Want a first of the year secret to finally getting fit? You're going to spit.
Here it is: The best exercise IN THE WORLD to finally getting fit is the one you will do. Regularly.
Hey, look. I am so very tired of the magic this and ice bath that. The run-ourselves- through-the-agony mills, and I've done it. NONE of it works if it hurts, annoys, exhausts or damages you.
Period full stop.
My buddy Jim Stutsman and his wife Diane down in Texas regularly wear out umpteen pairs of their favorite sneakers multiple times a year. They walk 5K every single day, with the exception of that rip roaring snow and ice storm that we just had. Jim used to be obese. Not now he isn't and neither is Diane.
He's working on his pushups and recently remarked that his old t-shirts are getting tighter. The shoulder part, not the belly part. He's in his 70s.
You and I do NOT need to engage in the latest craze. All we need to do is find what we love to do.
Yesterday I invited my Patreon supporters to fire me stories. In her inimitable fashion, NancyL promptly took a photo of another aging athlete out striding:
Damn she looks like me coming home from a trip. NancyL writes:
I came across this woman - also a Nancy, she told me - a few miles along on my New Year run. She was striding along, holding the walking pole like she was Fred Astaire, not using it at all - just had it along for the ride.
She’s over 70 and tells me she uses a brace on the other knee, too, when she skis.
The people who populate my inner circle are fellow aging athletes, younger athletes and thinkers, often in the same person. The trick to getting fit is to chose something we will do.
It's just that simple.
If you want examples of FIT people, they are everywhere. You will not see them if you are only looking for the (steroided-out) liar the Liver King.
You want fit? Don't just look for ripped and big. Look for active.
While we think we envy the body beautiful and yeah we do, we really envy those who are out doing what we dream of doing. Hiking big mountains or biking long rides or doing aerial silks or dancing ballet at 75. It's what they are able to do that we envy, not just how they look. They might have mushy belly or wrinkled arms, but man, are they ACTIVE. And happy.
That's what we really envy. The best part is that this is what's attainable even if Marvel Universe body isn't.
Active, functionally fit, happy and healthy people are not likely to be on extreme diets, ruin their bodies by doing constant extreme sports (the occasional is fine, it's the constant that does damage) and have a pretty well-rounded diet that serves where they are in life right now at any age.
They are happy. NOT desperate to prove how cut up they are or how fast they can race to the top of the next mountain.
You will be fit this year when you find what you love.
The woman who most influenced my bodybuilding told me that it was consistency that does it. She's right, too.
I used to envy her body. At nearly 70, I don't. I am fit beyond my wildest dreams even after losing plenty under Covid and after surgeries. I can't wait to get back to my regular program. I love it and it loves me back.
The story below offers a few different approaches, many of which make sense. I love changing things up, too, but that doesn't always work for many of us. Take the article with a grain of salt, and always and forever ask yourself:
Am I really going to do that? If not, dump it. Do what you will do as long as it gets you moving.
Dear Walkabout Saga Reader:
Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your life to read my work. WalkaboutSaga is an act of love and devotion, and I hope that you found value in it.
If my work appeals to you, may I kindly invite you to consider joining those Patreon supporters whose generosity keeps the gas in my tank as it were.
Such articles take time, resources, research and effort. Even a small amount of support truly helps me keep this going. In challenging times, I recognize that even a small amount is hard. Those who can give, I appreciate it. Those who cannot, I hope my words are helpful.
My purpose is to Move People's Lives. I can do more of that with your help.
However you decide to partake of my writing, again, thank you.