they were young but now that they are on their own, they have each found activities they like and that keep them fit.
So why is this worth sharing? It is just a reminder that your good habits don’t have to be cast in stone, inviolable and never-changing. You stopped going to the gym and let your membership lapse? That’s okay… start running. Or play volleyball. Or join a karate class. Or go swimming.
Just get up and have fun.