If you’re going to write a book, at least pick up the dang pen.

Posted on October 24, 2011


I’ve got a theory. And it may ruffle your feathers.  If it does, all I can say is, “if the shoe fits…”

I get the blessing of working with folks who want something better for their life – whether in sport, in daily life, or in both. And while sometimes they get a little off-track, in general, every time I see them for a training session, it’s clear what they are reaching for, and the direction they want to be going.

This is, sadly, not the norm for society these days. IDEA, an industry group for fitness pros that I belong to, recently noted studies that show less than 5% of the population does all of the ‘top 5’ things to reduce cardiovascular disease risk (that list includes things like: move for 30+mins/day, don’t smoke, & eat 5 servings of veggies & fruit/day). Nothing crazy! And not even 5% of the pop. is doing all 5!! People….this is just so disheartening.

IHRSA, the industry group for health clubs & gyms, says that of the 33 million Americans with gym memberships, they use their membership an average of 1.7x/wk. That’s it!! Not even 2x/week do the folks who are paying for a place to go workout, actually GO! And what about the 274 million who don’t have a gym membership? I’d hope they’re working out at home, but I’m not holding faith that all 274 million are. There are some doing it – fitness – without a gym membership, but there are definitely not 274 million…if there were, our obesity & Rx drug stats wouldn’t be what they are.

Clearly – we’ve not yet reached the tipping point where most Americans are doing lots of things to live a healthy, high-quality, life of vitality. It’s now the ‘norm’ to be 20lbs overweight – making it seemingly less dangerous because it so commonly accepted as just a ‘part of life.’ FYI – getting slow, senile, fat, and sick is not how humans are supposed to age. The Blue Zones around the world are proof that you can be vital till you’re 100 or beyond! Note that those living longest are the least transitioned to the SAD (Standard American Diet) & Western way-of-life.

So after all this setup, what’s my theory?
That a large majority who are not making daily choices for optimal wellness & performance are living in fear.

If you never have to try something that you may not succeed at, you’re ‘safe.’ If you never have to face the fact that the choices you’re making aren’t the best, you can stay in your bubble (no matter how untruth-y your bubble may be.) You never have to pick up the pen to write the book of your life. It will write itself via your inaction. How very ‘blah’…..

I think folks feel safer if they don’t think about the choice they are making for their life when they choose to be sedentary & feed non-foods into their stomachs. And guaranteed, the most common response someone will have to why I could be wrong about this? It will be some self-less statement about how ‘someone else comes first’ (no one comes before you, you’re the one who has to upkeep the body that houses your mind & soul)…or how ‘there’s just no time’ (there’s no time for anything after the age of 10, you’ve got to make time for whatever you value)….or how it’s ‘just not important to them to be fit or hike a mountain’ (BS, all anyone wants is to feel good & you cannot feel your best if you’re sick, broken, and limited in how you can move because of your health & fitness).

If you’re inactive, eating crappy foods, and/or are on multiple Rx meds that could be eliminated by changing your lifestyle – you’re the equivalent of a kid with his fingers stuck in his ears pretending not to hear whatever it is he doesn’t want to hear. We won’t all agree on exactly HOW you should workout to be  healthy & fit,but there’s no denying that you MUST exercise to be healthy. While you may disagree with me  on exactly what types of foods you should eat, it’s a fact that you MUST eat whole, unprocessed foods to improve your health. And pharmaceutical drugs do serve their best purpose in crisis-care- but you CANNOT be your healthiest if you’re taking drugs daily & likely, need to combat the side effects of those drugs with other drugs! You’re not a chemistry set – use drugs where they’re needed to save your life today, but don’t rely on them to prop you up for another 20 years.

There are proven non-negotiables that each human must do in order to care for their body. And far too many folks are doing none of them. Own your life. Own your body!

Decide you’re going to have a life dictated by wherever your heart takes you, not one that is limited by wherever your body cannot take you.

Nobody is asking you to have six-pack abs. Shit, no one even is asking you to complete a marathon. Both of those are fun goals to work for, sure, but they’re fun mostly because of the sense of accomplishment and positive emotions that the feeling of ‘discipline’ brings. But, to commit to accomplishing something means you must invite in the possibility that you may not succeed in your commitment. And that usually ushers in enough fear that a person washes their hands free of any of that.

But the confident among us rarely give this any thought though. They simply go out & make it happen. And from there, they write their story…you know, your story, the thing that will shape your life & the future choices you’ll make. You’ll write your story either way – whether you take action on your health & wellness or not – so decide whether commitment & discipline to your body, your genes, & your wellness is going to be a part of that.

I’m telling you – fear holds back far too many from living the life they desire. So rather than desire that totally awesome life, it becomes much easier to settle for what’s right in front of you. So step to the plate & choose commitment…commitment to something you cannot see, touch, or hold – but that impacts your life every single day. It is a bigger commitment you’ll make to yourself than almost any other you’ll make in life.  And it is so worth it.