Don't Wait Until Tomorrow, Start Today!
What Motivates You?
If someone could bottle motivation, they'd have wealth beyond their dreams.
Think about this. The benefits of living a healthy life sound like a list from every miracle pill you've ever heard about. Exercise can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. It can make arthritis more tolerable, reduce the symptoms of asthma, relieve back pain and enhance your mood. You'll have more energy and potentially add years of active living to your life. Proper exercises are literally, the fountain of youth.
If you're more interested in money, consider this. Focus on your health and studies have shown you'll earn 74% more over a 10-year period than people who don't. Life insurance companies charge from 20 to 400% more for people with health issues. Men who are overweight earn an average of 3.4% less and overweight woman earn 6.3% less than co-workers.
But those perks simply aren't enough. The call of the couch or easy chair positioned in front of the television or computer is too great. Exercise is something that most people believe can happen "tomorrow".
Let me tell you about tomorrow.
In 2005 I was in an accident. A car went through a stop sign and I smashed into the side with my scooter. As I hit the car, several of my ribs were broken and rearranged my insides. My spleen was destroyed. One arm was so badly ripped apart friends said it looked like I had been mauled by a bear. I lost an enormous amount of blood and later one lung collapsed.
The surgeon decided she had to operate immediately because I probably wouldn't survive a life flight to Miami. I spent nearly two weeks in the hospital, simply trying to get out of bed. As the parade of doctors came through, they kept saying the same thing. "If you weren't in the shape you were, you wouldn't be alive today."
For me, the payoff from those years of exercise was I lived to see another day.
That same year, a friend of mine who never worked out was involved in a scooter accident. He was sideswiped by a car changing lanes. My friend shattered his leg and broke an arm in the fall. The injuries were serious, but he was expected to make a full recovery.
The problems started almost immediately. After two days in the hospital he was cleared to go home. Unfortunately he couldn't use crutches because his arms were too weak to hold him up. He left in a wheelchair.
Over the next 18 months his condition deteriorated. He quit going to physical therapy after three sessions because he hated sweating. He only ate junk food because he was depressed. As his weight increased, it got harder for him to move and the wheelchair eventually became permanent.
Twenty months after his discharge from the hospital, his weight had ballooned from 243 to a terrifying 325 pounds. He developed high blood pressure and sleep apnea. His doctors said he had to start making drastic changes because his life was at stake. He started using oxygen and he was taking a dozen prescription medications daily. But my friend wasn't ready to change. After all, he was only 38 and he could always start eating better and exercising tomorrow.
Twenty-two months after the accident it was over. Late at night while sitting in front of the television, he had a heart attack in his wheelchair and died.
Many of the people who read this are going to make many of the excuses my friend did. Exercise makes them sore. Healthy food isn't that exciting. They won't get off the couch because something good is on the TV. They honestly believe there are an infinite number of tomorrows stretching out before them to change their lives.
I'm here to tell you that's a fantasy. Every day you avoid dealing with your health, brings you another day closer to that tipping point between life and death. Tomorrow is a dream. All you have is right now.