I am taking a break from my regular stuff to talk about anniversaries and how each year it stirs emotions. Reading through Facebook, as I often do, people write about friends and family past, what they learned from them, and how much they miss them.

I don’t know how they feel, but I can understand them because one date sticks in my mind.

September 20th, 1992.

Not only is September 20th my oldest sister’s birthday, but on that day in 1992, my father passed away from cancer. When this day creeps up on me like it’s about to, I think about the significance of anniversaries and how they stir a wave of emotions, some good and some bad. Let’s explore that and tie it to health and fitness so that reading my melancholy musing will not be a waste of time.

Anniversaries…They Stick Out

Let’s start with a not-so-serious thing about anniversaries and how they sometimes don’t stick out and can be forgotten. My wife and I were married on December 15th, 2001, and as some of you know, men get into a lot of trouble if they forget their wedding anniversary. Around 18 years ago, I was conversing with a neighbor, and somehow, the subject of anniversaries came up, and it dawned on me.

It was December 18th, and I just remembered it was my wedding anniversary three days ago. Luckily for me, my wife forgot it also, so I was off the hook for a change. It’s about the only time I got away with forgetting a date of significance involving my wife. Usually, it’s dirty looks and straight to the gallows when it happens.

Men, can you feel me?

Wedding anniversaries are the day you meet your significant other, and death anniversaries usually stick out. It’s funny, or maybe not so funny, that during my time on earth, I’ve had a few family and friends pass, but I only remember one date.

September 20th, 1992.

That day is etched into my memory because it was the day I watched my Dad take his last breath. Watching someone die, especially someone close to you, changes you.

Even though it was close to 31 years ago, even when it rolls around, it kicks some stuff loose and reminds me of what is important.

Rewinding It To Health & Fitness

My Dad lived an unhealthy lifestyle.

He worked hard to support his family, but that came with a certain amount of stress, which manifested in some unhealthy behaviors. Not only did he unload his frustrations onto his wife and kids, but he smoked and drank a lot.

I can recollect several times seeing my Dad drink or passed out drunk. Growing up around alcohol from an early age most likely influenced my relationship with it and my overindulgence. Although I abused alcohol regularly and often, particularly after my Dad died, I was never an alcoholic.

But geez, I was close.

Wanting to be like my father, in hindsight, is why I took up smoking and drinking because it was my normal. But after more than a few years of indulgence, it took a toll on my health and relationships with friends and family.

It took a while to realize I was not my father, and maybe it was a good idea not to act like him. Watching him die as he did and my taking up unhealthy behavior is why I became a personal trainer.

Here is when I trot out the cliche: you only have one body, so you should take care of it. My father’s death anniversary reminds me of why I do what I do.

Do anniversaries kick some stuff loose with you, too?   

Anniversaries & What Matters

If you’re married, and when your wedding anniversary comes around, and you celebrate it, doesn’t it remind you why you love your partner? It kicks up some great memories and reminds you why you love them. Or at least it does with me.

My father’s anniversary of his passing reminds me of what matters. Things like

The good memories of spending time with my Dad because I’ve tried to put the bad ones aside.

The reasons why I chose to be a personal trainer.

Reinforcing why hard work is necessary, especially with stuff you don’t like doing.  

Taking care of and providing for your family.

How he suffered with grace until the end.

That’s enough because I’ve kicked enough stuff loose. Anyway, when you think about good or bad anniversaries, they can remind you of what really matters in life—love, relationships, and making memories.

IMO, that is what counts.

Wrapping Up

With all the stuff that happens in life, good and bad, when anniversaries roll around, it makes me stop and think. No matter where I am, it stirs my emotions and reminds me of what is essential and what is not. With my father’s anniversary coming up, I will contemplate his legacy and its influence on me.

RIP Dad, I love you.

Email: shanemcleantraining@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *