Holding Patterns

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments in the last few months on the articles I’ve been posting, for which I am very grateful. But I’d like to explain why I write- while I appreciate the feedback, I’m not writing to win awards or pats on the back. I write because I want to positively influence people. I write because I want to change a culture; because I believe that improving someone’s fitness impacts their loved ones and their community just as much as it changes the individual. For many of you, much of what I write will be words of affirmation- you understand everything I describe, because you’ve been through it yourself. I’m glad you enjoy my articles, but they weren’t meant for you… they were meant for your friend, or your brother, or your co-worker, or your neighbor who hasn’t “seen the light” yet. I write for all the people who feel like they could never be healthy and fit, or don’t understand exactly how important their health is.

So, I’d like to ask for your help. If I write something that speaks to you, please share it. Post it on Facebook. Or Twitter. Email it to your family and friends. Share it with your co-workers. Yes, I promote CrossFit… but the truth is I could care less what you do. Walk, run, bike, spin, swim, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Tae Bo, 9Round, P90X, Insanity… if you’re improving your fitness, you’re doing the right thing. I care about your health, not about how you get there. Find your favorite article that I’ve written and just share it with someone who needs to read it.

Thank you for all the kind words. I promise to keep writing as much as possible, although I constantly worry that the words will lose their weight if I post too often.


One day, in high school biology class, our teacher went off on a social commentary tangent, as he was prone to do. This particular tangent involved holding patterns. “People manufacture these imaginary days in order to justify putting things off,” he explained. “We wind up living our lives in a holding pattern- waiting for this date, or that date to before we begin… looking for some imaginary starting line on a calendar.” I liked his lecture then- I love it now.

This is exactly how people treat their fitness. There is always some looming date that they want to hold off for- a family vacation, or a busy month at work. They think “Well, I guess I’ll wait to start on Monday… or maybe next month.” And when that date rolls around, something else comes up- a birthday party, a major exam, or a holiday just around the corner. “Why start now? There are only a few weeks before Thanksgiving…” It becomes a vicious cycle, in which we promise ourselves “I’ll start just right after this happens…” Weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades, and we find ourselves still waiting for the start line on the calendar. We waste our lives waiting.

This is the time of the year it’s the worst. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Then Christmas and New Year’s Eve. What’s the point, right? Let’s just wait for next year…

Hang on just a minute- let’s do some quick math. I’ll give you two days for Halloween- if you don’t have kids, it’s one night, if you do have kids, they’ve probably gobbled up the candy within 24 hours or so. We’ll count Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday for Thanksgiving. I’ll spot you two Christmas parties, 5 days with the family, and a New Year’s Eve party in December. That’s a grand total of 14 days out of 92. Two weeks out of three months. My question is- what is wrong with the other 78 days? That’s ELEVEN weeks you could be improving your health. If you don’t think you can improve your fitness in 11 weeks, I’d be happy to send you the phone numbers of no fewer than 10 lives we’ve completely changed since ABV opened.

The truth is you’re living your life in a holding pattern- waiting for some reminder for an imaginary start date on your phone. Waiting for the next year is just an excuse… it’s a way putting off something you’re either afraid of, or just don’t want to do. “After the holidays” is not an acceptable response. There is no excuse for neglecting your health. There is no reason you can’t make yourself better today. You absolutely can make yourself healthier in the 47 days left in 2013, even if you aren’t healthy on the holidays you’re hiding behind.

As passionate and concerned as I am about your fitness, this philosophy applies to all aspects of your life. There is a great quote from the movie Blow: “Life passes most people by while they’re making grand plans for it.” Running your marathon, painting that room, finishing that degree, whatever it is… stop putting it off. I guarantee there will ALWAYS be a reason to do it later. Break out of your holding pattern and make the most out of today. Don’t waste your life waiting for an imaginary start line that will never come.