My son Jeffrey gave me a new Adidas gym bag for Christmas about five years ago. This bag was destined to replace an old double-zipper gym bag I had been struggling with for years. However, what really frustrated me wasn’t the bag, it was the results I was getting at the gym. But that’s a story for another day. While getting ready to hit the gym on Monday, the importance of that bag hit me. Ever since I began my Fitness Quest when I was 33 years old, I had a goal of being able to get to the gym three days a week. Since my two boys weren’t yet attending elementary school, I tried to work out when I could. My objective was to join a gym with a pool, steam room, jacuzzi, and other amenities that make sweating my butt off on a treadmill worth the effort.
My search for The Perfect Gym ranged far and wide. I tried Bally’s (a giant ripoff), the local YMCA (ironically, no pool), a smaller community center gym (again, no pool) and I finally settled on my wife’s old high school. It had been converted into a state-of-the-art facility. The Warren Community Center checked off every item on my list. Outside of a locker break-in, where I lost two credit cards and a debit card, I always look forward to my weekly M-W-F workouts. As I detailed in my article Living By The Scale, I was eventually able to drop over 50 pounds. Then, the battle to keep it off began. My gym bag is a constant reminder to get off my keister and keep fighting the good fight. Even if it’s just 10 degrees below zero outside, thinking about the steam room helps to keep me motivated.
That’s how life works. You set goals, prioritize them, and sometimes completely forget about them. However, one day you realize you have achieved one of your goals without even consciously working on it. Life gets so busy, it’s difficult to step back and see the big picture. I think that’s why it’s important to view yourself in the third-person from time to time. Just as if you were the main character in a novel. Keeping a journal is an important part of this process. It allows you to step outside your first-person viewpoint and see yourself as just another character in this fascinating Book of Life. This helps you to realize you actually have achieved some of the goals you set months, or even years ago. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so deep. Anyway, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to get to the gym on a regular basis, and finally, get into shape. And it all began with that gym bag. Funny how life works sometimes, isn’t it?
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