By Greg Price
A recent charity golf tournament has made it painfully obvious that I need to lose weight and get in shape.
Hats off to another fantastic Kiwanis Club of Taber Charity Golf Tournament which benefited the Taber and District Health Foundation in its pursuit of a new Advantage Plus A.E.R. for the autoclave department.
It was the first time in 2019 I had actually picked up a club and swung it in a competitive manner in the game of golf. I’m happy to report, I only embarrassed myself for two-thirds of the round, finally able to find my swing in the last six holes or so, where the ball not only went far, but straight.
It was a good time catching up with people I don’t see on a regular basis, along with throwing some extra funds the organization’s way by buying mulligans etc.
But, it confirmed to me that I need to get in better health and shape. It was an exclamation point to the last few months where I’ve just felt ‘off.’ A few holes in, I noticed I was getting winded.
No, not sweating profusely despite the 30-plus weather or stumbling around thinking I was going to pass out sucking wind, but a little light headedness with a little heavier breathing. Now I know I have the physique of John Daly, but golf should not be that physically taxing —especially when you are driving a cart. I get today’s pros are at the peak of physical fitness, but given charity golf tournaments where the ice-cold beer is flowing, people of all shapes and sizes participate and do not feel light headed a few holes in.
A further realization that perhaps I enjoy food and libations a bit too much was the light headedness immediately went away and my game started to improve the moment I got a delicious IGA cheeseburger and Co-Op smokie in me, washed down by a couple of beers.
I admit, I’m not particularly proud of the person I see in the mirror physically with my shirt off. All my life, I’ve seemed to have a very short period of maybe my late 20s to mid 30s where I can say I’ve had an ‘optimum’ body.
Take a look at my high school and college pictures and you’ll see a rail thin Six-foot-Two guy that looks like a stiff wind would blow me over.
The ‘optimum’ period kicked in where my body filled out to average size, followed by my lack of culinary skills coupled with a time-consuming job catching up to me where I am now overweight.
I used to be a 34 waist and now have ballooned up to a 38/40. Clothes don’t fit right as much as they used to do where I’ve noticed my fashion choices have lessened to simply wearing clothes that can hide the beer belly a bit better.
Some minor medical issues aside, I’ve gone on and off the workout wagon numerous times. I had a good thing going for awhile at Pro Performance Gym in my last go around, only to be derailed by a month-long illness where I was afraid of spreading it to other people at the gym. Unfortunately, it broke the good habits I had formed with trips in the winter time which I never regained once I started feeling better again.
Work was a convenient excuse until it wasn’t anymore, and even on the days my work day did actually end at 4:30 p.m. with no evening assignment, I still wasn’t going to the gym. Truth be told, with news not being a 9-to-5 profession, it can put a curveball on fitness goals, but I’ve come to the realization that now as a man in his 40s at a crossroads, I may have to simply pare down my evening coverage for the sake of my health both mentally and physically after already working a full eight hours for the early morning, and skip some assignments and ask the public to submit their own photos shot late at night.
The job of a small-town journalist is not physically demanding, but it can be mentally draining dealing with the public, where some weeks, there have been five-day stretches where I’m not getting home until 8:30-9 p.m. after starting the day at 8 a.m. Eat, sleep, work should not be anyone’s existence for proper balance.
A problem I’ve always encountered along with not always eating the healthiest (although I am trying), is along with irregular work hours comes a person who has always been since his youth ,an extrinsically motivated person when it comes to exercise.
In my youth, there were summers where I’d bicycle every day to Henderson in Lethbridge to play tennis with my friend. Pick up game of basketball or flag/tackle football? Count me in. Hikes around Waterton with buddies? For sure. Ball tag at the playground near my great grandfather’s place, or running around the neighbourhood-made bases in a game of wiffle ball. Your mode of transportation was your feet or bicycles to get to your friend’s place. But it was and has always been group exercise with one or more people that I’ve found appealing. I’ve never been that guy that gets up for the 5 a.m. jog in its boredom.
But unfortunately, with work and life responsibilities in adulthood where it’s hard for groups to gather for exercise, that is the type of person one needs to be to get your necessary fitness in. I marvel at these types of people who have that inner-discipline where it’s on no one but themselves in their fitness goals.
As I prepare for summer holidays where I will be visiting family in British Columbia later this week, perhaps I need to treat this as a crossroads or jumping off point to better fitness.
Having a lake to hike around literally right next to my parent’s house certainly is not going to hurt in some fresh B.C. air, along with walks along the waterfront.
Getting a full physical on my return head to toe to see what benchmarks I am at, and perhaps re-upping at the gym is in order along with regular walks around the golf course, Confederation Park or the Trout Pond.
But it has been made painfully obvious, going after work to workout at the gym is not going to work if I want to establish a healthy habit of going regularly without missing a beat. A 6:45-7:45 a.m. session seems manageable while still being able to race home for a shower before work. At least some uptake in fruits and vegetables are also in order along with cutting down some evening work for stress levels.
I also have to view this as not trying to do everything at once, but just getting more physical period, along with re-setting priorities with some inroads with diet, where baby steps will get larger with passing months.
I am under no delusion that I will suddenly be turning into Jason Momoa in my fitness goals, but a loss of 20 to 30 pounds would be nice, along with a higher energy level where the moments I simply feel ‘blah’ will be lessened.
That being said, if there are any Taberites out there who might need a workout partner in doing anything active, have exercise or diet tips of easier health foods for a bachelor, I will admit, I could use any help I can get in trying to form a strong foundation to better habits. Any advice would be appreciated.
Attainable fitness or diet tips can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy summer and hope it finds everyone well in 2019. Hopefully with some motivation, I can get off my duff to better health.