Ponder this exercise question for a moment.
Around 25 years ago, I was hanging out with a longtime friend, shooting the breeze and talking smack to each other when out of the clear blue sky he had an unusual request.
“Lift up your shirt,” he demanded
“Why?” I asked. The look he gave me suggested I do it or else, so I did.
“Mate, you really need to hit the gym,” he said.
And he was right. I was 6’1 and weighed 145 pounds (66 kg) soaking wet. I had poor posture, was in poor health and almost no muscle tone. The very next day I joined a gym and started doing bicep curls.
Because biceps curls (in front of a mirror and grunting) are the go-to exercise for gym goers who have no idea what they’re doing. This summed me up to a T.
When I started lifting, vanity was my main motivator. Being skinny and lacking a self-confidence, I wasn’t a real hit with the opposite sex. And the iron was going to help me get both.
If you asked fellow gym goers why they started exercising, vanity would be the number one reason (I think) and I was no different.
However, since then I’ve gotten much older, balder and any looks I’ve possessed have long since faded away, exercising for vanity’s sake couldn’t be my only reason to drag myself to the gym.
Because being a middle-aged married man (almost 50) with two teenage boys, I needed to find some deeper reasons to keep going. Or else I’d end up on the exercise scrap heap.
After some self-reflection, here’s what I came up with.
Being a better role model
Being a father and personal trainer of 11 years, I need to set a good example for my kids and clients. Nobody wants to work with a trainer who looks out of shape. You have to walk the walk and talk the talk.
Exercise isn’t meant to fix you. You’re already wonderfully made, but you were only given one body and you need to take care of it. Lifting weights and exercise in general plays an integral role in keeping up good health.
When you’re a kid, running, jumping, hopping, skipping and playing is easy. When you’re older, it’s not. That’s why staying strong and resilient becomes more important as you age. Because you’re never too old to play.
Plus, I still want to kick my boys butts occasionally on the basketball court.
And after losing my hair…
I’ve never wanted to fit the stereotype of the married man who completely lets himself go. You know the guy’s who pile on the pounds because they don’t have to impress anyone anymore.
Because being both bald and fat is unacceptable (in my humble opinion) and seeing one was already chosen for me, I work hard to stay in shape.
Remember when I asked to ponder the title of this article. Well did you? Because if I can get inside my head, so can you.
And when you do and discover your real why, you’ll crush this exercise thing.
If you need a little help getting started, I have a 4-week program for you when you click here.