Updated: Dec 9, 2020
My son is 13 and has autism. This year I have set the big hairy audacious goal that I will live to be in good health until I’m 120, for him. I know that sounds crazy town but hear me out. It actually might not be so wild a thought after all. In an article from the National Institutes of Health, The Future of Human Longevity by Gavrilov, Krut'ko, and Gavrilov (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654601/) suggests that even the previous limit of 115 years is now being surpassed with an Italian man living to be 117years and 137 days. And this isn't the only reference to living that long a life that I've heard, so you know - 120 doesn’t seem too far fetched. That said, LIVING that long and having a good quality of life are two very different things. I don’t want to spend 40 years not being able to move just because modern medicine can keep me alive. So - I have to get fit.
Now I’m mostly already healthy. I have a good whole food diet. I don’t smoke, I have no health issues and have successfully gotten through COVID without drinking EVERY day. :)
But fitness? Maybe not. So in keeping with my goal of living 120 years I need to make some changes if I’m going to make that happen and still have a quality of life that will be enjoyable AND helpful. Remember, this is for my son. I follow Tom Bilyeu and lots of other coaches and influences. Several weeks ago I decided to start the seemingly impossible task of researching how to reach my goal. What do I need to learn how to do and what’s the best way to go about doing it? I’m just going to briefly share what I’ve landed upon without going into too much detail of how or why I chose it.
I ended up deciding on a weekly rotating workout that I found in Shape magazine. You can find it here. I knew I needed something balanced. It doesn’t help if I’m strong if I’m not flexible. It doesn’t help if I’m thin and have no strength or endurance. So balanced it was. The next thing to decide on was how to do resistance training, something I don't know much about. Last year sometime I was listening to an interview on Impact Theory with three gentleman that own the fitness brand, Mind Pump Media. I enjoyed the interview and then listened to a podcast episode, #1077 The 7 Deadly Fitness Lies Sold to Women. It convinced me that I wanted to work with their methodology on how to resistance train. I’d been doing light lifting at the gym in a class before COVID and went 3 weeks before the gyms closed. I did my best at home but it’s just not the same for me. So when the gyms opened back up in my local area I went back. I started with the class but it just doesn’t fit my schedule. To go regularly (which I need to do) I have to get there early, 5:30am. Otherwise it just doesn’t happen. So that meant no class. Sigh…
I experimented with the same equipment but on my own and again, just not the same. And I was frustrated and irritated. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do...then one day I decided to go upstairs to where the heavy weights were. A deliberate choice to go up there and see what I could figure out. Y’all let me just say it is amazing what your brain will do to you when you don’t have confidence in what you are doing. I bet I lasted in that room for 10 minutes before I left the gym feeling like a complete idiot for not knowing what the hell I was doing. I sat in that feeling for about 3 days before I decided, Jennie you have to just own this and get it done. Figure it out girl, figure it out. So I did, I listened to a few more videos so I would know how to do the exercises I wanted to do. I found which exercises again from the guys at MindPump and just picked the most simplistic thing I could that would make me feel like I was being productive.
In full disclaimer I am not making any opinion on the effectiveness of this yet but I did want to share that I stepped up and after 3 weeks it’s going well. If nothing else I FEEL better about the whole damn thing and I gotta tell you I feel strong working with those big weights….even though in truth they’re not that heavy, they just look it. Lol
I’m sharing to let you know that no one knows how to do these things right out of the gate. But I have a goal for being there to support my son for as long as I can, perhaps to the end of his life. And that goal led to the deliberate decision to step up and go to the gym, and do the research, and make it part of my routine. Even though I’m tired. Even though it was uncomfortable at first and even though I could have come up with 30 million excuses to not do it that would have been totally legitimate. I considered what I wanted and I was on purpose with getting it done. Just like we all have to be no matter what we are working on.