Fitness and nutrition is your life support

I had an interesting day. I woke up at 7 a.m. or so, because my son was crying in his room down the hall and saying, “Daddy!” I jumped out of bed suddenly and felt and heard a ‘crack’ in my neck and then instantly felt my neck seize up. Ow! I went in to see my son and he was just up for the day and wanted to see me first today instead of the usual mommy.

We got things going for the morning routine, but the whole day I was not been able to turn or tilt my head to the left. At our gym, we have a RMT (registered massage therapist) and when I called he came in specially to try and help me out on a Sunday night. He was able to help, but unfortunately I need a chiropractor to put something back, and that would have to wait until Monday morning and then the recovery can begin. To back up a step, my neck has been sore the past few weeks since my brother tried to knock me off a big tube while I was being dragged around by his motorboat. Probably a slight case of whiplash my chiropractor figured.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Look, we aren’t getting any younger. I hit 45 this summer and I am noticing the difference. It takes more work to fend off the bulge around my middle. I have not been consistent this year and it shows. I have been to the eye doctor a few times recently and one set of bifocals later, I can read more easily, although I am admittedly grumpy about it. Riding around on the tube behind a boat was never a big deal, but this time I got whiplash. I can still race, but I see the chiropractor, physiotherapist and massage way more than when I was young.

Maybe you are still in your 20s or 30s and this doesn’t apply to you yet – and that’s cool. Here’s the deal, it’s coming. None of us can escape it – but I will tell you this, we can slow it down.

Fitness and eating well works. Period.

Yah, but Scott, you did a 40km bike and a killer Spartan workout Saturday and now you are a mess. True, but my neck used to do this every month or so when I was in my mid 20s, fat and out of shape. It has been over 16 years since this has happened, and as much as I am not happy about it, I am also aware that it is my fitness that has kept me away from this all these years.

I don’t look at exercise and bootcamp and Spartan racing and triathlons as anything other than what they truly are – life support.

Fitness supports my life. My wild, awesome, fantastic, having a blast, moving with ease life. Being fit supports every single aspect of your life, bar none. You feel better, sleep better, have a better ‘night life’, and so much more. Less sick days, more energy, more youthful appearance, clearer mind, etc.

I raced the Ultraman World Championships this past fall and the winner, Miro Kregar, crossed the line at age 51. Yah, 51. The guy looks amazing and is fast! Sure, genetics play a part, but look around, interview people that are 10 years older than you. Find five fit people and five non-fit people in your age group plus 10 years.

Then go out there this week and have a great time on life support!

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.