Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How the Lack of Motivation Hurt My Pride

Over the weekend I was pondering many things. Would we see deer on our deer scouting trip? Would I be able to get everything done around the house that I wanted to? How were people remembering our fallen Veterans? The one thing I was not thinking about was my own physical fitness. 

My wife was talking to me about her own fitness level and how she really wanted to step it up a notch. She has been working hard at the gym (I canceled my membership due to a gym opening at my work) and she felt she needed to do more. I thought she was doing great so I didn't say much of anything. She explained she has no one around to really motivate her. That was when I heard these words from my wife...

'You really don't motivate me.'

In a word, I was crushed. She said it kindly, but I sat completely silent. Here I am a husband, father, provider, and I was blinded by my own laziness and self-centered ideals of getting projects completed to realize I was lacking in a key area. I was failing to motivate my best friend and soul mate.

Now don't go placing judgement on my wife. I love her with everything I am and I know she didn't mean it in the way I took it. You see, we used to go to the same gym, workout a few times a week and keep each other motivated to keep the excess weight off.
She works out on nearly a daily basis and looks great because of it. Plus, last year I was training for my elk hunt and I was hiking and working out four to five times per week. This year things didn't work out like that. We bought a house and the stress of everything at the beginning had me wiped out. I decided that in order to keep my sanity I needed to focus on getting things done at the house and with my family. That was a bit narrow-minded though as I lacked the foresight to understand the effect it would have on my family and their perception of me. Then I just got plain lazy and stopped working out.

What some of you do no know is that I have severe arthritis in my hip and something very wrong with my wrist. The hip issue I have had for years, but these past few months it has been extremely painful. The best way to fight it is to stay moving and workout. I opted to do the opposite. The doctor seems to think I might need a hip replacement at some point in my near future and while that may be true I need to plan that around hunting season. (I'm kinda stubborn like that.) The wrist is supposedly tendonitis, but I don't believe that. I know it hurts everyday, like the hip, and stands in the way of me lifting any considerable weight. So, I allowed both of these hurdles to get in my way and that was a big mistake.

Then this past weekend, Brett and I hit the foothills to scout for deer. (That post is coming.) It would be the earliest we'd ever get out to scout. On our hike in we were cruising up the trail and I noticed Brett was a good ten to fifteen paces ahead of me and not sucking wind like last year. He was barely out of breath. I, on the other hand, was breathing hard and my legs were screaming. My laziness had caught up with me and I felt truly depressed.

Throughout the day, Brett and I discussed our physical fitness, how he's been working out a little more and how he really wants to get in better shape. Brett has done a great job over the past year of slimming down and increasing his leg strength. The great motivational factor was our discussion of our 2014 planned elk hunt in Colorado. Yes, we are planning a trip out there together. When I started training for my 2012 hunt it was just nine months before the actual hunt. We now have over a year and it is time to focus. It was good hearing Brett's thoughts on training and how we both need a little kick in the pants every now and then.

I knew I needed to talk to my wife about how I felt, so instead of sitting on it I shared how her words initially hurt, and howI knew she didn't mean them to hit me the way they did. You see, they hit me hard because I knew they were true. She apologized and I explained that she had nothing to apologize for as it was my issue for not working out. I have a great wife who is very supportive and while the words may have hurt me, they were there for a reason. I feel God let them come through at just the right time because I needed to hear them. It just so happened that they came on the same weekend Brett and I went on our hike and discussed how we needed to hike more on our hunts. Perfect timing if you ask me.

In truth, the weekend was tough to get through mentally for me. I felt down, slow and honestly like a failure. Then I realized my wife and daughter still looked up to me and loved me no matter what. I prayed and understood what I needed to do. I also knew my friends were my friends no matter what and that the only thing standing in the way of my success was me.

So today starts a new day for me. I am getting back in the swing of things and I must be held accountable. Today I have a date with three miles of asphalt, my Badlands 2200 filled with sandbags, and some tunes during my lunch hour. I need a good sweat, a good leg burn and I thank my wife and Brett for the motivation this past weekend. I have a great family and great friends. I won't say it will be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is!

12 comments:

  1. Excellent post Al... sounds like you and your wife have a great relationship. This is something I face too and I'm sure many other hunters do the same. My wife and I used to train together. The kids have really changed that and our second child has required some extra work. We are starting to get to the point where we can start putting a little focus on ourselves again. But we are now trying to overcome the bad habits we have formed and break through some of the barriers that come with being out of shape. It is literally one day at a time. Can't wait to hear more.
    Chris

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    1. Thanks, Chris. My wife and I certainly do have a great relationship, Chris. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences right now, too. It's good to hear others are fighting the good fight, too. Best of luck with your goals and I, too am looking forward to hearing of your progress!

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  2. Al, this comes at a good time for me. I also have arthritis in my hip, and I need to get moving!

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    1. That arthritis sucks, doesn't it John? There are good and bad days, but every single day I am in pain in one way or another. I hope yours isn't that bad! I hope you are able to stay active and help reduce the pain. Plus, we need to get a bow in your hands! I figure I need to drop a few pounds and stick with the program and then you and I can chill with a good cigar! Until then it's hard work, sweat equity and exercise!

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    2. Al, the arthritis isn't too bad for me. I didn't know until an X-ray for something else showed it.
      I want to get a bow in hand, but there is one thing I have to handle first.
      One we both are in better shape, it shall be time to share a beverage and a salute to living.

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  3. Thanks for putting yourself out there, Al. The honesty of this post is refreshing. Believe it or not, I've shared many the same thoughts recently. I'm not where I want to be, but that is a good thing. That feeling of wanting more is what drives us to do great things!

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    1. You are a motivator for sure, Mark. Keep that up! I felt I had to put this out there. Two years ago you and I both worked our tails off and lost a ton of weight, got in shape and felt great. Everyone falls and it's just time to get back up. And you are right on... wanting more is driving me for sure! Cheers and best of luck with what you have your sights set on!

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  4. From a female perspective... this is, by far, one of the most common complaints that women have with the men in their lives, especially when it comes to eating right and exercising. Losing weight and building muscle tend to be easier for men. Support at home and with loved ones is key to success. The words might have hurt but they obviously provided you with the boost you needed. All relationships have ups and downs, but I wish more couples shared the same type of honesty and support that you two do.

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  5. I firmly believe that to be true, too! I hear it more and more from couples (or one person to the next). Plus, we want to set a good example for our kids and I sure don't want my daughter growing up feeling like that. It was definitely the boost I needed and it came at the right time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are appreciated.

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  6. Peaks and Valleys Al, We all go through them. I know at this moment I'm in a bit a valley myself. With post like this and the thought of chasing Bulls in Colorado It motivates me to push harder and get back on a peak. Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Brett. You were hustling on Saturday and have made some great strides over the past year. between our knees, hip and just getting older we have some obstacles to overcome, but we can get it done!

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  7. Motivation comes from within, we can be inspired by those around us, but I firmly believe that for anyone to be motivated to do something (especially fitness related), it has to come from within yourself.

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