Good heavens, why?

Ran across an old acquaintance a couple days back…who, like others, noticed my somewhat dramatic weight loss…

The first question is often, “How did you do it?” or some iteration thereof. Except of course…when they make some astounding leap of questionable logic and decide I must be dying.

I explained the basics of my eating regimen…and started discussing the 6-9 hours a week I spend in the gym.

Her eyes bulged at the discussion of my workouts, “Good heavens! Why!”

Like many, she was looking for the magic bullet. That ONE food you have to try. That “perfect” diet book. The special pill, program, brochure, surgery, or “once weekly” exercise machine.

I’ve often answered THAT with talking about the fact that there simply aren’t any real shortcuts, the magnitude of the problem I’m trying to fix (200 pounds!!), and discussing my approach.

Most folks aren’t interested in that discussion…and I shortly realized I’d been answering the “why” with “how”.

I had thought “why” was self-explanatory. It was at this point I realized that it wasn’t…and I should have already known that…since “why” AND “how” eluded me for more than 35 years.

So I tried a different approach.

I pondered the actual question. That’s a dangerous thing…me pondering. I tend to get introspective and of course…wordy.

I’m a writer. We do these things.

Like all answers anybody’s put some thought into…there wasn’t a simple statement that would suffice. My motivations run deep and are intertwined with my passions.

Passion as principle has been a fundament of my philosophy since the day I realized I’d actually managed to drag myself out of poverty. It was a herculean effort…and left me damaged, scarred, exhausted, and looking around at my new-found world wondering why I’d bothered.

Epic journeys ensued. Stories were found. Things were experienced, wonderful, terrifying, and everything in between. And soon…answers.

Of a sort anyway…since I didn’t have the actual questions.

Those may take (another) lifetime to find. Turns out that for now, passion for the world and people around me just has to do.

Not a bad outlook…it’s taken me clear to hell and back (there may be a restraining order now). Passion and humanity. A complicated thing…any way you look at it.

Mostly…we just don’t. Folks are more comfortable that way.

It was an interesting discussion, my acquaintance and I had. I even thought at the time…”I’ve gotta write this crap down.” I then, as I often do, got busy and promptly forgot about it.

Today, a facebook post from my trainer also asked a similar question,
“We want to know… WHY DO YOU WORKOUT?
What is your reason for being healthy?”

Dammit! Now I’m pondering again!

Again I thought, “Man, I’ve gotta write this crap down.”

Apparently I’ve had enough coffee today…and didn’t forget about it.

“We want to know… WHY DO YOU WORKOUT?
What is your reason for being healthy?”

I started with this:

1) To lose weight. Not just a few pounds. I want to be FIT.

Okay, obvious…but that’s a politician’s answer. It’s a statement that most would accept…but it doesn’t answer the actual question.

That’s the thing I like about my friends…they will…no holds barred…call me out on that stuff. “BULLSHIT!
WHY?

Ah.

There’s the usual stuff…end chronic pain (and apparently substitute “tired and sore”), balance, long life, and all that…but still…thinking deeper…

WHY?

Okay…you asked. It’s complicated…yet disturbingly, predictably simple.

1) The very basic truth is that it turns out I want to actually be the bad-ass I’ve always thought I was. 🙂

2) When…at a young age I won’t admit to because I’ve already given my parents enough gray hair…I first made love to a woman, I found such magic and power in that uniquely human bond that I knew it would never be the same experience twice…and I swore I’d hold my woman in my arms for 10,000 nights.

The second time I made love I doubled that number. When I met the woman that is now my wife of 26 years I added another 10,000 nights.

Then I did some math (I’m an engineer, we do these things). We’re not quite a 3rd of the way along. Mortality looms. 30,000 nights. Turns out I need to live a bit longer to achieve that. Live forever or die trying. No pressure.

3) I’ve been piloting motorcycles all over the place since long before it was legal for me to do so. Despite running well more than a million miles…I’ve not scratched the surface of the things there are to see…and the things I need to learn.

I need more time. ALL the time! The song “Never Enough” by Patty Smyth comes to mind…


4) And opening THAT can of worms…Speaking of music…yeah. Music. So much. So many. One of my passions. I’ll NEVER hear it all…and more comes out every day. My collection is eclectic and extensive…and grows daily. It’s a line item in my budget.

Time! I need more time!

5) The first time I rode a motorcycle in a thunderstorm I knew it was much like making love to a woman. Unpredictable. Dangerous. Overwhelming. Never the same experience twice. And one of the most amazing things I’ve ever encountered.

I’ll quit riding the storms…when there are no more storms to ride.

Yeah. Time. I need more time.

6) I am a fan of Louis Wu…and once swore that I’d live forever.

How else can I see all that there is to see?

There are other things of course…I want to get back to snow-skiing. Flying. Art. The list is endless…but it turns out to condense down to the same item.

Life’s too damn good to be so damn short.

Time. I need more time.

What are your reasons?

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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2 Responses to Good heavens, why?

  1. sevesteen says:

    I don’t work out. Even at my peak weight I wasn’t unusually unfit, I get enough exercise through my normal day to be OK, and when it’s warm enough in Ohio I pedal bike quite a bit. Not amazing fitness but decent, and my blood pressure was never out of normal range. (It’s a lot lower now, though) For me fitness beyond a certain point isn’t a goal…but longevity and health are. I’m not willing to do an hour of significantly unpleasant things to extend my life just an hour, I want a bigger return than that. And there’s a distinct possibility I’m calculating on the lazy side.

    But while my what is a bit different, the why is the same. Initially I didn’t have a goal, just “see if this works and is worth the effort”. It did, and it was…and I had to consider what I was after. Not when I could stop (that answer is “when I’m willing to be obese again”) but when I could relax a bit and experiment. That weight goal wound up being based on the MetLife statistics for mortality vs. weight–I want to be in the longest lifespan group, with a few pounds to spare for occasional indulgences.

    • Daniel Meyer says:

      My own goal for “fit/atheletic” required the workout…I set this goal as an “impossible feat” simply because I was making no serious attempt at the more minor goals…they always seemed to be “in the background” and thus…never on the top of the list.

      For decades I’d been failing.

      I chose the “impossible goal” because I’ve achieved such things before in other endeavors…and knew I was capable of attacking something like that as a priority…

      We’ve gotta do what works. There are lots of approaches 🙂

      My weight goal is somewhat flexible…basically my measured lean muscle mass + 15% body fat (definition of “athletic”). I plan on getting there and then seeing what’s what.

      Surprisingly…I’m not far off…

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