5 years ago I looked at some recent pictures of myself and thought, “Good God, I’m fat.” Not just a few pounds, but nearly 20-30 pounds over what had always been my normal weight. This was after working from my home office for 2 years and being extremely non-physical. I’d wake up, sometimes put on pants, go upstairs to my office and get started. There I'd sit like a blob in front of a glowing box for 8+ hours.
After seeing those photos, and starting a new year, I picked up P90X in January 2010 and stuck with it for a solid 60 days, then sort of petered out in the last month. Committing to 1.5 hours, 6 days a week was tough especially while trying to not neglect my wife and kids.
Despite seeing significant improvements in my body composition, I told myself that work had gotten too busy for me to keep up that workout pace. That statement had a twinge of truth, but ultimately it is what I chose to believe.
A few months went by and I tried P90X again for a month or so, then the same thing happened. I convinced myself that I didn’t have enough time to do these workouts everyday. I was also really tired of Tony Hortman’s one-liners and had just lost interest in the DVDs altogether.
There is a sliver of truth in all of the excuses we tell ourselves about why we can’t accomplish something or why we don’t have the time, but the fact is we can find an excuse or find a way.
In 2013, I bought a bike so I could commute from my house to my office, roughly an 11 mile round-trip. I started to really enjoy riding a bike again for the first time since I was a teenager. Soon I started going for longer rides after work. Eventually 20 mile rides, then 30. Then I bought a proper road bike and kept it up. In 2014 I rode over 1,600 miles during the summer and fall. I wasn’t finding excuses why I couldn’t ride, I was finding ways to ride. I loved it.
But then winter hit and my road bike got parked, I “got busy with work” again and I stopped working out for a few months. The new year came and I was pissed off with myself. I was tired of telling myself that I was too busy, that I didn’t have time. We all have the exact same amount of time in the day. Other people find time to workout, why can’t I?
Something switched mentally early this year. I just decided that I would workout regularly no matter what. Since it was too cold to ride my bike most days in early January, I decided to lift weights 3~ times a week at the local YMCA and started to really enjoy it. I did this for 3 to 4 months and now that it’s warm again, I’ve dusted off the bike and saddled up a handful of times. Sometimes I lift weights, sometimes I ride my bike, sometimes I run.
There are plenty of times when I legitimately don’t have time for a 2 hour bike ride without neglecting my wife and four kids, so I go for a run at night after everyone is asleep. Now, I try to find a way.
For a long time I would make excuses for why I didn’t accomplish the things I set out to do. In fact, I still fall into the trap of making excuses for not doing the things I want. And more often than not they’re very real and legitimate. But as time passes and I get older it’s easy to see that you can make excuses or you can make a way.
Now, I’m determined to make a way. How about you?