At a party a couple weeks ago a young man and former debate student of mine asked, “How do you stay in such good shape?”
He was in his 20s, newly married and looking great. I’m 42 and struggled to keep the 40-something gut from getting the best of me. I gotta say, his question puffed me up!
“I have lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year,” I responded. I don’t really talk about this much (I don’t know many guys who do), but it got me thinking of the history of my weight and my generally good shape.
You see, it hasn’t always been this way. Today, I am comfortably at 190 pounds, but was at 210 January 1, 2012. I will be at 185 by the end of the year, dropping 25 pounds and being at the same weight as when I got married. Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty doggone good.
Here’s why I’m feeling so good: I’m rarely hungry, I love what I eat, I feel great, and I love where I’m at. Curious? There are several influences in my life that has helped me stay the course, one of the biggest influences being my teenage wonders.
I gotta say, my teenagers keep me on the up and up. Lydia and Micah trained with me for bowhunting, and Isaiah, Noah and Tabitha will be preparing for rifle. We jog regularly to stay in shape for the big hunts. They are high-altitude hunts that demand a lot out of you physically. If you aren’t in shape, you’ll likely be tucked in a sleeping bag sick.
This happened my first year hunting, and it’s a good story worth repeating. I went elk hunting at 10,000 feet altitude with a small group of guys. I took other’s advice seriously: be in great shape. There was only one other guy who did the same. We hunted Saturday and Sunday without anyone seeing a thing. Monday morning rolled around, and only two guys felt healthy enough to get up and go hunting – the other in-shape guy and me. I shot my 5-point elk that morning.
I bring a group of teenagers hunting with me today, and I tell them this story every year. The point about staying in great shape is a good one. But you know what? They keep that point real for me, and I enjoy keeping up with them.