Dad at 40

Fitness, Nutrition, Parenting, and Life

Fitness and the Challenges you Face

I have been on a journey to see just what my body can do at 43. I remember being 18 and playing basketball in high school and feeling pretty damned inadequate when I saw classmates bench pressing or squatting heavy weights. Rather than push myself harder, I just turned my back on it. I refused to face my fear and overcome it. Now, I am 43 and I kick that fear in the balls. But, those same people that I was intimidated by are facing the challenges I faced when I was 18 and they are now turning their backs on those fears and letting them win.

The real challenge to fitness is not the exercise (although it is a real ball buster). It is the mental mindset. So, I want to talk about that for a bit….well, actually a lot. One thing about having a fancy, schmancy PhD is that you learn all these terms and ideas, but thanks to some really chill people I met, I learned that the easiest thing to do was break down complex concepts into something that was digestible and easy to understand by all. This one applies to both men and women.

So, I like to work on my yard. I really enjoy making my yard look good. To make my yard look good, I have to really, really work at it. Now, we can hire someone to come and fix our yard, but in the end, we have no true ownership of it. So, we may enjoy it, but when and if that company stops working on it, or when we can no longer afford the service, it will fall into a sad state again. Thus, you have to learn to do the work yourself. Making it look good means getting your hands dirty. Getting down on your hands and knees and pulling weeds. It means sweat and dirt and hurt. You feel it after you bust ass in your yard. Your back is sore and you ache. But there is nothing more rewarding than to sit outside after you bust your ass in your yard and see how pretty it looks. We want to transform our yards from this:


to this:


That is hard work. It is not instant. It takes time and dedication and effort. You will have setbacks. You may never get it to that point – but you will always strive to do so because you want that yard. You want to show it off. You want to be proud of it. You want to say “I did that!” so that you and those you love can enjoy what you have created.

Well folks….that is your body. That is what it takes to change your body. It takes getting your hands dirty. It takes getting on your hands and knees and pulling weeds. It takes pain and hurt. And it takes times. It takes effort. But, the results can be spectacular. You may never see the perfect body, but you keep striving to make it better. You keep pulling those weeds. You nourish it. You protect it. Not just when it is convenient, but all the time.

Just like that yard, you want your friends and family to enjoy it. As a new dad again, I want to be there for my young son. I want to ride roller coasters in my 50s and 60s. I do not want to watch life from the sidelines. You want to be there for your grandchildren. You want to live in the moment. You want to celebrate life with your friends. This does not mean you have to look like a model or have that perfectly ripped gym body, but you have to make the effort to improve yourself….all the time. But it won’t be easy. You will not just change overnight. You have to want to change. You have to face that fear. You have to do more than just push the lawnmower over the weeds.

Exercise is easy enough. The biggest obstacle to changing your life is you. That is what you have to overcome. And, more importantly, you have to do it now, when all the burdens of life are really hitting you. But it can be done. You just have to want to.

In the coming weeks and months, I will start to share ideas, thoughts, and advice to those of you that want to change. This stuff works. I know. I see the results every day. Whether you choose to do any of it will be up to you. It is, after all, your yard…….


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