First Things First

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Something's Gotta Give

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One of the foremost problems among the recipients of the IronOnline newsletter is finding the time to work out while having the demands of life precariously balanced on their shoulders. A writer from Down Under, who finds the information and discussions we share “living inspiration,” genuinely exclaims that he has no time to train between parenting, work and study. “How do others fit workouts into their schedules?” he asks.

Back when we owned the gym, I heard the same pleas from long-absent members and those reluctant to join because they were world-consumed. These people are bound in a predicament that must be undone if they’re to survive... to aspire.

Easy for you to say, Draper, you lived in a gym your whole life and still eat barbell soup.
True enough, but I’m an absolute observer who between sets considers what it must be like to be an over-extended, iron-starved and denied musclehead. The thought causes me to ache. Let’s work on this together as if standing on a dangerous ledge and contemplating a way down other than jumping.

Something’s got to give. Without compromising family, studies and work, there must be adequate room for you and your health: body, mind and spirit. Think. We have no room or time for cliches today.

What good are your plans, hopes and dreams without your health? How effective are you in attaining these without energy, endurance and internal confidence? Troubled with a sense of neglect and guilt, how heavily are you stifled in your day-to-day free spirit communication? Doesn’t the family you serve and love deserve more? Shouldn’t they be included in the commendable, life-preserving designs you envision?

You’re a very good person about to take small steps in relief of a long plunge downward. Start by persuading your family (your best friends) to join you. Teamwork, sharing, encouragement and all that neat stuff help make the going sweet.

Times are tough and there’s no better time for you to get tough than now. Be prepared. You may not conquer the beast before you, but you sure as heck won’t let him gain ground in your territory. A day will come soon enough when the needs and good intentions set in motion today will direct you to more favorable conditions in which you can act more aggressively. You must trust the old mystery of life, that positive plans and positive actions beget positive effects.

Immediately three critical areas of focus that define your pursuit come to my metal head: Commitment, Diet and Exercise. These need to be addressed as our first solid step forward. Let’s take them one at a time.

Commitment is one of those words that has been overused and has lost its impact, yet it’s the leader of the trio. Put it this way: How important to you is your health and fitness, your getting in shape, your building a lean, strong and muscular body?

Review the benefits of exercise and its companions -- the expression, the discipline, the heart, the lungs, the muscle tone, the reward of a workout well done -- you know, the endless list we go over from time to time simply because it’s fascinating, delightful and supportive. You need to remind yourself of their inestimable importance to place them high on your chart without feeling selfish, foolish or obsessed. Fact is, we are responsible to work out and eat right. Put them near the top where they belong.

Incidentally, you’ll notice that new commitment didn’t take any time out of your busy daily schedule. One down.

Number two of the big three is diet, a nasty word in the vocabulary of modern man. You’ve heard more than once that what you eat, and when, accounts for half the fitness and muscle-building challenge. The best part of this concept of smart eating is that it doesn’t consume any more of your time than does lousy eating. All it requires is the nutritional ABCs and the establishment of a few cool habits.

At this point in our quest we’re interested in clearing a field upon which to proceed. Some of us get to overtrain in a gym that has 30 pieces of shiny new equipment and 20 tons of barbells and dumbbells. Some us go out to the garage of iron or down into the basement of steel. Some of us need to invent and improvise… starting now.

We lean hard against the matter before us to discover that it’s round and once it starts rolling, it builds up inspiring momentum. Ignore the matter and it rolls over us with the gravity of time.

Consider my brief shower of words before they evaporate. That you can’t blast it today doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
Stay prepared and do your mighty best to do what you can these days.

Don’t deteriorate day by day till you’re one of... er... them. Work on your commitment and menu with a smile and high hopes.

A tip of the wings to ya, bombers.



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