How often have you heard the line “the dog ate my homework”? The picture you likely have in your head right now is of a school aged child giving their teacher an excuse as to why they aren’t turning in an assignment. Am I right? Now, I own a dog. A very large dog. He has eaten my shoes, many remote controls, a bag of Hershey’s kisses (aluminum foil and all), 3 dozen bones from what was left of some buffalo wings I ate, a Palm Pilot, a sock, and who knows what else. Never has he eaten a piece of paper. It’s funny how that excuse has endured.
Fast forward to being a grown-up with a job, a spouse, kids, pets, and ugh…….responsibilities. Time is short, and as valuable as printer ink – which ounce for ounce makes gas look cheap! Trying to squeeze in time to workout is tough. There never seems to be enough hours in the day – so what excuse to we give? “I DON’T HAVE TIME”. This is the adult equivalent of the child’s the-dog-ate-my-homework excuse. An excuse.
Let’s stray away from this for a little while. Think of the last time you flew somewhere. You are sitting on the plane, seatbelt buckled just hoping the process goes well and you make it to your destination on time with no delays. The flight attendants go thru their little routine about the seatbelt, the floatation device, the oxygen masks, and the exits as you begin to nod off. We have all heard it – “in the event the oxygen masks deploy, put it over your head and pull on the straps. Then assist anyone else that needs help with theirs.” Hmmmm, lots of wisdom in that. To help others, we have to take care of ourselves first. You can’t help your child put their oxygen mask on if you are blue and beginning to see a tunnel.
Now, working out is nowhere near as serious as a life threatening situation where lives depend on quick decisions. But, they do have the impact of affecting others. How often if a workout is missed is our day more stressful, longer, and generally not as good as a day when we workout? Time has to be taken -emphasis on taken- to take care of ourselves. Working out resolves stress, and in general improves the quality of life – even if we just feel better because of it.
But, “I don’t have time for a 2 hour workout.” Who does? That’s called professional sports. In general, workouts should be kept under 45 minutes. There are exceptions to this. But, if time is a concern, you are not one of the exceptions. Here is a 3 step process to nailing a 45 minute workout:
Go to the gym (the most important step)
Warm up for 5-10 minutes, then get strong
Leave the gym
Repeat 3-5 times per week. Don’t make excuses. Carve out the time. Cut the 15 minute elliptical/treadmill/bike routine. Cut the 30 minutes of stretching. Find someone that knows about metabolic circuits, whole body lifts, and movement. Get in, get out, and be a better person for those that have to be around you. Don’t waste time. Starting a process means you are going to finish a process, so don’t tackle your new workout program twice and then call it quits. Grab Father Time by the throat, take 45 minutes from him, and get to the gym – once you take it, he won’t want it back. I promise.
Unfortunately, getting Father Time to give you that 45 minutes isn’t enough. It has to be repeated consistently. Consistently getting in your workout is the key to your fitness goals. “I want to get tot the gym more” is a horribly weak goal. I hit the gym twice last year, and have been in three times this year. Check that goal off my list! Never mind that the other 360 days I’m naked in a bean-bag chair eating Cheetos – Ron White reference. That isn’t a goal, it is a wish. Replace it with this one “I will get 156 workouts in this year”. Much stronger, and if your goals are stronger, you will be stronger. That is 3 times a week all year. Two hours and fifteen minutes a week. Is that too much to ask for you to give yourself? Here is my guarantee- if you do 156 workouts this year and fail to hit your fitness goals let me know. I will then give you my address and you can come kick me in the testicles. Now, keep in mind my goal is 240 training sessions and I will kick back, but I hope you get my point about the value of consistency.
The dog didn’t eat your homework as a child and you do have time for you now. No more excuses! Excuses are like…….opinions (you thought I was going to say something else didn’t you?) everyone has one, and they are usually wrong. So, act like an adult, don’t blame the dog, take care of yourself, and get to they gym!