The Road to a Healthier Life
I think it is safe to say that the older Ford Mustangs are iconic classics that are immediately recognized and appreciated. It’s a beautiful car with sexy lines that easily turns admiring heads. Well-made and when taken care will last through generations of admirers.
Now maybe you’re thinking this blog is about classic cars and so on, but…nope. WAIT!…don’t stop reading just yet! Though this isn’t “directly” about the sweet rides, etc., it can be. I will be using it analogously, if that makes you grease monkeys feel any better.
Let’s talk about the word “mustang” first.
We’ve already established that a Mustang easily refers to a classic Ford model car, however, the Ford Company named that car from a horse…clever. Horse, horsepower, and American in nature.
The mustang, the actual mustang, is a free-roaming horse of the American west that first descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. In 1971, the United States Congress recognized that “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people” (wikipedia) That’s pretty cool.
But also, and less known, is this. A mustang is slang term in the United States Armed Forces, referring to a warrant officer or commissioned officer who began his or her career as an enlisted service member. Mustang officers are generally older and more experienced than their peers-in-grade who entered the military without prior enlisted service via commissioning from one of the service academies (such as the United States Merchant Marine Academy, United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Naval Academy, or United States Coast Guard Academy), Officer Candidate School, or the Reserve Officer Training Corps. In other words, not a “pure bred” like the conventional officer rank. Hey, I’m good with that.
Me and my oldest daughter, Addison, on the roof of Hay Adams DC on July 4th
It is the latter mustang to which this blog is mostly about. Though this blog is based on my life and lifestyle it applies to anyone, man or woman, that is maturing into a classic or possibly a clunker.
I turn 53 in just a few short months, July 4th to be exact, and though I’m not in the best shape of my life I am in better shape than I was just 3 years ago. Actually, I was in shape…pear-shaped! Yuk! I let myself go and in a bad way that if I didn’t do something I was going to go from pear-shape to pumpkin-mode. I mean I had ever excuse in the world not to exert myself through exercise; too old & tired, sleep apnea, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, running a business, raising a family, etc., etc. and I used them all thoroughly.
Me, 3 years ago with my beautiful daughters…ooof
It was an insight into what my life “could be” and the fact that I was approaching 50 years of age at light speed that changed my outlook and approach. So, Instead of finding reasons NOT to workout and diet properly I found many more reasons that I should do so. And sometimes no reason at all just the fact that I’d call myself a “pussy” or “fat bastard” or “week ass” to motivate my aging body.However, I have plenty of legitimate reasons as well. I have my two young daughters to consider and would like to “walk” them down the aisle versus me “rolling” down, a much younger, hot wife that NEVER stops, a renewed outlook on life’s potential, and all around just enjoying and appreciating life more than before. I think it’s working, not to mention I’m getting compliments somewhat frequently which doesn’t hurt the motivation or the ego. ☺
Now it hasn’t been easy, far from it. I’ve powered through several injuries, albeit carefully, and am stronger and wiser for them. I’m trying to do things I’ve never done before, e.g. handstand, marathons and maybe, just maybe the Ironman. I think it’s cool that I can say I ran my first marathon at 52, especially when I hear from my peers “been there, done that and never again!”.
Me, one year ago
The point of all this…it’s never too late to leave Clunkerville and get on the road to being a classic that turns heads. Just like taking care of an older classic car you have to take care of your body and mind. And like a car, if you stop taking care of it or you and deterioration sets in you can always work to restore yourself. It just takes time and effort.
How do you do that and everything else one has to juggle in life? Like anyone, I can give advice and pep talks all day, but it REALLY comes down to what motivates you and your level of motivation? Of course it does depend on what’s going on in one’s life, such as: family, ailments, work, etc..
I’ll tell you what worked for me in 5 easy bullet points:
- The realization I was on the road to NOWHERE…and fast, I had an overwhelming desire to be heathier for my family. That was a great focal point for my motivation.
- I didn’t bite off more than my body could assimilate, meaning I wasn’t looking for immediate results as we all tend to do and sometimes I still catch myself doing just that. Injuries are hard to bounce back from as you age. More on this…
- I started with going week to week, then month to month, quarter to quarter and now year to year. I started out just sucking it up for the first 2-4 weeks (and you have to really buckle down for this) and afterwards it becomes more habitual and then, hopefully, you get to the point where you say “ I really need to get my workout in” and when you don’t you feel incomplete for the day. That’s success!
- Circumventing injuries. It happens to EVERYONE! Take the positive route. If you can’t run, well then cycle or swim if you can. It could very well put you into a sport or exercise you would have never thought about. Happened with me after I had two stress fractures from running so I began cycling. DON’T let an injury become an excuse and derail your program.
- Establish an environment that encourages you to workout. Me, not a fan of gyms so my wife and I have a pretty sweet home gym that just gets better every year. But hey, if gyms are your thing, find one you like and can afford. Remove all factors that do not contribute to your motivation level.
- Okay, I know I said 5, but let’s call this 5 plus instead of 6. Compliments! Nuff said, but I will elaborate anyway. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a compliment!? Whether it’s from friends or strangers or the “extra attention” you receive from an admiring significant other. It’s all good and it motivates…Oh, it motivates!!!
My cycle station when weather is less than favorable.
So, as a wrap I’d say to anyone interested in staying in shape, getting back in shape (like me) or getting in shape for the first time…DO IT!!! Yeah, it’s tough and yeah it hurts on occasion, but hey, that’s bragging rights and it’s also SOOOO worth it.
Are you the person squatting on your ass that has nothing but excuses and blames everything else?
Are you the person that turns heads, inspire others, and more importantly the person that owns your universe regardless what the worlds throws your way?
Your body, like a classic car, you can either take care or let it go to shit. You want to be a hot rod or a hot mess? Your call.
Me? The difficult the pitch that life throws at me the better…it’ll make me stronger, healthier, smarter and happier. Mo better!
I love my life!
In closing, our household has two 1965 Mustangs, me and this sweet ride!
Maybe the next blog will be about my hot wife…a 1977 Ford Bronco! YEEHAW!!!
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