Friday, June 28, 2024

I have once again been bullied into better habits

I like to tell the story of why I began drinking black coffee after years of pouring cream into it.

The date was September 15, 2022. My family and I were at Pine Ridge Country Club in Wickliffe, Ohio, for the Wickliffe Schools Athletic Achievement Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Someone had scammed the organizers into inducting me. I still can't explain it.)

After the meal, I poured myself a hot cup of coffee to cap off what had been a very enjoyable evening. As I reached for the small pitcher of half and half, my daughter Elissa looked at me and said (in a tone of undisguised condescension), "When are you going to grow up and start drinking black coffee?"

I replied to her, "Right now, I guess." And I did. I drank that cup free of additives, and I have not drunk anything but black coffee ever since that moment.

I have said many times that Elissa bullied me into what is undoubtedly a healthier habit when it comes to coffee drinking.

Fast forward to about a month ago, when Elissa and her boyfriend Mark presented me with a card for a personal trainer named Kirk Simmons. As a reward for coming to their house and taking care of their pets while they were on vacation, they had paid for four training sessions for me with Kirk.

"You'll love him," Elissa said. "He specializes in cranky dads."

Well, sign me up!

I hadn't expressed any interest in personal training, but everyone in my family knew of my longstanding intention to start doing more than just cardio-based exercise. I knew I needed to lift, and deep down I knew I probably needed some sort of kick in the butt to start doing it.

Two days after presenting me with the card, Elissa and Mark were at our house. A very persistent Elissa told me, "We can sign you up with Kirk now." I promised I would do it myself within a day or two, and I did.

Once again, my low-level fear of incurring the wrath of Elissa had pushed me into making a better lifestyle choice.

Here's the funny thing, though: I'm typing this post on May 31st. As of today, I haven't had a single workout with Kirk. I did meet him at the gym for my initial assessment yesterday morning at 5am (yes, 5am, which didn't seem to phase Kirk because the man is an ex-Marine and could probably conquer a small island by himself on three hours sleep).

All he did was conduct a body scan to assess my muscle mass and prodigious fat deposits, and some movement tests so he could get an overall idea of my flexibility, stability, problem areas, etc.

My first workout with Kirk is still four days away, but by the time you read this, he will have put me through my paces several times already.

How can I be so confident this is going to work out? Because I know myself. I'm excited to do this, and when I'm excited to do something, I do it no matter how difficult it is or what obstacles life throws at me.

I don't know that I'm ever going to be a true gym rat or anything, but by the time you read this, I will have at least transformed into a "gym guy."

Which is saying something for me, a lifelong runner/walker and formerly avowed non-lifter.

The upshot of today's post? You need to have a loving bully like Elissa in your life. Or maybe just hire out Elissa herself to threaten you into making better choices.

Trust me, she's very good.

The AI Blog Post Image Generator did a nice job creating the photo you see at the top of this post. But it also produced this image, which makes me laugh no matter how many times I look at it.

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