Everyone who exercises does it for some good reason. Usually, you hear things like “to lose weight”, “get fitter for ” or “look better”. My suspicion is that the real reasons are often a little deeper.
Until about eight years ago I exercised regularly. I ran, getting up to a half-marathon, played squash and lifted weights. My weight was under control and I was pretty fit. But I slacked off – that started with injury but was fueled by laziness – and in January this year my weight peaked.
I’m now 45 years old. When my father was 45, he was overweight and had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I could see that I was on the same path as I inherited his body shape. So, it would seem that I have a constant battle with Mother Nature to fight.
The real motivation
My father died a few years ago. The last decade of his life was spent in and out of hospitals. There was a heart attack followed by strokes, open heart surgery and numerous other complications. While he was still in complete possession of his cognitive abilities the physical challenges were significant.
Many of these issues were avoidable. The diabetes was lifestyle driven and it was this avoidable disease that drove the complications that ultimately took my father’s life.
I have three children. I like being able to swim with them, hassle them on a basketball court, play tennis and chase them around the park. Unless I stay healthy I can’t do that with them and, hopefully when the time comes, their children.
For me, the real motivation isn’t about being thinner or running faster or further. Those things are just markers along a far more important road of lifelong health and fitness so that I can enjoy life.
What really motivates you?