I Don’t Have Time (For My #Health) #DadChat

Category: Weekly Columns

No excuses (to exercise)

I have the greatest car dealer service rep around. So great that I actually get my car serviced AT the dealership which is against my religion (figuratively). We all know we pay more for service at a dealership. But, I bring my car there because I love “Mark,” my service rep.

Ghandi quote

One day I went in to see Mark for a quick question and learned he was out “sick.” When I pressed a bit further, I learned he had had a heart attack. Given how young he was (in his forties), I was quite surprised.

A couple of months later, thankfully, Mark was back on the job. We spoke at length about what happened. He said he had a mild heart attack and needed to monitor his diet and exercise more, per the doctors. He didn’t appear severely overweight, but he did have a moderate sized gut (not much bigger than my own). I didn’t know his diet habits. Given that my wife also has heart attack risks, I urged Mark to pay heed to those recommendations.

Fitness poster - funny

My next visit and conversation with Mark is what inspired the writing of this column. When I asked him how he was doing with his exercise and diet, he replied that he didn’t have time. I asked him if he loved his children, to which he quickly responded, “of course.” I asked the same question and got the same response about his wife. Then I asked, “Then, why are YOU NOT taking care of your health? Don’t they depend on you? Don’t you want to walk your daughter down the aisle when she gets married?”

Given the rapport I have with Mark, he wasn’t offended by my direct and pointed questions. He knew I was coming AT HIM with affection and genuine concern. We continued the dialogue and he continued to protest that his day was just too packed to find time to exercise. We didn’t really delve into his diet.

Fitness FAIL

One of the things that keep him busy, he said, was taking his son to soccer. I asked him why he couldn’t PLAY soccer with his son? I asked why he couldn’t jog around the field when his son was playing, still keeping an eye on the game. He didn’t have an answer. His face reflected the truth. He just didn’t feel motivated to do the exercise. Time was an excuse.

At that point, I asked his permission to write this column and assured him I’d not use his name (or place of employment). He laughed a “yes” and I will forward this to him when it’s published.

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 8.59.34 AM

I Don’t Have the Time? EXCUSE ME? What kind of excuse is that? Do you want to live? Do you want to be there for your family and friends? You don’t have the time? YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME? Really?

My wife’s middle name is “I’m so busy” or “I’m so tired.” I often say this because I hear it so often. She doesn’t work (at a regular job), doesn’t have to take care of young kids (other than me), does golf a lot, and yet she’s always “busy” and/or “tired.” There’s no doubt that my wife does plenty for me and the family in the household and so much more but I believe she, too, has a time issue just like Mark.

Fat cartoon

You don’t have time to exercise when your LIFE depends on it? My wife has the same issues as Mark, but she does prioritize exercise and even got a trainer once a week to push her further. She gets up early every morning and often goes to the gym to do some cardio. The rest of her day is extremely busy with golf, shopping, and lunch. But, this time issue is not exclusively her issue or Mark’s – we hear this so often from so many people.

I don’t get it! Your health depends on exercise and diet – more so if you’ve got a propensity towards one problem or another. There are so many things that Mark could do to make time for exercise. The simplest is right there in front of him – play soccer with his son. How much time does Mark (or my wife, for that matter) spend in front of a television set? Might either be able to give up this or that show or is it essential to their quality of life?

Funny comic about health

We all know the answer. It’s sort of like when I was dating and a woman said she was too busy to go out. I knew that was bull; she just wasn’t interested enough to make the time. Are you interested enough to make the time to maintain and improve your health? I hope when Mark reads this; he takes a better look at his schedule!

Little dog with huge weights

  • http://upliftingfamilies.com/ Christy Garrett

    Great blog post. I know that I often make excuse on going on a walk. I can’t do some things but I can go walk even slowly if I have too.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @christygarrett:disqus – so, let’s make it a REAL New Year’s Resolution CG to do THAT!

  • AKA Mark

    Bruce…I am making more time for myself…You are 100% right and I have always put everyone else in front of me. I appreciate you taking the time to shed some light on what most of us take for granted(That we are invincible). My minor heart attack was actually a major heart attack. In fact my cardiologist calls it sudden death…I had 100% blockage in my main artery. They had to bring me back twice. I know I didn’t give you all the details when we discussed my health..I have never had high blood pressure or cholestoral…Major heart disease on my mom’s side of the family however.
    I’m very happy to say that my doctor told me that I have had a full recovery.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Seeing you JUST NOW “Mark,” it was a pleasure to see you SO ALIVE! Keep i that way!