The decision that changed my life

Watching my 17-month-old son roar around exploring the world all the time I can’t help but be rejuvenated by the sheet fascination of life itself. So much to learn, to do and so much fun to be had. His favourite saying is “Whazzat?” Then he proceeds to point to everything around him. He’s a little sponge, he wants to learn everything. He is so excited by the smallest things – something that opens, or closes, or swings, or moves. The water faucet, he loves water.

It makes me wonder when and if it will happen. Will all that magic disappear? I meet a tragic number of people now who are miserable, sad, stuck, frustrated and lost. What happened? We were all just like my young son.

Well, I can relate. I remember back in the mid to late 90s. I was over 200 lbs, and no muscle mass beyond basic function, heck I couldn’t ski a single run without my legs screaming. I was sick all the time with and odd arrangement of ailments.

I used to know what was on TV on any given night. I had no plans for the weekend before Thursday, and I was really good at several computer games. I had to take painkillers after shoveling the driveway, and wear a mask when mowing the lawn.

I can see why I watched so much TV and played video games – I was escaping my life, because it sucked. Funny thing is, I thought it was pretty good for the most part, just like most folks I suspect.

My entire life changed, with one simple decision. I decided to get fit. That’s it. I went to the doctor and he prescribed an anti depressant because I was having trouble with sleeping and stress and migraines and all that. I refused to take it.

I had a good talk with my doctor and asked if there was another option. He recommended I try to get some exercise, eat well, and get some rest. Like I said — simple. I joined a gym. The lady at the gym gave me a videotape. It was a movie about seven people that ate well, exercised and had great results.

I watched it and made a decision to change.

That is the key part — the decision. Decision means literally ‘to cut off’, as in to cut off all other options, and you know the difference. I am not talking about thinking ‘gosh, I should do this someday’….I am talking about that overwhelming feeling when you are 100% done with the old way. I threw out all the junk food in my house and went shopping for healthy food with the advice of my trainer. I stopped cold turkey, no more crap.

Once I dropped 40 lbs and packed on 18 lbs of healthy muscle I became a trainer and now having my own gym, I get to spread the word on living life to the fullest.

It’s been well over 15 years since then, and I have to say I have a lot more in common with my son than most people. Life is fun again! I get to choose from the smorgasbord of life, picking and choosing what I want to try. It’s so much better than being stuck.

I have eight weeks until the Ultraman World Championships, something I never thought possible for me, yet here I am, training for one of the hardest races in the world. I have never been to Hawaii before, and I cannot wait to riddle my tour guide with questions. To swim and bike and run around Kona seeing all sorts of things I have never seen before.

Imagine what you could do if you just got fit and healthy again? Can you picture running around the planet shouting ‘whazzat?’ as you try new things and absolutely enjoy being alive?

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

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