I decided to become fit during a period of self examination 1 year ago this week. Working overnight was taking its toll on me; well, I suppose if I am honest with myself, it actually was working overnight and then working a 12 hour day shift at a different hospital in between 2 overnight shift twice a week, then being dad on the other days. 70 + hours at work in addition to solo caretaker for 4 kids 4 or 5 days and a few nights a week. Wow was I a moody bas*ard.
So I changed. I stopped the extra work. But I started feeling guilty about having 2 days to myself, sans kids, sans work (although I still worked night before and night after) I needed something else to fulfill me, and I found it - crossfit.
Crossfit is run by a seasoned fitness trainer named Greg Glassman. He is a champion of efficient use of body weight exercises mixed with olympic lifts and gymnastics. By following his 20 or 30 minute a day workouts, I developed, maybe re-developed after a prolonged multi-year period of dormancy, a passion for fitness. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't that good of a crossfitter, but I did the posted exercises, sometimes in entirety sometimes scaled to my ability. This gave me a great base for transitioning into tri training.
But the thing I discovered that was paramount to my life was that obtaining a certain level of fitness completely levelled me. I'm still moody, I'll blame my dad for that, but none of my nurses have made formal complaints to hospital administration (yes I am exageratting Jan) in months now! I am more rested. I sleep better - occasionally. I think I need less sleep now - that my perception, although I can't tell you for the life of me why you would need less sleep after cycling for 40 miles with 2000 feet elevation gain then you would if you instead had sat at home and watched the tour on tv. Just doesn't make sense, G.
And I am a better dad now. The kids don't care that I don't have as much money. They have a dad that isn't moody. They have a dad that comes to eat lunch with them at school. They have a dad who isn't so tired he falls asleep while driving them to school. They have a dad who gets on his hands and knees and puts dinosaur claws on his hands to play monster. They have a dad who takes them running around the neighborhood to "practice" for their first 1 mile road race, whenever they decide that will be.
Life presents us with all sorts of challenges. Sometimes, we don't get it right the first time around. And we have a choice, to accept relative (or actual) defeat and bow down and wimper. Or to accept that there must be change, to MAKE change, and then to kick ass. But while we are kicking ass, we are doing it with the knowledge that we may fail again. But that's ok. Because failure is only failure when it doesn't eventually give way to success, sweet sweet sweet... success.