Get It!

Thad Crawford is a freelance blogger extraordinaire that has a way with words. His 32 year-old-ness puts up with a lovely wife,  3 boys and a girl…or is it they put up with him? His pithy tongue only gives way to his motivation of being a fit father, friend, and concert goer. Meet Thad.

Working out is hard. It’s boring. It’s tedious. It hurts. It’s inconvenient. And it’s awesome.

Dear readers, as you peruse this miniscule seedling in a bigger bloggy world, keep in mind that this author is not a fit man. Let there be no consternation as you browse through the words typed here, no utterances of “Yeah, well, it’s easy for you.” I’m 5’11” (6’ on a good day), and weight about 250 lbs. (235 if my healthcare provider asks). I have a waist that allows me to wear size 36 jeans, the top of which my gut and love handles spill over perfectly, creating that attractive “melted cupcake” look that the ladies go wild over.  I puff out my chest in an effort to look buff and confident, and women ask me where I had my work done. I flex my biceps and my underarms immediately form a beanbag-like mass of embarrassment and head straight for the ground like they’re late for a meeting down there. You get the idea. I’m not selling a protein shake or caveman cookbook. I’m not hawking gym shorts or magic water bottles. I’m just here to talk about working out as a concept, and getting off our collective duffs and doing it. Specifically, I’ll talk about two major components involved in working out – goals and excuses.

As I mentioned previously, working out is hard. Aside from that one guy that I later discovered had escaped from an institution for the mentally and criminally insane (no word on which category he fell under), I have never met a person that just absolutely loved working out and only did it because they simply loved the act of it. The benefits of working out are well-known throughout modern society, and there’s this really cool thing that Al Gore invented called “The Internet” to help educate us on them if we don’t know. But this article isn’t about the benefits; it’s about the idea of it being hard to participate in due to various reasons.

As a result of knowing the factual benefits of working out, the engagement of this activity always seems to come with a goal. Or, at least, it should. You see, if you don’t first establish a goal, it’s highly unlikely that the phrase “working out” will ever be a part of your regularly-used vernacular. That may sound just jim-dandy with you right now, but when you’re 50 and just about ready to rip off an ICU nurses head because you can’t get any sleep with the infernal beeping from that heart monitor and the food is horrid and your significant other won’t even crash with you because they’re always out of cots and they forgot to empty your bedpan again…you’re gonna look back and wish you used that phrase a little more. Look at that – an example of one goal…to not be that guy. So what is your goal? Is it to get “healthy”? Is it to fit into a certain sized designer jean so you can finally impress the lead singer of that band that’s coming back to town in just one short month? Is it to look good at the country club swimming pool, despite the fact that everyone there is either 16 or married with multiple children that you could never afford to support should you somehow manage to convince the spouse that this just isn’t what they want out of life? Whatever the case, a goal is a goal, and it’s a great place to start. Occasionally there isn’t even a need for a goal – occasionally it is mandated that you work out, or you will die. Which, I guess, in that instance, the goal is to not die, so yeah, still a goal there.

Once you have a goal, what then? You work out. I contemplated for a while just ending this blog post at that last sentence. “You work out”. But I know what’s coming next…the Big “E”. No, folks, I’m not talking about that – I firmly believe there are much less invasive and appropriate ways to relieve constipation. What I’m referencing is that one reason, that one final little detail – the Excuse. It kicks it just barely over the line to where it’s now just too much, too hard, or even impossible, for you to work out. Let’s clean the air here and just list the most commonly used ones for everyone’s benefit. This list is in no way comprehensive of all excuses, but some that I have encountered frequently along the way. You choose which one you’ve used before, and I’ll let you in on a little secret after the party.

  • You’re busy.
  • You have kids.
  • You can’t afford it.
  • You have bad knees.
  • You don’t need to/it won’t help.
  • You’ll do something else to make up for it.
  • The secret I mentioned? I’ve used all of these excuses before in an effort to avoid working out. So here are some responses to those Big E’s:
  • People busier than you still work out.
  • They’re not an excuse to not work out; they’re a reason to make time for it.
  • So do it for free. No one is charging you to jog or do some jumping jacks, Jack!
  • Me, too. Start of 2012, I was 340 lbs. and a hot mess of knee and ankle hurtitude. I worked out.
  • Yes, you do/yes, it will. Bet me.
  • You’re a dirty liar.

The Big E is a killer, folks. I would say “literally”, but you get the implications. For every excuse of this nature, there is a valid and logical response, as exemplified above. I must make a disclaimer that I do understand there are valid medical and mental conditions that will prevent someone from working out all-together – this article is not directed at those folks, so don’t take me out of context. For those that are enabled, though, it really comes down to your personal desire and making the choice to get up, get out, and work out. Find friends and like minds to motivate, encourage, and even work out with you. It’s a major help when you feel like hitting the snooze button is a much better option than actually waking up early to get sweaty. Once you can overcome the Big E, a world of opportunity awaits you. The options for getting a work out in are abundant. Just here in Fort Smith, I know of the following:

  • G-Fit
  • Crossfit
  • Boot camp by Cristie Castagno at the Riverfront Park
  • Krav Maga or Mu Sool Won at Fort Smith Martial Arts
  • Free amateur boot camp at Ben Geren Park (look me up on Facebook for details!)
  • Multiple gyms with trainers, classes, etc.
  • Bike trails, jogging trails, and hiking trails – all free!
  • It’s hard. It’s boring. It’s tedious. It hurts. It’s inconvenient. And it’s awesome. So get it!