In my active youth I never had to join a gym. I was always moving, always going. Whether it was riding bicycles or horses, playing softball or wrestling with my brother, very few lazy days passed me by. As I got a little older and started taking sports a little more serious I joined a gym to help strengthen and tone muscles. Despite an ever growing list of new grown-up responsibilities, I managed to maintain a pretty active lifestyle throughout the first couple of years of college.
Somewhere about mid-way through my undergraduate degree a combination of events occurred that led to the ultimate workout breakdown. Obviously I got more deeply involved with school as I got more into my degree program and the schoolwork load became burdensome and time consuming. All-nighters working on essays and projects truly zapped the energy right out of me. Secondly, I wasn’t happy with the school I was attending. It seemed that no matter what I was dealing with, whether it be the administration or finance office or my professors and advisors, I had some sort of problem or difficulty that arose and caused chaos and stress in my educational pursuits. I also had no time between school and work to enjoy fun activities that got me off the couch or out from behind a computer so I became sedentary. This also included very little time spent with friends as well. And as if this all wasn’t enough, I was also diagnosed with a very fussy thyroid problem that I still struggle with.
With no rest, the stress of getting an education at a school I didn’t like, isolation from friends and recreation, and a medical problem, I managed to create the perfect storm of all things negative. And negativity in and of itself wreaks havoc on all areas of your life. I lost my motivation, my desire to be active. Ten years have passed since my world started spinning out of control and yet even though I no longer have the tough school schedule to contend with, I still have not been motivated to do anything. What started out as some pretty sound reasons for not working out has really just led to a lazy lifestyle. This is a tough confession for me to make and there are no excuses really. Yes, I was/am tired – yes, I have a thyroid problem – yes, I have a very busy life… still there is no excuse for me to not take better care of myself.
So today I joined a gym. I’m doing this for myself. I’m doing this for my health, both mental and physical. It will be tough getting back in shape again. I know I will be sore and there will be days I think I’m crazy for trying, but no more excuses. I’m ready to throw down the gauntlet and do this. And my hope, my goal really is that this is just a first step. That by starting here at the gym and building myself back up, that hopefully it will inspire me to do other things. Maybe join a women’s softball team or ride horses regularly again. Something that brings back some of what I had in my youth.
But on Monday morning, bright and early, while the city is just waking up… my current, lazy self is going to be at the gym getting reaquainted with my old, active self. Wish me luck!
Anything you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must, absolutely must, come to pass. ~Skip Bertman (LSU AD)