The good news is that I still fit in my pants.

Posted September 27, 2017 @ 12:00am | by Tripp

Recently, I received a phone call from my doctor's office to remind me to schedule my annual routine check-up. No problem, I say to myself. I'm in reasonably good health for a guy pushing fifty. I mean, I'm not paragon of athletic virtue, but I can walk for hours with a toddler on my shoulders. That's not nothin'.

And that's when it hits me. The kid. Right. I can't phone in my physical health. Certainly, there's no staving off death. It comes when it comes, but there's a way of living well before Death claims us, right? I suck at that.

I like biscuits and coffee and pie and bread and cookies and...all too much. I don't like vegetables near well enough. And there may be nothing less satisfying than a salad or as mentally cruel as a weight room. Let's not talk about running. Some experience a positive endorphin rush. I experience nothing of the sort.

Truth is, I don't even like being outside all that much. Sure, sitting on the porch, but exerting myself in some way? I dunno.

Then there's the Boy again. He loves the outside. Loves. It. He runs and plays and runs and plays and watches other people run and play as he enjoys his snack before he runs and plays some more. I really don't want to be the dad that says, "Go play by yourself" all the time. I want to go play, too. I want to see him run. I want to be able to say, "Sure! I can go play," when he asks.

I also realize that as a musician, teacher, preacher, and general active person, I need to care for my actual person. Have you ever notice what Bobby McFerrin looks like? Astonishing.

I keep looking for inspiration. The Dude-Bro Machismo Machine is singularly unhelpful. That is precisely what I don't want to be. So too is the California Healthy Body Zen Buddhist Temple To Your Next Great Start-up. "You deserve better" is hubris. Dwayne Johnson is uninspiring in his super-human positivity and work ethic. "Good for him," I say as I knead the biscuit dough. "But he's obsessed and I'm just not willing to be obsessed. Not about that."

I have some acquaintances who are yoga practitioners and teachers. I love the way they wear their fitness. Truly, I do. Sometimes my jaw drops when I see their casual, comfortable health. One, in particular, astonishes me in how she connects spiritual and physical well-being in a gentle web of grace. Truly. There’s some inspiration.

Then there's another acquaintance who, in her 40's, and because of her own need to manage chronic pain, has taken on an incredible bodybuilding regimen. She lives without pain now. It's remarkable. I admire her to no end. More inspiration.

And there’s Bobby McFerrin. 

Yet, I don't know where I'm supposed to find an hour a day for three to five days a week to do anything, really. 

Yes, there are always excuses and I'm full of excuses, reasons not to exercise and change my diet. 

It's expensive. It's time-consuming. It's uncomfortable. It makes me unhappy. Competition, even with myself, is a constant downer. I really love dairy. And bread. Lord, but bread is good. 

It's also what my doctor wants me to do so that I lose the 30-40 pounds that'll make other things better and, perhaps, my ongoing quality of life a positive one as the years progress.

Again, the good news is that I still fit in my pants. 

 
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