Balancing Act

What you decide to do in the 24 hours is based on your individual priority. That priority is defined by your attempt at self-actualization or the need to feel a sense of being. As each day comes and goes, those priorities can and will change.
We have some much to do with so little time. The days are like a blur and only 24 hours to accomplish 32 hours worth of details. We all have experienced those days when we wish we had just 2 or even 4 more hours.

The only problem is that "Father" or "Mother" (depending on your point of references) just does not want to cooperate. We are fortunate live in a society that allows us to try and do things that we make time to do. As long as it's legal, of course.

What you decide to do in the 24 hours is based on your individual priority. That priority is defined by your attempt at self-actualization or the need to feel a sense of being. As each day comes and goes, those priorities can and will change.

Why Change?

Why do they change? Everyone has their own reason. Maybe one realizes that what they want is more time with their kids or spouse. Maybe one realizes that, in order to get that long sought promotion, more time at work is necessary.

Maybe one decides to commit to an exercise regiment after discovering they weight twice as much as they did after graduating from high school. All these reasons and more drive our priorities to be re-defined and change. Unfortunately, too often our health is left behind when priorities are defined.

I believe that, as a society, we need to come to realize the importance of health and fitness as a priority. Ask yourself to list all the reasons why you should make your health a priority. Next, make a list of all the reasons why you haven't made your health a priority.

My reasons that I make my personal health and fitness as a priority are:

    1. Makes me feel better about myself. I feel that exercise is something that I choose to do and all the benefits realized are for me. No one can take that away not matter how they try. It is mine and I control it. My confidence soars and I know I'm doing something that is good for me.

    2. If I don't do it, who will. It's easy to just live life without the thought of being healthy. No one will even care or tell you to go to the gym. We sometimes find out the hard way.

    3. The challenge. I'm in a constant state of learning. I make mistakes along the way and, after a little research, I get smarter and master many of the complexities involved in achieving my goals. It takes tenacity and a commitment to try to be better.

    4. Transfer of knowledge to and from others enables me to improve myself. The chance to engage in conversations with others having similar goals and experiences is exciting. In some professions, knowledge of certain aspects of that profession is so valuable that a person with that knowledge will not divulge it. The fear of giving away "an advantage" makes that knowledgeable person protect his/her expertise. In health and fitness, knowledge can only have value if one knows how to apply it. That application is specific to each individual. Finding the proper application, is what is makes the experience worth every minute.

So ask yourself the same question and make a list. However, I must add that without the support of family, friends and coworkers, making health and fitness a priority can be difficult. I have been fortunate to have the support of all three. The company for which I work for, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, has supported me in past events that I have competed in.

I would have never dreamed I'd be able to tell other competitors that I have "corporate sponsorship." It's a shame that many companies don't support its employees that pursue health and fitness goals yet, as a matter of policy, provide two 15-minute smoke breaks!

Priorities

Balancing all your priorities in life can seem like a nightmare. The priorities that don't become important to us are the ones that seem the hardest to commit to. Unfortunately, health and fitness is one of those priorities and we find any and every reasonable excuse why it can't be included in our life.

When in reality, a little sacrifice could go a long way. My greatest sacrifice is waking up at 4:30 every morning and arriving at the gym by 5 a.m. I've never been a morning person and for years I used the excuse that I just couldn't be as intense in the morning.

I'd be half asleep and wouldn't train hard. Check this one out. I needed to build up enough "stress" during the work day in order to really focus at the gym in the evening. In reality, all were just excuses and led to, missed workouts for a variety of supporting excuses like, working late, too tired, the gym would be too crowded during the time I wanted to train, or it is too nice a day to work out and get all sweaty.

What I did find was truly the opposite. In my morning workouts, I have found more intensity and train much harder than I ever did. I have more energy. What's even more important is that the energy launches me into my day when I get to work. By the time I arrive, I'm on all cylinders! Also, morning training provides the opportunity to accelerate your fat burning should you train before eating. Interestingly, it has also been shown in studies that testosterone levels in men are highest in the morning and drop throughout the day!

So, find what makes it easiest to make your health and fitness a priority and, remove any excuses by making sacrifices where and when possible! Well, that's another wrap. In my next article, I plan to talk about my favorite training routines/splits so stayed tuned!

Thanks, Delbert

"Vision without action is a day-dream. Action without Vision is a nightmare"

- Japanese Proverb