First, let me say that at this very moment my head is swimming in confused messages about how I “shouldn’t be writing this blog” and “why am i not doing a blog about music?” and “don’t you realize how much you are fucking* everything up, Chris, by doing this blog? It’s really stupid, it’s not your skill set… you are a MUSICIAN! So write about music. What the hell is the matter with you?”
To which I say, with complete love and compassion in my soul for all such voices, “Fuck* off.” This is my little sand box, where I get to run little metaphorical Tonka Trucks across the sand to squash the metaphorical plastic cowboy. This is my experimental “back yard,” so to speak, where I get to try out things. Sure, maybe it won’t last forever, but right now, this is what I’m doing. And I’m going to keep going.
So in the tradition of this blog’s stream of consciousness approach, those last few paragraphs had very fucking* little to do with today’s actual blog topic. Woo hoo! Watch me fuck* everything up! Onto today’s topic…
Today I walked over 9 miles over the course of over 3 hours. Admittedly, this is rare for me. Especially for a weekday (today being Wednesday as I type this). Also, I travelled a lot more than, say, 5.5 miles, which is usually about the limit. However, it is not rare for me to exercise. In fact, I have exercised 5 days per week with very few exceptions for nearly 8 1/2 years. I have gone jogging, swimming, and walking, but mostly I have gone jogging. And most months I have gone at least 100 miles (which averages out to 20 days x 5 mile jogs). Today I walked.
By the way, I’m not bringing this up in this post to brag, though I do particularly like this quality about myself. I’m writing it to make a point. You see, over eight years ago, I decided that regular exercise was going to be a part of my life. I was tired of doing it only some of the time. I was tired of being inconsistent. I had been at a gym at one point, and gone jogging sometimes. But I wasn’t regular. I wasn’t DISCIPLINED for the long-term.
That all changed in late fall of 2007, when I made a decision to exercise 5 days a week for at least 25 minutes per day. I have kept to that commitment: I would guess I have missed fewer than 12 weeks since 2008 (A 97% success rate, if you multiple 52 weeks in the year times 8.25 years = 429 weeks, and divide 12 into 429 to get 0.028, or a 2.8% failure rate).
As I said, at first I committed to going at least 25 minutes, which would average out to about 2.5-3 miles of jogging. When my wife and I moved to our present location, I expanded to a new route that was over 4 miles. Since then, I have expanded further, and generally run 5 miles or so. Today happened to be a strange exception because I got into the idea of walking the entire distance of a 9 mile loop from my house through Discovery Park in Sacramento and over to Old Sacramento and back to my house (a route I have sometimes taken, though only one other time walking instead of jogging).
Anyway, the reason I am writing about this is that I made a decision to make exercise a permanent part of lifestyle. I COMMITTED. And week after week since then I kept to my commitment. I am proud of this. It wasn’t always easy. There were PLENTY of days when I did not want to exercise. Especially in the first few years so. But I kept doing it because I knew that my word was on the line. I knew I had committed, and I wasn’t going to slip out of my commitment. I also believed something I heard a long time ago from a course I took: Integrity is 100% or it is nothing.
In other words, Integrity is King. Honoring your word is everything. It only takes one slip up in an area of life requiring serious integrity to jeopardize everything. Just ask the drunk driver who got on the road while under the influence at the wrong time, and ended up causing tragedy to human life. Or the spouse who indulged in an affair only once…. and destroyed a marriage. To paraphrase what I heard one motivational speaker say, “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation… and 5 minutes to ruin it.”
The good thing about exercising is, the consequences of slipping from 100% integrity are not quite as severe! Instead, exercising is a fun part of any athletic person’s life, enriching our daily experience, calming us down, keeping us energized and engaged in the world, and raising our level of self-esteem and confidence. The benefits of exercising are obvious to everyone… yet the cost of doing it apparently can seem like too much, because being committed requires sacrifice. Sacrificing excuses, procrastination, inertia, and/or laziness.
In my case, I admit that I had my own selfish motives for exercising. I wanted to have a healthy body. I wanted to be in good shape to take on the opportunities of a successful music career. And I wanted to gain back the joy I felt as a boy being physically active. In addition, I liked the challenge. I knew it wasn’t easy, but I trusted that once the habit was built, it would supply me with good results for the rest of my life. To paraphrase a book I read, “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” I surrendered to the habit of exercising and became its slave.
So therefore, to the habit of exercising, and to the greatest of all life principles, which I here humbly dub King Integrity:
King Integrity, I salute thee!
*I realize this is a lot of cussing. I considered deleting or “toning this down,” but then I thought better of it. After all, this is my private blog. I’m assuming adults will be reading this. And I have my reasons for letting myself cuss, namely that I guess I still associate being able to cuss with being authentic, which is what this blog is all about. I apologize if this seems immature or stupid to anybody reading this, but it’s just what works for me right now. Thank you 😉
2 Thoughts to “My Exercise Life: King Integrity, I Salute Thee! (Warning: more Explicit language from Potty Mouth Chris!)”
Chris, you are such an inspiration. Being committed to anything is a challenge. Challenge is good. Keeping in shape is healthy. Healthy body, healthy mind and soul. I love how you think. Fuck is just a word that draws attention. Never ever be afraid to be yourself. You are genuine and real. I love that about you. You have a wonderful spirit.
Hi Mary, I always appreciate your support! Strange as it might seem, allowing myself to swear on this blog has been incredibly liberating, because I had essentially put an Iron Curtain of sanitized language over my communication both online and professionally. As you can guess, it was quite limiting. Maybe it’s my artistic spirit, but I can’t help but want to be personal, to be “human,” to be visceral. I’m not really comfortable with the mask of “good boy normalcy” that ran the show… still does… except here in this blog, where I explode it like a Piñata and invite everyone else out to watch.
I so appreciate your comments!
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