Climbing Everest (A Man Story)
It wasn’t long ago that you were in high school without a care in the world. You were the big man on campus, solid muscle built on raw consumption of everything and anything you could put in your mouth. You knew everything and when you spoke people listened. Your actions were bold, and your body looked like whittled oak.
Off to college you went, head strong and eager to be free from your parents to do as you please. You had athletic talent that could have been showcased at a smaller college but, coach didn’t help much in that respect. So, now your above average athletic skills are used to dominate intramural sports and pick up basketball games. You continue to lift weights for pure enjoyment and to stay in shape. You begin to think you’re a Jedi knight because just looking at weights makes your Pecs swell. You’re getting big and strong on a combination of heavy weights, beer, steak-ums, protein powder and Taco Bell.
College ends and you take an entry level position at the corporation where you’ve been doing an unpaid internship. You begin your ascent up the ladder working long hours. The ritual begins…Wake up, do the three S’s, get dressed, run out the door, grab coffee, convenience store breakfast sandwich, get to work, plop your ass down in chair, stair at computer and documents for 10 hours, stop at bar for drink and dinner, get home, plop your ass on couch, watch TV, go to bed…The ritual ends.
Ten years have passed. During this time frame you’ve climbed the corporate ladder of success, found yourself a pretty girl who, somehow, you convinced that you were not a complete moron and she accepted your proposal. All your hard work has paid off. You are once again the big man on campus. But now you’re a forty something year old dad who is fat, has high blood pressure, achy knees, and an unstable lower back.
You have climbed Everest but now you need the gurney to get back to base camp. You start lifting weights again but realize your outdated training methods were time consuming, boring and just leave your body hurting. Your definition of “fit” has changed since you were a young pup. Now you’re an old dog who wants to be pain free. You want to have endurance to play with the kids. What kind of dad would you be if you couldn’t give your kid a horseback ride because you fear you’ll throw out your back? You also need good functional strength to handle the honey do lists and household chores. This is your life. It’s a good life so stop dwelling on the past and enjoy. You might not be an oak anymore, but you also don’t need to be a rubber tree.
Guys, ask for help. This doesn’t make you less of a man. The mini-van does. Start by defining “fit”. Then locate yourself a good coach/trainer who can teach you how to maximize your workouts so they’re effective and efficient with your time. You don’t need to spend every day at the gym splitting up body parts, blasting chest and triceps one day, back and biceps the next. Your calves haven’t grown in twenty years so stop trying. You need a routine that addresses mobility, provides you with good core stability, endurance, full body strength and power. This can all be done in three days a week.
Once you get back to your ‘playing weight’ you can start challenging yourself with 5K’s, or learn how to do Olympic lifts. Hell, you might even climb Everest.