How Fitness Fits into *Real* Life


I may have missed the ball drop and am up doing some work that has lingered into the new year, however — I swear I’m still tons of fun at the ripe age of 34!  Anyhow, I was just browsing through my email and came across one that really hit home to me — and epitomizes what my blog has been about since its inception in 2013 — being healthy, fit and active on a *real life* schedule.  One day my goal is to own my own business and be able to workout all day everyday like some of the fitness professionals we all see out there.  BUT until then, I’m working full time, traveling and living in a hectic world.  If you are too, please find comfort in the excerpt I pulled from Precision Nutrition’s Dr. John Berardi’s email:

“Stats on New Year’s Resolutions — especially fitness ones — are
abysmal. Packed gyms on January 2 are ghost towns on March 2.

I thought about this the other day while driving home from a
family function (and while trying to keep Kid #1 from punching
Kid #2).

One phrase kept popping up in my mind:

“Fitness in the context of a real human life…”


* All 3 of your kids are sick (at the same time)…

* Your mother-in-law is in the hospital after a heart attack (and

you’re visiting daily)…

* It’s Christmas — or Thanksgiving or Passover or Diwali or Eid

* Because of the holiday, you’ve got a tight deadline at work…

* When you’re stressed your lower back acts up…

…and just as you’re about to head out for the 30-minute workout
you’ve been looking forward to…your dog drops a diarrhea poop
on the living room carpet.

THAT, my friends, is fitness in the context of a real human life.

Is it any wonder most fitness resolutions fail?

If you think about it, most health and fitness plans live OUTSIDE
the context of a real life:

“Here’s a 30-day detox diet to follow… and a new hardcore
workout DVD…”

“Why not do a fitness competition in April… and a triathlon in

“It’s time to go all-in… it’s the only way to win!”

Except that it’s not.

In my experience, this kind of all-or-nothing thinking rarely
gets us all. It usually gets us *nothing*.

Because that diet plan, or workout DVD, or one-size-fits-all
training program you pulled from Triathlon magazine was never
built to accommodate sick kids or open heart surgery or your co-
worker’s 2-week vacation.

And when the insane idea that you have to do all things *perfectly*
takes hold, it’s pretty damn hard to shake that feeling loose.

Sure, we can play make-believe. We can imagine a life where
everything is peaceful, calm, and totally in our control all
the time. But that’s a sure-fire recipe for fitness failure.

Real human lives are messy and complicated. They’re

When we learn to accept this they can also be dynamic and
exciting. They can push us to grow.

That’s why — with 3 children, aging parents, active social
lives, and thriving businesses — my wife and I really did make
New Year’s Resolutions this year.

As we always do, we plan on continuing to prioritize our health,
build strength and fitness, and maybe even maintain our abs.

But 2015 is our year to do it flexibly — and honestly — in the
context of *our* real human lives.

Our children will be fevered, snotty, and barfy. Our time will be
limited. And we’ll miss last call at the gym because of doggie

This year we’ll plan for all that in advance.

After we’ve cleaned up the poo and sprayed the Febreeze, we might
work out in that same living room. With no weights or machines
maybe we’ll jump around like maniacs so we can move our bodies
while keeping an eye on the kids.

Or maybe we’ll be stuck eating nasty hospital food. If so, we’ll
make the best choice we can within the spectrum of choices. And
then do push-ups and air squats in the cafeteria, or walk laps
around the cardiac ICU.

And on those rare days we’re not dealing with emergencies? Maybe
we’ll soothe our control-freak souls with the Perfect Workout. Or
all-day Clean Eating.

Even though neither is actually required.

Every single person I’ve seen achieve health and fitness in the
long run accomplishes it by simply showing up every day, not by
trying to “get it right”.

In the end, I have no clue what real life will bring us in 2015.

But we’re committed to doing the best we can, when we can, with
whatever we’ve got. Day in and day out.

I hope you are too.

Because, with 2015 just around the corner, it’s an interesting
time to make (or renew) your commitment to health and fitness.

Why not do that while considering the context of *your own* unique,
interesting, and challenging life?

Happy New Year,

-JB and the rest of the PN family”

And there it is.  He said it better than I could ever have.  Let’s live in a flexible 2015, where we don’t try to be perfect, we don’t obsess and we are honest with ourselves and what is going on in our crazy lives.

Wishing you health, safety, fullness in life for 2015,


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