I got starting lifting originally for high school football and track, which seems like a lifetime ago. Right from the start I felt comfortable in the gym and picked up different exercises fairly easily. I remember always wanting to learn more and different lifts all the time, and as high school morphed into college and college morphed into real life and a job I kept up lifting, although not as often as I would have liked. I began to make excuses about how I didn't have time or had too many other more important things to do, but in the back of my mind I knew I was only cheating myself.
I lived in New York for over 10 years and really let myself slide, rarely lifting and when I did, it would only be for a few weeks on and then I would take several months off. Again, it was easier to make excuses than actually go to the gym.
When I finally moved to San Diego a few years ago I suddenly stopped making so many excuses and gradually got into more of a regular rhythm of going to the gym, but it has only been since the beginning of 2011 that I really have kept to a regimented workout schedule. These days I work out six days a week and couldn't be happier about it. I'm also on a healthy diet and I feel great.
That's easy. I have more energy than I did when I was in my 20's. I feel better about myself inside and out, I'm proud of the hard work I've put in and my results speak for themselves. I also love challenging myself to set new personal bests, and I love trying new exercises that I find from sites like bodybuilding.com or other bodybuilder's web pages. By always keeping my routine fresh, I don't burn out and the excitement stays with me. At this point I don't think I'll ever quit going to the gym. It's an integral part of my daily routine now, and I know I'm a better person for it.
My family, whether they actively encourage me or not; or even fully realize the time and effort I put into this lifestyle, are who I do this for. I also genuinely enjoy working out. It's a great stress reliever and because I can control how hard I work at the gym, I always feel like I've accomplished something positive regardless of how the rest of my "9 to 5" day goes.
The same reasons that motivate me to go to the gym every day are the ones that make me want to achieve my fitness goals. I want to live a long and happy life to be around the people I love for as long as possible, and the healthier I am the more I feel that is a possibility. Plus, more selfishly, I like the way I look when I'm in good shape!
I have chosen this lifestyle for my health and longevity and so I can be around for a long time with my family. At the same time if I can inspire other 30+ and 40+ year old men and women to take better care of themselves through exercise and diet then I am more than happy to use the lessons I've learned towards that end. I have a full-time job as a Realtor here in San Diego so I am proof that you can find time to exercise, even with the full responsibilities that all of us have every single day, in every walk of life, all the time. It's easy to be lazy and eat Girl Scout cookies on the couch (which I love!), but nothing worthwhile is ever easy and putting in time at the gym has become a way of life.
To narrow it down to one is not at all easy, but one of the things I've struggled with in the past is motivation. It's not always easy to wake up before work and exercise, or to say "no" to unhealthy, yet always tasty junk food, but if we can motivate ourselves to do what we all know is the right for our bodies and our overall health, then the rest will fall into place. Make a schedule and stick to it, and the results will speak for themselves.
Kelechi Opara, Greg Plitt and David Kimmerle have all done amazing work with their physiques - I'm just trying to catch up!
I love several different aspects of Bodybuilding.com. I use the site to check and get reviews on different supplements, I love getting workout tips, I love the articles on health, nutrition and different personal stories and I love seeing how other people transform their lives through fitness and become different, happier versions of themselves. It is a great site!