The condition of the Body has been known to effect the state of the Mind.
In 2013, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. Not a physical location but more so in a physical condition. I wasn’t sick or ill, but I also wasn’t myself. Having been a full-time athlete for basically twelve years, staying in exemplary shape was a part of the schedule. Fitness was a way of life. At this point in my Journal, 2013, it had been five years since I ran competitively and the evidence was beginning to show. I still had strength and natural ability but my mass and definition were fading. Legs, Arms, and Chest were all a shadow of their former selves. It really is true “If you don’t use it you lose it.” I would contribute a lot of my fitness neglect to my on-the-go lifestyle. It’s timely and expensive to find three well-balanced meals a day when you’re in transit or out of town.But there has to be a way to be busy and healthy at the same time. I hadn’t completely accepted the fact that the gym was important for me just yet. I was down to like 167 and not doing anything about it…
“…I’m just as healthy as ever but people keep telling me I look slimmer. Uhh I’ve always been slim. They just haven’t seen me in a while. People always want to point out the obvious. Sh*t I can still dunk!(The male benchmark for athleticism) so I clearly haven’t lost too much. I mean,yeah some of my pants fit slightly looser so I can admit that my legs aren’t huge anymore. But I feel ok. If I wanted to gain my muscle back I could so I ain’t tripping. Yesterday, my dad (The self-elected President of nickname distribution) suddenly assigned me the new name “Skinny Man” (pronounced Skinny Mane). That’s how he shows love so just I laugh it off. But now I know i’m not myself. I mean, I’ve always been slim build and I like that, but “SKINNY”? That word makes me cringe. Skinny is weak and naaaaa Im not Skinny! Now I’m consciously evaluating my appearance. Like “Hol up.. OK I’m not as cut up as I used to be. And yeah my legs do get tired sprinting up those stairs sometimes. What can I do about this? Well Kinney works at the gym and that’s free access… but wait, his gym is 45 minutes away and aint nobody got time for dat. Maybe i’ll get a local membership.. na i’m not even here enough and I don’t plan on living in this area much longer. Wellll, I don’t know what i’m going to do yet but I do know being self-conscious is not a good look for me. It’s starting to affect my mind. I need to get back in the gym. I gotta get my BODY back…”
I spent October, November, and December talking about a gym membership to my brother Wade. I was still pushing it back because of the transition to a new job and neighborhood(DC). But in 2014, I finally made the commitment to get in the gym and stay there. I was tired of dragging my feet. In typical “New Years” fashion, I jump started 2014 with a membership to LA Fitness. One condition that seems to plague many retired athletes is the loss of motivation we experience after the thrill of competing is gone. I overcame this dormant mindset by creating a new reasons to workout..
1. Longevity of my Life. Makes no sense to work so hard on the front end and not be healthy enough to enjoy the spoils on the back end.
2. One day I will be a Father and a Grandfather and I aspire to be as healthy as my Grandfather is right now at 70+.
3. My younger cousins are becoming teenagers and I refuse to let them beat me in a game of basketball. Yep, Petty and proud of it.
4. The state of the body strongly affects the state of the mind. In the words of Deion “PrimeTime” Sanders “When you look good you feel good. When you feel good you play good. When you play good they pay good. When the pay’s good you live good.“
I encourage everyone to stop and define their own personal reasons for health and fitness. It’s really pretty simple, If you don’t like something; Change it! It will require discipline to get started and stay consistent, but it will feel great to see the positive changes in your body. You will see progress and progress is a huge motivator. I’m seeing progress everyday and I’m comfortable in my own skin. Between me and you, I think I’m starting to feel like my old self again…
I do hope that you understand; I’m just a Student with a Message.