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Waking up to the “Point Of View”

I remember reading this poem as a kid, and I’ve now read it to my own. It wasn’t until I re-read it recently that it truly spoke to me. I’m sure you’ve read it and you’re wondering what’s taken me so long. Well, it’s kind of like telling someone that story about that guy, but you can’t remember who that guy was or what the story was even about. But later on that day, or that week it finally hits you; IT WAS THAT GUY!! Yup, that’s what happened here.

Point of View
By Shel Silverstein

Thanksgiving dinner’s sad and thankless
Christmas dinner’s dark and blue
When you stop and try to see it
From the dinner’s point of view.

Sunday dinner isn’t sunny
Easter feasts are just bad luck
When you see it from the view-point
of a chicken or a duck.

Oh how I once loved tuna salad,
Pork, lobsters, lamb chops too
‘Til I stopped and looked at dinner
From the dinner’s point of view.

Staying Motivated

Last night I had the honor to partake in a TweetUp w/ Vega called #HealthyHolidays. It was a Q&A session with a number of plant based and vegan bloggers. The conversation was witty, smart and I found a bunch of new folks to follow. You can check out the recap of it at http://myvega.com/vega-life/vega-blog/healthy-holiday-tweetup-recap/.

After seeing they had chosen one of my responses to a particular question, it got me thinking. Here is the question and my response…

8. How do you stay motivated to be active during the holidaysQuestion_8_002

What it got me thinking about is, what truly motivates me.

CS Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” 

I never thought at my age I would even be active, never mind alive. When I was a lot younger I looked at those over 30 as undesirable. I mean, they were old and crusty right?

Here I am at 40 with the biggest race of my life ahead of me. This race though is a one up from the last which was a one up from the one before it, so on and so forth. Without trying, I have been pushing the limit each month and with each race. I think in the back of my head that CS Lewis quote is etched somewhere.

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The only failure is not trying!!

Note – This is a blog post from a previous blog I used to write on. Was going through the archives and wanted to share it with everyone.

We all know change is inevitable, by the time this post is finished, even by the time this sentence is finished, change will have happened. There are those inescapable, concrete moments of change, and then there are the one’s we choose to make.

Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the unavoidable changes, as a matter of fact I have learned to embrace them. But, one major factor in my life, now, is striving for bigger shifts in attitude specifically.

I’ve always been the type of person the just allowed things to happen organically, to not buck against it and just be content with the inevitability of it all. I would happily just sit on my little raft, floating down the river of complacency expecting things to change, as they always do and just coping with what happened. I’ve learned, recently, that same sense of complacency was not getting me anywhere but the same place I started. Living this cyclical existence has not been enough for me. As I raise my fist in the air, revolting against the very idea that we should just “be” and let this life unfold, I also scream from the bowels of my gut that I refuse to sit on that raft any longer, as a matter of fact I am pushing that raft ashore and setting the damned thing ablaze!!

Life’s too short for that crap. There are so many moments that can be embraced, to make those changes, but we tend to believe those things are too hard or that we can’t accomplish the task so we don’t even bother to put in the effort. I emplore you to put that brain chatter to rest, to flip that raft over, and try. You’d be amazed at the things you can do and accomplish with even the least bit of effort. The only failure is not trying.

I’ve lived my life in the comfort of complacency for to long. If I have an idea, from here on out, I am doing it. If I want to do this, I am doing it. I am setting goals that I was scared of in the past. I refuse to sit idly by and let this life pass without making it meaningful. I resist the implication that we should just be happy with the way things are. To be honest, I am sick and tired of this idea that we should just let go, to somehow coexist in a manner that we have no control of. Pardon the language, but fuck that! Yes, there are things beyond our control, but there are many moments I can, and will, control.

I am the change I want.

I am the man in the mirror.

I will not sit by and let life pass me by!!!

Just get out there!!! “My New Years Resolution is…”

As the New Year sets in, the usual suspects have made their resolutions. You probably have a few of your own, I’ve got a couple too. The difference is, a lot of people make the same one’s every year. Their intention is there, or else they would not have said anything. But, like I said, for most people it’s the same old thing and they just make a resolution for face value with their family or friends.

One of the biggest resolutions you hear is, “I am going to join a gym, I need to get into shape.” You and I know that most people never go through with it. We also know, well a good part of us do, that you don’t need a gym to get into shape, you just need some ambition. Defined by Merriam Webster, ambition is “the desire to achieve a particular end.”

I always thought the gym was the solution, but I am broke and can’t afford all the ritz that the gym offers. Sure I could join the chain store gym down the street for $10 bucks a month, but I have issues with commitment so that might not work out. What I never realized, and those making this resolution over and over need to realize, is that they are their own gym.

There are a variety of exercises one could do using the weight of their own body. Try a push up or two. Push ups are fantastic for your body, especially for the triceps, pectorals and deltoids. Sit ups are also great, your hip flexors and abs will thank you. You could grab a branch out in the backyard and start doing some pull ups. Pull ups, depending on what kind you are doing, work your lats and back, secondarily they also work out your biceps and shoulders. Go for a walk or a run next, just to start out if you are only now breaking the restraints from the couch. If you are brave enough, and don’t mind a little soreness in the morning, start doing lunges around your yard.

Now tell me, what muscle did we not just “work out”? Even if we didn’t hit every single muscle group, it’s a great start!

You don’t need to get a set of 50lb dumbbells and start pumping iron, you don’t need a stair master or a treadmill. Go take a walk around the yard, maybe in the woods, you’ll find plenty of weight out there. Whether it’s a 20lb rock, a 20lb log or a sack filled with 20lbs of sand, they all have one thing in common— they are all 20lbs.

The underlying factor this New Year is, to get yourself up, off the couch and to get to work on that goal. As the famous ballplayer, Ted Williams, said “A man has to have goals – for a day, for a lifetime – and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.”

How do you want to be remembered? Do you want people to remember you as just another guy/ gal making the same resolutions every year, or do you want to inspire and be that person that people say “wow, they did it!”

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Nate DeMontigny is the editor and author on the blog Precious Metal. He was ripped off the couch this past summer after being told his cholesterol was too high, he was out of shape, etc. He was also inspired by the Spartan Race and the athletes that are involved with the organization.