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The Sweaty Executive: Fear

I know that part of what moves me to workout and eat healthy is pure fear. Part is vanity - I love looking good in a dress and think my face is far more attractive oval instead of round. I know part is because I feel better - less tired, more energized. I know part is because I like to push myself and do things I wasn't sure I could do. But I also know that if I'm really honest, I'm running from something - my genes, my family history, my upbringing.

There are six of us in my immediate family - my parents and four kids that grew up in the same house. Five have hypertension and two diabetes and all of us struggle with our weight. My father and my brother have heart disease. I've lost both my grandmothers from complications associated with "sugar". I never knew either of my grandfathers - one died before I was born, the other shortly after. They say that genetics loads the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger. Sometimes I can feel the pistol at my temple and swear I hear the click of the hammer going back.

I've seen the slow agonizing death of an unhealthy lifestyle. Someone I love dearly watched for ten years while his grandmother who was bedridden and ate through a port in her side wasted away and ultimately passed away. She had several strokes that lead to her condition. I've watched as someone I love dearly who at 5'5" and over 300 lbs suffered heart attacks and strokes trying to survive the only thing he thought could help him - gastric bypass surgery. At 48, he had already suffered heart attacks and had 4 stents. He was going to die from the weight so he risked his life hoping he'd live through the surgery. I have family that are slowly killing themselves with bad eating habits and immobility. It pains me to watch it. I cry for them every time I see them.

So I am so afraid that I will see my body go before my mind does. By that fear doesn't paralyze me...it motivates me. I'm determined I won't contribute to the bad start I already have. I don't want those people who love me to have to watch me go by my own hand. I know I can get hit by a car, get cancer or something else unexpected. My efforts don't ensure immortality or even a life without some physical trauma or ailment. But they do ensure that I am not a willing and intentional party to it. I'm not the one pulling that trigger.

I hope you never take your health for granted or believe that your genes are your destiny. We can't control the future but we can shape it.

See ya on the road.

The Sweaty Executive.


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