Time Off To Reflect On Why

I had to take a break from writing blog entries after each workout. I haven’t taken a break from training. I believe that whenever one begins a journey there are many times during that journey that questions are asked. The main question I asked myself last week was, “Why?”.

The Why Of Health And Longevity

I began training for a triathlon to increase my physical exercise. As stated in previous posts I eat almost an entirely plant based diet. Knowing that how we eat is probably 90% of our health, I made it a point to control that quite some time ago. When it comes to exercise, the many demands on life seem to suck the time that is needed for optimal health. This goal of participating in a triathlon keeps me accountable. But, on the days I don’t want to get out of bed, I need to remember the “why” for training.

I have seen first hand how diet and lack of exercise slowly eat away at our bodies. We will all become frail. As Dr. David Schwartzman, MD writes, “While those of us who survive long enough will eventually become frail, there is nothing innate to our biology that would predict it before the 10th decade of life1.” It is all those daily choices that add up to creating frailty, bit by bit, and day by day. My mother died and could not run with my young children or even carry them around the room. I love my mother and I want to learn from her mistakes. I want to be running with my children and grandchildren. This is my why concerning health.

The Why Of Personal Challenge

I believe we as humans are created to challenge ourselves and the “you can’t” of life. It is why people build higher skyscrapers and land humans on the moon. Tell someone, even a child, they can’t do something and before you know it, it’s done. As we age, most of us give in to the “you can’t” by replacing the first word with “I”. Many times that is due to all those day by day choices mentioned above.

I have said I can’t to many things in my life. This triathlon will not be one of them. I may not be ready when the time comes, but I will not say I can’t. I will push my body past where I believe it can be pushed and then a bit further. I only get one chance to live this life. One chance to love my children and my wife. It’s this drive to put one more “I can’t” behind me.

The Why Of Finding Fulfillment

I find that I am at a strange place in life searching for the things that truly make my life fulfilling. I enjoy teaching guitar but it isn’t the actual guitar or music that is fulfilling to me. It is the helping someone to reach another place or do something they thought was not possible. I, as with many music teachers before me, consider why I do what I do at least once a year. I don’t have the complete picture yet, but this triathlon journey is helping.

I find that more and more, the time I spend training helps me think. I cannot do much else while hitting the pavement, turning the wheels, or stroking another lap. I know there is more for me to do, but I am unsure where to start or put it into perspective. The time spent pushing my body is helping bring those other areas into focus as I dissect throughout a workout routine. I am not sure where those thoughts will lead but the path is closer and the road is not as bumpy when I spend the time thinking during training.

Why? Opportunities For Fulfillment

The time away from writing allowed me to clear some thoughts and paths for my future. I’m not leaving guitar to become the next great 40 something triathlete. However, I am exploring other opportunities that fall in that “fulfillment” category of my life. You’ll probably read about it here as my adventure continues. I’m still focused on the “Why?” question (check out Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why), but for now, I finished up Week 9, Day 2 of my training schedule.


  1. Schwartzman, D. (2016, June 6). TribLive. Doctors must help patients change lifestyles to beat disease. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://archive.triblive.com/news/doctors-must-help-patients-change-lifestyles-to-beat-disease/

Featured Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash


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