Everyone has their own reasons for striving for physical fitness. Every single one of them is good in its own right. For me, my driving factor comes from a few different things.
The number one thing that pushes me to work out is simply the fact that I want to feel good about the body I will spend my life in. I don’t want to have to worry about looking overweight. I don’t want to have to worry about throwing my back out or injuring myself due to unworked muscles. I simply want to live my life with a decent standard of living.
Second, I want to do better in my career in the military. As almost everyone knows, physical fitness is key on a battlefield. It really is a world based on the survival of the fittest – and the Army’s culture has come to praise and honor those who excel physically. As an enlisted member, my current rank is the highest I will achieve unless I do something to stand out above my peers. The one thing that stands out more than anything else: high PT scores. I’ve never done that well on my PT tests. I’m not able to really put a finger on why not- it’s not that I don’t have drive and determination, because I do. I think it’s just that I always compartmentalized myself as someone who wasn’t very athletic. That’s something that I want to change.
Third, I want to continue to be someone that my wife is attracted to. Even going further than that to continue to do things that would make her only fall more in love with me and increase her attraction. I feel like too many people, myself included at times, become complacent after marriage. You get this feeling that you’ve done the hard work of locking another person down and now you no longer have to try to pursue them. That’s the wrong mindset to have. Marriage is a milestone, not a destination. If you want to have a successful lifelong marriage, it includes continually working to improve yourself and build upon the relationship that you have together. Part of this, for me personally, is keeping my body in shape not just for me, but also for her. She deserves my best, and my goal is to do just that.
Fourth, I want to be a good example for my future children. While my parents were amazing role models in many respects- health and wellness was and and is not one of them. I had no concept of healthful living, eating, and exercising growing up. Sure, I played sports while in grade school, but that was the extent of it. I grew up on the PA Dutch staples like meat, potatoes, bread, and lots of butter. I was taught to clean my plate at each meal because food should never be wasted, even if I wasn’t hungry. Time always seemed of the essence growing up too, so meals were always eaten quickly so that we could move on to the next thing. I drank milk and fruit juices like it was going out of style – because “calcium builds strong bones” and “it’s important to have fruits as part of your diet”.
I’ve learned a lot about proper eating, but even still – old habits really do die hard. I have a terrible tendency to overeat because I eat too fast and health foods are not first nature to me. Thankfully I have a very health conscious wife who is an amazing help in that regard and I know that she’ll be a great role model in health eating. I want my children to follow my good example – and so I need to work hard to establish the groundwork now so that I can be that example later.
So there, now you know my reasons for staying motivated to put the time in the gym.
Also, its going to be a regular goal of mine to post motivational pictures or links regularly on Mondays. I don’t know if it will be every Monday, but I’ll do my best to make it as often as possible.