Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I’d like to share the impact exercise has had on my life. A few years ago, I was struggling with alcohol and had become lost in my own self-absorption. I worked out here and there, but results came slowly, and I became discouraged. I never stuck with it very long. The alcohol would always comfort me and help me forget about my fitness goals. It got to the point where I would drink almost every night. Then, after drinking, the munchies came. I came to a point in my life where I realized I had to quit drinking.
So, my father is a recovering alcoholic, and I have a very supportive family, but the number one thing I needed to quit drinking was my own desire to do so. That being said, you also have to find supportive people to share your issues with. My family made this much easier for me. I could relate to my father’s alcohol issues. I also have 3 brothers and a sister, so I didn’t have to seek out people I needed to build trust with before sharing. Although sharing my own shortcomings with my family was no easy task. It wasn’t until after I quit drinking that I came to realize how much I’d built my life around alcohol.
Shortly after I quit drinking, I started working out. It was much easier to stick with an actual fitness plan without alcohol ruling my life. It didn’t take me long to get results this time, either. I remember one of my coworkers at the time had been trying to lose weight and told me she wished she could lose weight as quickly as I was. This triggered me. Even though the results came quickly, I was working hard. There was nothing easy about my workouts. I didn’t hold back and began to tell her it was no easy task for me. I explained to her that I never had results until I stopped drinking altogether. She had also previously shared with me that she loves drinking wine. The gloves were off, so I threw that in her face. I told her how I dedicated myself and cut out the alcohol.
It wasn’t until that evening that I began feeling really good about what my coworker had said. After the shock of being insulted wore off, I took it as a huge compliment. Nobody had ever commented on my results before. My hard work was paying off. As time went along, I began looking for new ways to work out. I also can’t stress the importance of stretching enough. I would recommend stretching before and after working out. I love fitness because it helps me stay sober.
I’ve also never felt better physically. I had 3 knee surgeries as a younger man and had given up on running long ago. Then one day, another coworker invited me to run in a 5k. I explained my issues, and he encouraged me to participate even if I had to walk. I had a few weeks to prepare, so I started by running around my block. After a few days, I added another lap, then another, and so on. I couldn’t run the entire time during that first 5k, but I finished. I can’t describe the positive feelings this gave me. I proved a lot to myself. I love fitness because it has taught me how to set short term goals and achieve life-changing results.
I’ve been committed to working out for over 5 years now. I’m 38 years old and in the best shape of my life. I’ve competed multiple Tough Mudder and Spartan runs and am always looking for a physical challenge. These are things I couldn’t do a few years ago. I really love fitness because it’s taught me that I can accomplish whatever I want if I put my mind to it. It’s given me a confidence I didn’t know existed, and it helps me enjoy life in ways I never knew possible.