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An Ode to Curly and Work-Life Balance: Fitness

I noted that the one thing that I need to maintain – Curly’s finger, if you will – is balance.  The balance between managing my practice, being a good husband, father, friend, etc. and taking care of my spirit, mind and body. I previously wrote about the role that food played in this.  Now I want to write about fitness and health.

Let me take you back to the previous decade.  I was sitting for at least half a day, either behind my desk in a suburban office park or commuting to it in my used grey Dodge Grand Caravan.  (That was a sweet, sweet ride.)  I had unhealthy habits.  My weight was too high.  My patience was too low.  Way, way too low.  In short, I was a mess.

I hit my low point one afternoon when a light-headed feeling and brilliant light show that only I could see prompted a trip to the ER.  Everything checked out okay.  However, it was clear that I had to change something.

And I did.  The following Monday I began a bootcamp program with a predecessor of Sergeant’s Fitness Concepts.  Mel introduced me to 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls and bodyweight exercises, including burpees.  Lots and lots of burpees.  She helped me slowly chip away some of my excess.  I began to improve.  I dropped weight, gained patience, and frankly, I was up way too early each morning to consider having that extra beer.

After a few years with the Sarge, F3 – an all-men, peer-led volunteer workout program – started holding workouts in the Washington, D.C. area.  I had heard of F3 through The Art of Manliness Podcast and always wanted to try it.

And I am glad that I did.  Joining F3 has been one of the best decisions in my life after marrying Mrs. Smith.  The 3 “Fs” of F3 are Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.  The “faith” component does not mean that you had to believe in a certain thing.  Rather, it is that you believe in something.  We meet each morning at a park or local school (we are outside, rain or shine), usually at 5:30 a.m., and take turns leading a bootcamp-style workout.  None of us are professional fitness trainers (in D.C. we seem to have a lot of lawyers), but all of workouts are challenging.  (Did you know that there are at least 15 or so push-up variations?)  I continued to improve.

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