By most measures, I’m a successful father at this point in my kids’ lives. They’re fairly well adjusted, smart, independent, and so on. They have little trouble making friends and, at least with my almost 18-year-old son, doing so without betraying who they truly are.
But I still feel a bit like a failure.
You see, while most parents probably feel that way to some degree, for me, it’s about my kids and their health. My son is badly obese, though he’s lost about 25 pounds in the last few months.
My daughter, however, at 7-years-old, isn’t. And I aim to keep it that way, which is why I got her a kettlebell of her own. My hope, to help her never get to where I was or where her brother is.
It’s currently out of vogue in part because some believe it urges people to train beyond what their body can take, to train injured, things like that, but I still kind of like it. Maybe it’s an artifact of my age, but I do.
Let’s be honest, training is painful in a lot of ways.
The thing is, I find it the lessons I’ve learned through training, through that pain, have applications to the rest of my life. It’s all about how to remove those weaknesses. The pain can almost be purifying, in a way.
Today, I was back at the training. It was my first real day of lifting since this time last week, and I was eager to get after it today. Especially since I now have a whole new respect for the need to embrace strength and conditioning.
There are no real wrong answers to the question, “Why do you train?” However, there are some I consider a bit nobler than others. One example of that is being able to handle anything life throws at you, including a hurricane, being now right up near the top.
The fact that I, a middle-aged fat guy was able to outwork my 17-year-old son despite the relatively limited nature of my conditioning training is particularly telling.
So today, I hit the weights with a renewed focus and a strong desire to make myself even more than I did before.
As noted yesterday, I figured a couple of things out about my training and I needed to start figuring out a few more things.
What follows is my attempt to prioritize my goals and adjust my training accordingly. Warning: This post may include some rambling as this is literally me trying to figure some stuff out, but what the hell, right?
The thing is, by the end, I should have a plan for tomorrow and for moving forward.
So there I was, ready to lift. It was a light day for my squats, so I’m ready to bang out a quick five reps and move on with my day. I get under the bar and lift it up, take my walkout, and squat. I feel myself break parallel and push the weight up.
It was about at that point I thought to myself, “Self, this feels heavy as hell.”
Despite it being a light day for my main lift, I just couldn’t manage to get things going. I had a lot of potential reasons why. One could be a combination of having been sick earlier this week and not fully recovered, coupled with prolonged caloric restriction as well as my recent motivation issues.
Needless to say, it was shaping up as a bad day…so it was time to make the best of a bad situation.
Anywhere you go on the internet, you’re bound to come across people who will tell you that there is One True Way to whatever your goals are, that you have to follow their routine precisely or else you might as well just pull into McDonald’s and gorge yourself.
The thing is, I’m someone who delves into things deeply when I get interested in them. I become something of a sponge, absorbing all the information I can find. With fitness, it’s been no different.
Over time, things change, and so even if I forgo fitness for a while, I still come back and delve in deep. I need to see what’s changed, what new information has science provided.
Because of that, I’ve learned one really great lesson about health and fitness: There is no One True Way.