Lift Your Spirit

WHAT RECOVERY TAUGHT ME THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO GETTING FIT

By O. R. Marv

I’ve learned a lot in my Recovery process the past 3 years:

                  I’ve learned to love myself.

                  I’ve learned to be selfless.

                  I’ve learned to take responsibility for my actions and “man up” to my past.

                  I’ve learned to lose my victim mentality.

                  I’ve learned to become a productive member of society.

                  I’ve learned to face life on life’s terms clean and sober.

I could go on…but you get the picture. 

My Recovery has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams – I am truly grateful!!!

The significance is not lost on me that every day I wake up instead of come to, and every night I fall asleep instead of pass out.

That is a miracle!

If you are reading this, then you probably fall in the same boat – we are so glad to have you aboard!

Recovery has taught me a lot of lessons, and some of those can be directly applied to our efforts to “get fit.”

As I’ve discussed before, fitness will have a different meaning for each individual, which is an amazing proposition.

This means because each person is unique, our own definition of fitness is an extension of our personality and interests for all the world to see.

It’s exactly why you should never judge a book by its cover!

My definition of fitness will most likely be different than yours – instead of picking sides with whom has the “better” definition, we should embrace each other’s differences and look to learn from each other (sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it?).

No matter what level or definition of fitness you are hoping to achieve, one key concept MUST be included in your efforts – a concept we all hopefully learned early on in Recovery.

Consistency is the key.

It doesn’t matter that I worked on my Recovery or my spiritual condition yesterday; I still have to put in the work today, just like I will have to put in the work tomorrow, and the day after that.

Same goes with fitness – every single day I must work on it. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to exercise every single day, but your food choices need to be “smart” day in and day out as nutrition is a key piece of becoming fit.

There are other daily things that are part of being fit and healthy – drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, not spending too much time sitting or lying around (if you have to sit a lot because of work at least be making efforts to combat this with stretching, taking breaks to walk around VERY briefly or during your lunch, working on posture, etc.).

In my past, as soon as I wasn’t consistent in putting my Recovery first and foremost, I began to slip (Sobriety Lost Its Priority).

Even though my life had drastically improved once I stopped drinking and drugging, I always went back to the bottle, back to the sack, vial, etc.

It was insanity in action….over and over and over again.

Now let me be very clear: fitness has nowhere near the life-or-death stakes that my Recovery has, but this same concept applies.

Getting fit has to be a priority if you are going to see the results you desire and you have to be consistent over the long haul in making it your priority.

Being in the position I am today, I always hear “how badly” someone wants to get in shape.

The problem is, it’s the same person who’s been claiming this for months on end, if not years, and not once have they taken any actionable steps to make it a reality.

If something is important to you, you will ALWAYS find a way. 

If it’s not, you will ALWAYS find excuses.

That’s why there’s such a big difference between SAYING something is important and MAKING it important.

Just like Recovery – getting fit is not for everyone who NEEDS it.

 But it is for everyone who WANTS it.

And if you WANT it – well you are going to have to be consistent in your efforts – you can’t be “all in” for a few short weeks or months and expect world-class results.

Whatever level of fitness you are hoping to achieve, it’s going to take work, dedication, and time. 

No matter what those late-night infomercials may tell you, there are zero legitimate “easy fixes” giving you instantaneous results with little to no work on your part.

ZERO! NONE! NADA!

No…fitness takes hard work!!!!

Similarly, my Recovery has been a LOT of hard work.

Speaking only for myself and my story my Recovery has included 10 months of treatment in a county-funded intense behavior modification program, has involved actively working all 12 steps of the fellowships I choose to attend, continued meeting attendance and service work, living in a sober living and sharing a bunk bed with another man for well over 2 years, deciding to only associate with people who are clean and sober and losing contact with everyone from my past, faithfully working a job for which I was over-qualified and under-paid while I worked on myself, and much, much more.

NOTE: Again, this is just my personal experience – we all have different paths in Recovery and I respect yours and whatever works for you – I am not attempting to force what worked for me on to you and your efforts, just sharing my experience, strength, and hope.

The silver lining of all the work that both getting fit and Recovery entails is that the fruits of our labor are so much sweeter!

I can take pride in how far I’ve come because I know of all the sacrifice, diligence, and commitment I displayed for multiple years to be where I am at today.

You should too!

Now…I am fully aware some of you are reading this in hopes of finding the motivation or the key for starting your fitness journey.

I will tell you this – Rome wasn’t built in one day…but it did have a day one start!

Your fitness journey can start today!

I know for me I wasn’t fully aware on my clean and sober date that it would be “the day” that I finally admitted defeat and acceptance of my disease…but it was and will continue to be “the day” that I surrendered myself to do whatever it took to become clean and sober and ultimately recover.

Today can be your day when you start doing something different, the day you start working on becoming fit.

Why can’t it be today?

Remember…if it really is important to you, you will find a way!

You can always find a way….and you can always find excuses.

The question is…which one are you going to come up with, just for today?