The first time my significant other, Kiel stepped into a weight room, he was 14. He played collegiate baseball and almost 2/3 of his life has involved fitness, in some capacity. When I tell you he’s strong, I mean I’m fairly confident he could parallel park a car by lifting it into the space.
I took the opposite route. Sure, I’ve always been athletically-inclined and I danced – a lot – in high school but after that, the next 15 years of my life could best be described as “eat a lot, sit around, gain some weight, stress about it, repeat.” If there was a competitive division of sedentary, I was gold-medal material. College started the trend, and then just handed the baton to Corporate America and I found myself at the heaviest I had ever been, heading into my thirties.
The other day, Kiel started circling his wrists and stretching his forearms, as he sometimes does. “Joints bothering you?” I asked.
“Yep. It’s fine.”
This is the “fine” that comes from endless at-bats, deadlifting, pitching, benching, catching, Olympic lifting, etc. His “uncomfortable” is the result of his choices.
I’ve watched him do those wrist circles many times over the years but for some reason, I was reminded on this day of a time in my late twenties that I too, was extremely uncomfortable. I remember terrible pain in my knees after sitting for long periods of time. I remember sucking some wind at the top of a flight of stairs and having to compose myself before walking into the office. Uncomfortable list? Hell yes, I had a huge one.
Ten years later, Kiel and I roll out of bed on a lot of days and say to each other, ‘Dear Laaaaaawd, my body feels really special today.’ But it’s the best kind of special. That sore feeling that only comes from working hard and being in awe of what your body is capable of.
I saw a social media post the other day that said, “Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.”
Let’s acknowledge that everyone has an “uncomfortable.” Whether yours came from the weight room or too many cheeseburgers, the hard truth is that you earned your uncomfortable. It didn’t appear overnight and you won’t change it by tomorrow morning. But you have evidence either way that a series of choices over time is what it will take to improve or reverse it.
Choose your hard and trust the process. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of “uncomfortable,” so be a good human and let’s get through this together.