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Thursday, February 18, 2010

We are born and we die

We are born and we die. Those are the only two parts of our lives that are certain. No one in history has gotten away with skipping either of those all important steps.
It’s what we sandwich in between those times is what is really important.
It’s the whole length versus depth thing.

I used to be in the military. For about a year I was in the Army Reserves. Long story short in the end it just wasn’t for me. That’s not the point of this brief story. The story involves KP duty. I think KP stands for kitchen patrol. Yeah, I was at a reserve drill and I was on KP duty. After washing what seemed like an infinite amount of dishes we had a few hours to sit around and basically do nothing.

Of course the smokers took this an open invitation to shorten their lives… over and over and over.

One of the other guys there that wasn’t smoking (one of the few) was a runner from Connecticut. He just couldn’t take it anymore. He finally piped up, “Why are you all smoking so much?”

The response from one knucklehead was kind of interesting. “We’re all going to die eventually so we’ll might as well enjoy ourselves”. (I don’t remember what he said exactly but it was something along those lines.) How stupid.

I’ve always remembered this moment and it has always bothered me. A similar conversation happened to me when I was a kid. It was with my brother-in-law. He was a smoker and he used to give ME a hard time when I’d go out running. He used to say, “You’re going to die healthy.” Of all the asinine things…

It’s true we need to live as much as we can in the time we are given. BUT, we don’t need to sabotage our later years to enjoy our younger years. Does smoking REALLY make your life that much better so that you can shorten your end of days by 5, 10 or more years? I think it is absurd.

It comes down to balance. How much can be enjoy our lives NOW and NOT mess up our lives later? Smoking is an obvious example of completely ignoring the future for a little pleasure now. Drinking is another one. Eating can be the same way. At what point to we smoke, drink or eat too much where our lives are negatively affected NOW?

We need to live for today with an eye on the future? We want to earn enough money to enjoy some things today but save enough to retire in the future right?

Another way to look at it is “instant gratification”. We’ve all heard that our society wants everything and it want it now. That’s why we all have the internet on our phones and 315 channels on our TV. It’s ok to have things now but at what price?
OK, let’s tie it all together and learn something, shall we.

We need to live for today and find joy in everything that we do. To do this every day of your life means that you are a success on this earth. Now here’s the challenge. Live for today but don’t mess up tomorrow.

A wonderful today is dumb if tomorrow and all the days after that suck.

Take that one to heart. Live for today but don’t forget about tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

- Rick Copley “The Fitness Guru”

p.s. Remember to keep up with my on Facebook! My group is called “The Fitness Journey”.

p.p.s. Our new class schedule is 6am, 9am (childcare provided) and noon. All enrollees in my programs receive custom unlimited coaching and nutrition counseling. You do NOT need to come to classes to do this. It can all be done online. Email or call me for details!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Eeyore the old lady

It was another oppressive 100% humidity day last summer in Central Florida. The lonely miles were piling up as I pedaled my Trek road bike hour after hour. My water supply was getting low. It was time to stop.

I stepped into an air conditioned convenience store to pick up some Gatorade and a snack; provisions to get me home. I was, as always, happy to be on my bike. I love riding my bikes and I love the feeling I get when I'm done. Even better I love the feeling of racing and beating the competition. Despite the heat I was happy.
Not so for "Eeyore the old lady."

So I'm waiting in line and Eeyore walks in. No lie. This lady had a CLOUD with softball sized hail stones hanging over her head. She walked the counter with her shoulders slumped like she just learned her dogs died. This could have been the most miserable person I'd ever seen.

The guy behind the counter, "Hey, Mrs. so and so how are you?".

Of course she said "Awful." or "Terrible" or something along those lines.

I don't remember what the clerk said. It doesn't matter. The funniest part to the whole story was what happened next.

The lady asked for like $20 worth of lottery tickets.

OK, yeah, THAT is EXACTLY what I want to buy when I depressed. We all know how good a chance you have of winning the lottery. I wonder if she won.

There are a couple of directions I could go with this lesson today.

Let's start with the lottery. The lottery is tax on poor people. Nobody ever wins those things. At least nobody I know. For most of us a dollar here or a dollar there isn't doing any harm.

We all know the person though that can't pay there bills but yet always picks their teeth with old lottery tickets. That's gross. Sorry.
Sidetracked. I'm back now.

We all get sad from time to time. Sometimes this evolves into depression. This is an actually physical condition. The questions we have to ask ourselves are the "why" and "how". Why do we get depressed and how do we get out of it?

I have what I think is an interesting take of the whole thing. Read on and see what you think.

Stress can be a matter of perception. I truly believe this. I also believe that stress has a lot to do with circumstance.

An example.

You are at a party and the music is loud. It's a party so the loud music doesn't bother you. It's all good. Now let's suppose it's 11pm and you are in bed because you have to get up work in the morning to pay for extravagant luxuries like the mortgage and food. All of a sudden your 13 year old decides to blast her crappy rap music really, really loud.

Music's loud, music's loud. Same thing right? Of course not. You get the point.
Stress can also be cumulative. At some point repeated stress turns into sadness and or depression. Maybe eventually you slump into a convenience store and buy lottery tickets.

I don't pretend to have all the answers. I'm certainly no phycologist. I can only try to pass on what I learn through life experiences and what I read. Depression hurts and it is a battle to get out. I know. I have been there and it was a battle and a half to get back to normal again. My advice tip for the day can help you stay out of depression and get out of depression.

OK, ready for the big tip? The million dollar piece of advice? Figure out what you like and do that. There you go. Have a nice day.

Of course I'm joking. Let me explain.

So often we spend our hours and days toiling at what we hate. Whether it's working, commuting or cleaning the house. We spend way to much time being unhappy. Eventually the unhappiness that started at the unhappy times starts to invade the happy time until there is none of that left.

I don't want to be too long winded here. This is what you need to do. At a time when you are content you need to sit with a pad of paper and write down as many activities that you do that make you happy. It doesn't matter what it is. You can worry about that later. Just write!

Now after a little break review, edit and recopy the list onto your computer. Now print it out and keep it with your planner. This is where the rubber meets the road. When you plan your week out your need to SCHEDULE at least THREE of those happy things each and EVERY day. This may seem obvious but do YOU do it?

What these happy times will do is help keep the troubling times from overtaking your life. I promise you this works. Start today!

OK, there is your tip for the day. I hope that you can use it to improve your life. I have and it has.

Thanks for reading. Remember that FEEDBACK is always appreciated!