I have a confession to make. I am a couch potato. I have been a couch potato for years, choosing inactivity over activity at almost every opportunity. I seem to have entered a state of inertia, where getting up and moving just takes too much energy.
At each and every milestone, I have resolved to move more, to get fit, to get in shape. New year’s resolutions, birthday wishes, springtime, Lent, I take every chance to make a vow to stop being such a sloth. I want to break this terrible cycle of inactivity. But no promises ever were enough to get me moving.
When I read the book Dream Manager in January, something changed. I was thinking about my dreams and I realized that one of my biggest, strongest, most important dreams is to be around to see my future grandchildren grow up. I want to see them as babies and toddlers and be around when they go to school and when they ride bikes and receive First Eucharist and graduate and go to college and get married. My Mom died suddenly when she was 57 and I feel so sad every day that she missed so much of my children’s lives. It is important to me that I do my best to stay healthy, so that I don’t miss out on my own grandchildren (as yet unborn) grow up.
With this dream uppermost in my mind, I felt a very powerful motivation to get going. I suddenly did not want to waste any time before beginning to get fit. Our neighborhood Y reopened in February after an extensive renovation. John and I signed right up. We started slowly, just walking on the treadmill once in a while. But I kept thinking of my dream and it made me want to do more. We are now going to the Y several days a week. I took a Yoga class and plan to take it every week from now on.
It’s hard, very hard, to break free from inertia. I come home from work and I just want to collapse on the couch. I can come up with a million excuses to avoid the gym. I have to force myself to go. But, it is beginning to get easier. I am beginning to look forward to going to the Y. Now that I am moving, the force of inertia is beginning to work for me instead of against me. I love the way I feel during and after working out. I love to sweat (Isn’t that gross?). I love it when my muscles feel sore. I love to move. I love to think that I am working to make my dream come true.
My future grandchildren are a very powerful motivation. Resolutions, promises, diets, vows, and commitments to lose weight or get fit or get in shape were not enough. I needed the dream for motivation. I needed to think about the future and imagine something so powerful that it could break the force of years and years of inertia. I have a long, long way to go in order to have a healthy and strong body that will last long enough to see my children’s children grow up. Still, I am on the path. I am moving in the right direction. I have the dream in mind. I will make it a reality.