Count Your Blessings
It’s September 12th, the day after the worst act of terrorism in the history of the free world, and my contribution to this month’s issue of Natural Muscle is due. As I began to ponder what topic to address, the idea of writing about sets, reps or calories seemed so unimportant today. Last week it wasn’t and, hopefully, next month those issues will regain some interest.
But after being glued to the television for the last 36 hours watching vivid and horrific images from DC and New York, wondering in the first 6 hours whether anyone in my family had been physically struck by this violence, writing about a pure bodybuilding or fitness topic just didn’t feel like the thing to do. Trying to find a tie in to this vile and cowardly event and our mutual passion for training and fitness wasn’t easy. But as I thought about it and looked for some message, anything positive that could possibly be taken from all this craziness, I realized that my answer was twofold.
Count Your Blessings
First, this event caused me to count my blessings. Translated to the world of muscle that means taking a moment to stop and be thankful that I am healthy and physically able to do something I absolutely love to do, train, 5-6 times per week. This may sound silly to you, but how often do you actually take time to realize what a gift it is to have the opportunity and desire to improve your health, appearance emotional well-being and life-span. I know that I’ve been guilty of taking this gift for granted more than a few times until I pull a muscle that makes it impossible to train for a week or so and I can’t wait to get back to it. That’s obviously nothing when compared with the prospect of having been on one of those planes or in the World Trade Center or Pentagon.
Second, the magnitude of this heinous event puts the importance of some of the more obsessive sides of bodybuilding and fitness in perspective. When you take a look at the extreme side of our sport, it can be pretty obsessive about the smallest detail. “Is that a 4 oz. chicken breast or is it 5 oz.?” “How many grams of carbs have I eaten today? I can’t have that last rice cake.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that when I start preparing for the next contest I’ll be as obsessive as need be. Yes, I’ll weigh my food, journal what I’m eating and never miss a minute of cardio or a body part workout that I’ve committed to. However, after this experience, I know that my consciousness of what is really important has been raised. And, I’ll consider myself very fortunate that I have the opportunity to worry about whether I’m at 3% or 4% bodyfat a week out from the show. If my life is so uncomplicated that I have the luxury to worry about that kind of stuff, I’ll count my blessings again and thank God. Maybe you should too. We all know 10 or 20 thousand New Yorkers who wish they could be so lucky.