A New Beginning

I’ve been working on a little something using ClickFunnels. As a part of that, I’m returning to the beginning in today’s post. Bear with me, it will get interesting again in a little while. Meanwhile, here’s a reboot of the beginning, as posted at Medium.com.

I’m Andrew, and I’m here to write about yoga, and Pilates, and pain, and mobility, and posture, and movement, and anything else that crosses my mind in the field of why middle age sucks.

NARRATOR: middle age doesn’t really suck, I’m having the best years of my life, but there are certainly things ABOUT middle age which suck.

I’m an engineer, one of those guys who spends his day confined to a desk, hunched over a computer. It wasn’t always this way, once upon a time I was a bit of an athlete. I was a runner, swimmer, a skier, a competitive martial artist, I played a pretty good game of tennis. And on, and on. But I got married, had kids, got laid off and burned through a good chunk of my savings.

Eventually I got a new job, and sat down in front of that computer. And stressed. I stressed about money, I stressed about career, I stressed about my kids, I stressed about my marriage, and I got miserable.

As I got miserable I got lousy at my job, I got lousy at my marriage, I got lousy at being a daddy, and I started to get old. My back got bad, and my posture, which was never good, got worse. I lost my athlete’s physique, I got soft and when I did exercise, I got hurt.

The first thing I struggled with, and I’m not proud of it, was my ego. I couldn’t run as fast, or as far. I couldn’t keep up in hockey (forget league, not even Sunday shinny), my joints ached all the time and I started having serious back problems. Yes, I was failing at life, but what bothered me was that I was failing at sports.

But here’s the thing; eventually it dawned on me that I had bigger problems than my body breaking down. My relationship with my kids was going, my marriage was almost gone, and if that broke, then how was I ever going to be a good daddy? My family is the core of my existence, I was screwing it up, and I had to fix it.

Unfortunately, I had a problem. I didn’t know how to fix it.

Marital difficulties are rarely one sided, and our problems certainly weren’t. Unfortunately, things had gotten so bad that we couldn’t speak 2 civil sentences to one another, unless a 3rd party was there to keep us from going off. Of course, while we would then be civil, we couldn’t actually work on our problems, or even a plan of action. So we were stuck.

Luckily, fate intervened. Years earlier my wife and I had discovered hot yoga. Shortly after the birth of our first child, a studio opened up in town, and we had began practicing again.

During the absolute worst patch we were going through, my wife began going 4–5 times per week to work off her baby body. Shortly after that, winter hockey ended, opening up more time for me to go to yoga, and I began going 3 times a week (I couldn’t go 4 times, summer hockey was on).

Sometime after this, maybe 6 months, we noticed something. We could actually talk again. Be civil. And even began to work out some of our problems.

And I noticed something else. That summer hockey season, I could play harder, without getting hurt, and recover faster. Being a relatively clever guy, I attributed the change to yoga and determined to add it permanently into my regular schedule.

Unfortunately, adding three 90 minute workouts to my weekly schedule crowded my time, so something had to give. I cut out running, and boy was that a sacrifice. Years of being addicted to the runner’s high, and I quit, cold turkey.

But…I regained mobility, gained flexibility and stopped hurting all the time. Both my wife and I stopped craving junk food, and she cleaned up our diet. I eat better, I sleep better, I’m stronger and more flexible. In the end, I’m strong again, fit again, and the aches and pains of middle age have receded.

And those were just the physical improvements. My entire life got better as I destressed and gained focus. I got better at my job. I became mentally and emotionally stronger and more flexible. I became the husband my wife deserved, the daddy my boys needed, and a self I could once again be proud of.