“The Birth Announcement Post.” ☺ (3 weeks late) She was born January 23 at 2am. She weighed ___ lbs ___ oz and was __ long.* My apologies to the women who read this blog. Men, A: don’t remember those stats, and B: don’t care. These two factors probably impact each other.
*Okay, normally, my wife isn’t around while I blog, but since she is sitting across from me and would probably get mad at that intro to this announcement post, I now consult her to find that Eloise was 5 lbs, 14 oz and was 19.5” long. ☺ (I now confess that I did in fact remember those stats… but I still find them silly and meaningless)
I don’t know about you, but my kids are a major motivator in my decision to pursue my running goals. Let me tell you why and if you’re a parent, this may be the most powerful post you’ve ever read to encourage you on your path to fitness.
I’m going to do something you shouldn’t do in a blog post. I’m going to sum up everything I’m going to say in the rest of the post right at the start in a single sentence because I want to make sure you hear it and I want it to resound in your mind and impact the way you live EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE.
Here it is:
Give give your kids the very best possible version of yourself.
I’m going to spend the rest of this post fleshing out that quote and how and why you should live it out from a fitness perspective. If you navigate away now you’ll miss out on some great content, but if you go away with those words ringing in your ears, I’ll be happy.
The Pernicious Myth
How many times have you and another parent watched the great exuberance of kids at play and this remark was exchanged:
”Oh to have that much energy again.”
Then go get it! I don’t think we have less energy because we are older. At some point this certainly becomes true. I’m well aware that we age and die. BUT DON’T DO IT BEFORE YOUR TIME. If you’ve got young kids and you utter this phrase, you’re lying to yourself. Period.
I want to leave this world used-up, broken, and victorious. I want to able to give myself unreservedly to my friends and family until I can no longer stand and I’m not going down without a fight.
Fitness is an integral part of that equation. It’s not just about having more physical energy, or what we think of as physical energy, after all, everything about us is physical (or chemical) including our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves. We shouldn’t divide these categories, but we do. I suppose each of them has a primary application, but none of them functions completely independent of the others.
You can’t ignore your physical health without grave repercussions for the other areas of your life.
Sure you can get by. I know that there are fantastic people out there that largely ignore their physical conditioning and calorie consumption (read: are overweight/obese). BUT I posit that they are not offering their best selves to the world, to their kids. It’s not a comparison game.
Just because you are in the top 99% of parents doesn’t mean you couldn’t be better.
It doesn’t even mean you’re necessarily doing a good job. Don’t look around at others to get a sense of how you’re doing as a parent. We all know what it means to be a good parent. Comparing yourself to others isn’t healthy. Either they are one of those super-uber parents that make you feel like garbage or they in the 95% of people doing a terrible job. It doesn’t take much effort to do better than that. Don’t get smug. ☺
I hope you take something away from this post. It’s solid stuff if not a little preachy. I know there’s a small percentage of my small pocket of readers that probably made it this far, but I just had a beautiful baby girl and I’m still processing all the old implications that I’ve been able to refine over time (this is our 4th little one).
This brings me to a great point. I may not have been posting as much lately (some of the above may have had something to do with this…), but I’ve not been idle in terms of this blog by any means.
I’ve had some troubles with the direction for RealMenShowLeg. It started as a blog designed to entertain and inspire readers. It will continue to do so. But somewhere along the line I started throwing in tips for beginning runners and preaching healthy lifestyle. These are good things, but I’m just chasing too many avenues.
Ultra running is different from distance running just as distance running is different from sprinting. These worlds (ultra running vs. distance running) don’t overlap as much as I thought they did when I started this blog.
SOOO as of this post (as my last polarizing, segmented readership article) I’m going to turn this blog back to my current passion, which is ultra running. I’m going to advise other ultra runners, especially new ones as I chase down this adventure. It’s also for people that enjoy reading about epic pursuits. I’m still going to be funny about it all. Life is funny. Sport is REALLY funny sometimes.
I have another blog in the work that will absorb the thoughts in the other areas of exercise that I pursue, including more conventional length distance running races and training. I’m going to refine the content in this blog to be optimized for ultra running first, so no time estimates or promises as to when I launch that blog, but just know now that it’s coming.
Thanks for reading this blog. I’m humbled and honored that you take the time to do so. It’s good for my soul to write it. I hope that it’s good for yours to read it. May the miles be kind to you. -Brandon