What is it that gets you to wake up in the morning to get yourself to the gym? Is it that you are trying to better yourself by getting in better shape? Maybe you are trying to get in better shape to impress someone else? Something has to motivate you and get you to want to become a better person.
A few years ago I was playing basketball. I was going up for a rebound and a guy came out of nowhere, slammed the side of my knee and it tore my ACL. I went in to get it checked by the surgeon and he gave me two options: we can do the surgery and fix the problem or don’t do the surgery and you just have to be careful and always wear a knee brace. Then he gave me a scenario that I will never forget. He asked, “Do you want to have kids some day?” I wasn’t married at the time, but I thought of course someday I would love to have kids. That’s when he said, “Either you can run around with them and play with them, or you have to put on a brace every time you want to play with your children.” This became a no brainer. I decided on the surgery because who wants to have to pull out the knee brace just to play with their little kids? I sure didn’t.
Fast forward to the present, I have thanked that doctor every single day for making me think ahead. I love playing with my little kids: wrestling my son, chasing him around the house, playing basketball with him or going for runs with my kids in the stroller around the neighborhood.
But just because I made that decision years ago to get the knee surgery doesn’t mean that I never have to stay healthy and in shape. I wake up every day at 4:30 am because that is when my family is all still sleeping (and the rest of the world) and I don’t have to miss out on any time I would be spending with them. Also, getting up early and going to the gym makes my entire day so much better because I I am not a pleasant person in the morning and so the gym deals with my moodiness and my family doesn’t have to deal with it.
I have been not only doing cardio, but also trying to do more weights to strengthen my legs, knees, arms and back so that playing with these little ones will be easier and I will be able to keep up with them. It’s funny because I as we get older we think back to that time when we decided to start running when we were in our twenties and all the weight would just drop off, and we could run 17 miles no problem. So not the case with me right now but as we age our bodies need to be taken care of. If we don’t want to do it for ourselves, maybe we can do it for our kids. I don’t know what my life would be like if I hadn’t had that surgery and couldn’t run around with my little guy, and my little girl in the next year. Kids change not only your life but your mindset. I am grateful that I get up early so that I can get myself in better shape for the joys of playing basketball, soccer or just running around with my kids. Make something your motivation and just remember that it’s never too late to start making changes.