When Life Conspires Against You
So last month I suffered a brutal knockout when Jared destroyed me in the plank challenge. I found myself overwhelmed with a crippling depression, questioning every life choice I’ve ever made. After about 12 minutes of deep introspection, I decided that I must be committed to overcoming this adversity and double down on my training.
I went ahead and got that gym membership, and made it a point to be at the gym when it opened at 5 am each morning. But then I got sick, and then a kid got sick, and then my wife and I had to make an unplanned trip out of town to visit an ill family member, and then we had to spend time out of town again to help plan and attend a funeral.
Although I was inspired to push myself harder to achieve my goals, it seemed that life was intent on denying me success. So now, almost through the month, I find myself no closer to being a pillar of masculine fitness. I haven’t made it to the gym near as much as I had intended, and haven’t even had the time to work out at home. If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been kind of slow to update here lately. I now find myself struggling with the same feelings of failure that were so strong immediately after Jared dealt me my first crushing blow. So, how to I get back on track? In the wise words of the philosopher T-Swizzle: “Just shake it off.”
Probably weren’t expecting that, were you?
Well, it’s the best approach to this month. Life doesn’t stop for anything, and life kind of sucks sometimes. Not a whole lot we can do about that. Does it make us feel bad? Sure. Do we want to curl up into a ball and hide in a dark room avoiding the stress that comes with being an adult? Absolutely. But, we can’t. We have to power through it and acknowledge that things suck sometimes.
So, although I’ve had some setbacks this month, I’ve taken a look at the things that are going well. They may be little things, but acknowledging the things that aren’t utter crap right now can provide that small amount of inspiration to push on through the stress of everyday life.
While I haven’t been working out nearly as much as I had planned, I have still been doing a decent job of sticking to my diet. I haven’t tried to drown my sorrows in beer and calorie heavy comfort food (with the exception of being back in my hometown during a stressful life event). I’ve been meeting my diet goals for the most part, and haven’t gained any weight this month, which may be a small victory, but is nonetheless a win.
I can also acknowledge that all of my current setbacks are just temporary. I went to see my doctor and got some antibiotics, and am finally starting to feel better. The kid is feeling better, and I know that the other stresses in life are only temporary as well. There are a number of awesome things in life; sometimes we just have to make an effort to remind ourselves that they are still around. It’s easy to focus on the negative, because stress and pain are so easily felt. Happiness is sometimes much more elusive. So even though this is a fitness challenge, and this likely won’t bring me any closer to that Achilles’ physique, I’ve given myself an exercise challenge this month: List 5 awesome things that are happening now:
- Hamilton is coming to Dallas next year
- I got tickets to Disney on Ice for my daughter (this could also be a negative since it means I’ll have to go, but she’s excited so it’s a win)
- I met my neighbors, and it didn’t suck (this is a big deal for me, seeing that I don’t particularly care for people, but one of my neighbors just published a book and it’s kind of awesome)
- I found a place online that you can order animals for events (seriously, I’m looking for an excuse to order a kangaroo)
- I finally replaced my lost pocket knife
While this list might seem trivial at best, remember, 2017 has kind of been off to a crap start. I’m also not a glass half full kind of person, so I’ll take what I can get. It may be next week before I can get back into the swing of working out, and I may suffer in this month’s challenge with Jared, but I think if I can stick to this minimal mental exercise plan, I’ll be making progress.
The goal is to stay strong when life conspires against you, and not give up. I’m seriously about 1 straw away from driving straight to Whataburger and self-medicating with a double Whataburger with large fries and a 12-pack of Lakewood Brewery’s All Call. But, I know that if I succumb all will be lost.