Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Excuses excuses...

Every morning I leave for the gym at 6:45, and every morning I return to my building at 8:10ish. Usually as I'm leaving I run into one of the few maintenance people who work here (we'll call him Beardy) - we pass by each other, nod our heads, grumble a short hello if we're feeling especially chipper - then when I return the whole crew of 'em are getting out of their morning meeting and are usually having a brief coffee and chat in the hallways.

Today on my way back in, I was feeling a little down. First, fire my assistant because judging by the way my shirt smelled once I took about seven steps on the elliptical I could tell that someone missed laundry day. Oof was it stinkin'. Then I finished up my morning jog, only I wasn't really huffing or puffing, and the customary four or five inches of sweat ring around my neck was only an inch of wet, dark grey. Weaksauce! I need to kick it up another notch it seems. And apparently it's already been three weeks, so the deadlift was swapped out in favor of some high-row exercise. The problem here is that the high-row, while no doubt being a fine exercise it its own right, doesn't really get the whole body moving. I think I've mentioned it, but if you search a few weight-lifting messageboards, looking for the one single best weight-lifting exercise to do, they'll say the Olympic Clean and Jerk. Then the thread devolves into gnashing of teeth as the trolls insist that the OCJ is actually like 6 exercises in one. Whatever nerds, quit arguing! But if you dig a bit further, you'll find that the two exercises that are most often cited are the Squat and the Deadlift. They work such huge muscle groups and really give you a spike to your heartrate, so you are not only adding muscle, but you're burning lots of calories as you cook your muscles and you're going to elevate your metabolism as a result. So I really do try to keep those two in the weekly routine, but sometimes I'm beat by my workout partner who, in all fairness, is just keeping us honest by switching in and out other exercises. Point being, we did three isolation exercises today and I just didn't get a huge rush, nor did I have a big sweat. So I was a bit blue.

Anyway, on my way back in Beardy stepped away from his cronies as I passed. "Hey," he said as I nodded my silent hello, "you ah... you still doing this huh? I mean, I see you coming back in all sweaty every morning. Been doing it awhile. That's good. Wish I could have that kind of motivation."

"Yeah," I smiled somewhat sheepishly as I kept moving, "gotta take care of business."

"I'd like to do that too," said Beardy. "But a'corse, my wife ya know. She don't want me out there, playin' around or whatever. Gotta be home, ya know? But maybe I'll figure somethin' out. Just gotta find the motivation."

"Sure," I said as I stepped into the elevator, "I hear you."

What I heard were excuses. And they're so easy. I've got a spouse. I've got a baby. I've got a job. I need to watch Lost. I need to clean the house. I just need a breather, to sit and chill out for a bit. Blah blah blah.

Funny - when I started writing this post the point was going to be that I appreciate Beardy taking notice of my hard work. But now I've kind of had a change of mind halfway through - I guess I'm tired of hearing excuses. The Why I Can'ts. Because it's bullshit. You don't have to do 60 minutes 5 days a week. That's just what I do. But you can find time in your schedule for 30 minutes a day. Or 30 minutes three days a week. You just can. So do it. Drop the excuses. Find the time. Make the time. For you.



Dale said...

That is 100% correct. I am an excuse maker. Or I used to be I am much better about it now than I ever was. Its a small price to pay to atleast go for a walk. I am also really starting to enjoy my walks.

Will @ 4XLT said...

1. Tag, you're it.

2. Squats, deadlists, "anything"-cleans / jerks are all brutally effective ways to build muscle and lose fat fast - you're right on.

3. Excuses suck. Especially when you slowly stop making them to yourself. Then, when you hear it come from others, ll you can do is try hard to be polite and not roll your eyes. That's hard for me to do sometimes.

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