For years now, as long as people have been asking my opinion on what to do to get into shape, I have always cautioned them on spending too much money, just to get started. Think about it. I’m sure you know of someone – or perhaps you’ve done it yourself – who had spent a bunch of money buying a pricey piece of exercise equipment, or a series of DVDs or maybe even a gym membership. They start out strong, getting their “moneys-worth” but soon that passion fades and they’re just left with a treadmill in their living room serving as a coat rack.
Just because you bought a shiny new toy doesn’t mean you are automatically going to stick to a fitness routine if you’ve never done it before. But regardless I see it over and over again. Trying to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle doesn’t cost a dime; it just takes you deciding you want to do something and then committing to it.
Although I’m sure there are countless examples of people succeeding while not breaking the bank, I want to tell you about two that I see almost everyday. And the interesting thing about these is that I don’t even know these two people. One of them I just happen to see when I am out for a run and the other, although I did finally speak to him for the first time last week, runs by my house.
For 7 months now, when I have been out for an early morning run, I have seen this one gentlemen running as well. At first I thought to myself, whoever he is, this ‘running thing’ probably won’t last. He just didn’t strike me as a runner. Boy was I wrong. Because almost everyday I was out, so was he. And who knows how many days he was running on the mornings I wasn’t. The reason I thought that this might just be a passing phase for him, something I readily admit now was wrong for me to do, was because of the way he was dressed. Every time I saw him, whether it was 30 degrees or 70, he wore the same thing. A long pair of pants – that in the dark look like jeans – a long-sleeved button down collard dress shirt and a one of those new “fashionable” baseball caps. But regardless, there he was, running a steady and strong pace each and every morning. I don’t even know how far he runs, but judging by the different parts of town I see him, he’s running a minimum of 6 miles. I also don’t know if he does anything else for exercise, but I do know that he didn’t go out and spend a bunch of money to get into shape. He just grabbed some clothes and went for a run.
The other example is a gentlemen who I have seen run – I should say sprint – past my house for years. Again, no matter the time of year or what the temperatures outside may be, there he is running, and running hard. I’ve always wanted to stop him to find out more about him, but as a runner, I wouldn’t want someone stopping me in the middle of a run. So just the other day, we happen to cross paths walking down the street and I jumped on the opportunity to introduce myself. Now I’m not going to mention his name, but I will tell you that he is 55 years old and in incredible shape. He told me he runs 4-5 days a week and runs anywhere between 3 and 5 miles at different speeds. But even his “slow” pace is fast compared to most runners. So I asked what else he does, because of what great shape he was in, and the only other exercise he does is use one of those “ab rollers” you see advertised on TV. If you Google it you’ll see it’s basically just a wheel with two handles that you hold as you roll out and back while on your knees. That’s it, nothing more. Now I never asked him how often he does the ab roller or for how long, and I’m sure it’s a lot, but what I do know is that one of those rollers is like $8 brand new, or you can find them littering garage sales for a buck or less.
So what, if anything, do these two gentlemen prove? Well in my humble opinion, what they represent is that you need to be “rich” in determination, instead of money. You need to have a new sense of self-worth instead of a new elliptical machine. You need to be concerned more about how to accomplish your goals then how you look at the gym. Be more mindful of what you are doing and not what you are wearing. Not exercising because you don’t have any of those material things is just another excuse. All you truly need is a desire, a pair of shoes and an open road.
And after reading this if you start muttering to yourself about not having a pair of shoes or not being interested in running, then you’ve sadly missed the point of this story. And if you are one of those people who buy all the “stuff” but don’t use it, give me a call. I’m in the market for some previously owned, barely used exercise equipment.