Enjoying your fitness

I watch a lot of CrossFit videos. I have been watching them for the past few years. They are kind of my crack (and a great way to waste some time at work…). In a few of the more recent ones the athletes in the videos have talked about enjoying your fitness and this got me thinking: how do I enjoy my fitness? And, more importantly, do I enjoy it enough?

Way back when I first started down my path to losing weight my motivation was my son. At the time he was about one and I decided that I wanted to be the father that spends time on the baseball diamond, basketball court, skate park, or whatever it is my son decides he wants to do physically growing up. I certainly didn’t want to be that father that has to sit on the sideline and cannot actively participate due to his weight. When I take my son to the park I want to be able to climb on the playground equipment and fit on the slides, move around freely and possibly even impress him by climbing up the fireman pole rather than sliding down it.

Here I am 90 pounds lighter and maintained this weight for at least 18 months, so what have I done with this fitness?

On the videos I watch many of the athletes talk about doing something fun at least once a week and probably on the weekends. I definitely do not do something every weekend. What have I done with my new found fitness…

  1. I love to golf. In the past I would always walk the golf course for exercise (and then go blow it up at Old Chicago with pizza or something), but by the 15th or 16th hole I would feel noticeably tired and drained. And if it was a hot dry day, forget it, not only would I be physically drained by the 15th or 16th hole I would start to get really tight in my back. Even with drinking a lot of water I would still tighten up. Now I am able to golf 18 holes without any issues. My back doesn’t tighten up in the car after walking and I definitely feel just as good on #18 as I do on #1 (unless it has been a poorly played round of golf…). In fact, this summer I played 54 holes of golf in one day and walked all 54 holes. Yes, I consider that fun and there is no way I could have done that a few years ago.
  2. I definitely play on the playground with my kids. I am able to go across the monkey bars, get up on any equipment (in the past my size would prevent me from getting on some of the equipment because I literally couldn’t fit), run around after the kids and just play. Having my son chase me around is just awesome. Playing with him is awesome. Now my daughter is getting to the age where she loves to chase me, or let me chase her, and the entire time she is full of laughs. There isn’t any better reward for my new lifestyle then hearing them laugh while playing with them.
  3. Climbing 14’ers. Last year I climbed Mt. Bierstadt for my first 14’er and was perfectly fine physically to do so. In fact, I ended up jogging the last part of the trail on the way down because I wanted a little more physical exertion. This year we hiked Mt. Evans and while our hike up to the top wasn’t all that challenging (we found some sort of rarely used shortcut I think…) the trip down was a good 2-3 hour hike that drained. The entire trip was over 5 hours of hiking and I felt perfectly fine when we were done. So much so that I went to the gym the next day for a workout.
  4. I like to bike now. I bought my bike about 10 years ago with the intention, at the time, to ride it to work and back at least once a week. At that time I lived about 3 miles from my office and there was a trail right next to my apartment that led right to my office…but it was all uphill from home to office. That was hard for me back then and I think in a 4-5 year period I rode it twice. I just recently rode it from home to my office a month ago or so, but now I live 20 miles from home to office and I definitely plan on doing this ride more often next summer (don’t want to do it in the winter months because it requires a lot of time on the street and I don’t want to get hit by a car at 6am in the dark). I rode it from Cherry Creek Reservoir to REI (Confluence Park) and back this summer and that is something I have wanted to do for a long time. A few years ago neither of these rides would be possible.

Those are just a few of the things I do for fun and my new fitness levels allow me to partake in those activities. But I don’t do those every weekend as suggested by the athletes in the videos. With kids and the busy lifestyle that comes with them (birthday parties, nap times, doctor appointments, school activities, etc) it is hard to find time every weekend to go on a hike or a bike ride. Getting the family in the car and on the road by 7am or so on a Saturday morning to get to a trail before it is too busy or weather rolls in is tough enough, but then getting a 2 and 4 year old to go on the hike with me…not going to happen. I am certainly not carrying them. We have a trailer for the bike, but even when we use that the kids don’t want to just sit there for a long period of time. After about a mile of riding they are screaming that they want out to move around.

There is one thing I do every weekend, however, that I really enjoy: CrossFit. The athletes always talk about getting out of the gym so that you want to be in the gym (think about it…that even sounds confusing and I just typed it). I really enjoy CrossFit and I really enjoy Saturday morning CrossFit. At our box the Saturday morning classes are usually either team based or really difficult WODs and I enjoy both – a lot.

As the kids get older I definitely plan on taking more family hikes during the weekends, more camping planned around hikes, bike trips with the family, etc. This is only the tip of the iceberg and I hope my children love the outdoors as much as I am beginning to love them so we can enjoy them together.

How do you enjoy your fitness?

PS – Oh, how could I forget that I do enjoy a weekend comp of some sort. That might be a weekend competition of CrossFit or just running a 5k. I did the Run the Rocks 5k last year at Red Rocks (missed it this year) and that sort of challenge is great.

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