This morning during my workout I came to a revelation about myself, my weight, and my lack of success in certain areas of my life. But before I begin, I would like to interject this public service announcement for anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution.
“You are fucking stupid. I fucking love science. That is all.” Signed Humanity.
Four years ago when I was losing weight quickly, I started to tell myself I’m going through a personal evolution. I used the phrase because I hated hearing fat people talk about their weight loss journey. Invariably those touchy feely talks about journey were followed by emotional eating lectures, or some shit about how McDonalds made you fat. I’m self aware. I played an active role in my weight gain without any thought as to the destination, so why is it I metaphorically take a path to health?
To me a journey innately indicates a destination, which means at some point it ends. I saw my changes back then as a part of a longer sustained progressive change in my life; thus I would espouse to the world I was in the process of evolving.
So how do I go from this?
Did I fall off the path, the journey, or the road? NO! I devolved. I back peddled one step at a time, and ended up obese and unhappy again. I spend a lot of time thinking about the future, and I love making predictions on the possible. My financial health depends on it, but this constant forward thinking comes at a price…I can’t stay in a moment.
I am a big picture guy. I like putting puzzle pieces together on a macro level. This ability I have is fantastic when applied in certain areas where this type of thinking is necessary. In my personal life this type of thinking usually leads to catastrophic repercussions.
Its really easy to get bored with dating someone when you already think this person isn’t going to be marriage material. Applied to eating this future oriented thinking causes a person to balloon up. Fatguy logic says I don’t need to workout today, and I’ll eat Ben & Jerry’s right now. I’ll make up for it with my workout tomorrow. You then do it again, and again then realize a week has passed and you are five pounds heavier without a single workout to counterbalance your gluttony.
My complete inability to stay within a moment gets me into trouble with friends, relationships, and sometimes in business. I get bored by the minutia, and I develop insanity when tasked to do the same repetitive activities for long periods of time. Its that mindset which I believe today has brought me down the path back to an offensive linemen sized man. Although my head is larger than most basketballs.
Everything above seems a bit of a ramble, but its context on my revelation. It came to me after I turned on my Flip camera. A few years ago this was the coolest thing in digital cameras, it was pocket sized, recorded in HD, and you could plug into your computer directly to download videos. Less than five years later this is antiquated piece of crap.
On my flip there were videos I hadn’t seen, or at least I don’t recall seeing. I watched the last one. The workout was dated just a few weeks before I went to Mexico to climb mountains. I was shocked at seeing a leaner, healthier, stronger version of myself. What provided the largest surprise to me was the look of focus, and pain. I saw a guy acting in fractions of a second, and thinking no more than the next second.
Seeing this version of myself reminded me my love of pain and working out. I don’t need to have my balls crushed under stiletto heels but physical self induced agony from workouts, I will fetishize the shit out of…
I remembered when I workout I live for, crave, and cherish the final moments of a workout. I always treated the last few seconds, of a workout as precious. I believe you get better, stronger, healthier, in those moments before a workout ends. I knew in each given workout the conditions of my body, my mind, the weather, the world would never be the same again; so when I had those final seconds or reps in a workout I always made sure I plowed through them. CrossFit at the time gave me ample opportunity to push the edge of my ability on a regular basis, it’s why I loved it.
The video got me thinking…
In all of my workouts over the years, whether I was 260 lbs, 420 lbs, or 319 lbs I always tried to find another gear, another place, my dark place to push beyond existing borders. I looked at it as a step forward. So, I asked myself “how come I don’t live parts of my life like this?”
Big picture thinking is great. It’s a skill, talent, ability, magic, whatever; but if you plan too far into the future you miss all the things between 0 and 60. You have to pass a lot of numbers before the needle gets near 60. I never made the connection between my cherishing of the final seconds of a workout with the entirety of my life. I always thought next year instead of now. Which means for most of my life I wasn’t really living. Why didn’t I see that the time I spent with people I care about are equally as important as those final painful seconds in a workout. With some people you actually never get to see them again. Also, with life constantly changing, and we as people evolving, the moments you have today with people you love aren’t the same as in the future, because neither will be the same person.
I realized I spent too much of my life thinking tomorrow, and not embodying today. Not giving every ounce I have today, instead of waiting for tomorrow. I know for some people embracing the moment comes naturally. But for me its hieroglyphics.
I finally understand I need to push myself in life like I do in my workouts. I don’t have to push myself to the edge and teeter with implosion all the time. When I do expel everything I have in 100 different direction I get burnt out. I have to recognize the moments when the end of the workout is coming in each area of my life. If I reserve my energy for those key seconds which I choose to push it I will achieve more with less bullshit. Further I will appreciate life more in the moment.
I need to take a step back, identify where the greatest opportunities lie in the moment which allow me to guide the endeavor towards the future I am perceiving.
Somehow this revelation came to me while doing a forty minute EMOM of kettlebell swings, and goblet squats. I can’t believe I missed this concept. As I write this, I feel I’ve found the map toward my true potential as a person, a leader, a future father, husband, and member of society.
All of this started with meeting someone who inspired me…
Also published on Medium.