The Summertime Grind

What is it that pushes me so hard in the summer? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I have no more NHL, NFL, or NBA to watch after the third week of June thanks to my Cleveland Cavaliers taking the NBA Finals and ending Cleveland’s fifty-two year quest to find a champion. Sure, the Indians are playing good baseball as they currently lead the American League Central with a 42-30 record but hey, baseball is a 162 game sport and I’m really only following the game when my teams are chasing October. NASCAR Sprint Cup is always fun to watch but only the last twenty or so laps are interesting for the most part. Or maybe my desire in the summer increases because a lot of my friends tend to party like it’s 1999 during these three golden months and I’m often left alone to fend for myself. Nah, the Sorting Hat placed me in Ravenclaw in Pottermore and it’s really a normal thing to find a Ravenclaw keeping to themselves. Did I mention I also love horizons? This is also very important because the Ravenclaw common room gives the individual an awesome view of the icy gray Scottish mountains that lay far beyond the dark Forbidden Forest. Okay, we just went from sports to partying to Harry Potter in a single paragraph. Wow, my mind is traveling far and wide today.

I really, really need a hobby to keep my mind off of the drudgery of my loser life. I’m single, live at home, work a job that I go to every single day, and I really have nothing else to live for except fitness and academics (I’m a nerd). Sounds like our boy Brock Patrick in the first episode of my little saga. Actually, that is a lot to live for and in all honesty I wouldn’t want it any other way. Why? Because it gives me a sense of purpose, that’s why. Put it this way: I’d rather be alone all my life, doing something beneficial for myself, and improving my craft that I love day by day than compromise my quest for where I want to be in life. I really do, because I know it’s going to take me places the second the foundation is laid. Check this out for a foundation that is to be completed in October of this year:

  1. Four years of experience in a field I wanted to work in since I was 15.
  2. A Bachelor’s Degree in the field I wanted to study since high school.
  3. Three certifications by October, 2016 and consideration to obtain a fourth in due time as well.
  4. A job that already pays well that I know I can further advance myself in because of the above credentials, not to mention the fact that I have worked with many fitness levels at all ages.

Why am I still toiling in the Ohio Valley? This is a question I asked myself this morning and I found a really good answer that my haters would call an excuse. The answer to this question is because I want to make sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I have all of my loose ends tied BEFORE going off to any uncharted water on my own terms. This will ensure long term success with a strategy only a true Ravenclaw is capable of coming up with. The Gryffindors love to bite off more than they can chew, the Slytherins get a little too ambitious and usually shoot themselves in the foot and the Hufflepuffs, well, let’s just say that they try but they are just too friendly and cheerful to really care about their life’s goals and thus they are usually the ones who like to be reactive and go with the flow without hesitation. But hey, they are hard workers so any undrafted NFL free agent who had ever made a Pro Bowl would have been sorted into Hufflepuff so they have their bright spots. Wow, I’m going completely off-topic now.

Anyway, I’m exactly six-hundred and seventy-six words into this lovely essay and I can finally cut to the chase. Why do I work so hard in the summer? In all fairness, it is because I like to lead both vocally, hence this article, and by example. So I’m seen in the gym even more in the summer because up here in the Ohio Valley (River Valley in the Comeback Kid saga), gym attendance appears to dip across the entire viewing area and it shouldn’t be that way. Why would one waste the time that they invested from January to May only to see it blow up in smoke in June, July, and August? Is this because they are following their friends and failing to lead the charge? Is it because this is what people do in the summer so they will do so as well? Or is this, as the old saying goes, trying to light two sides of one candle? Oh, so you’ll be back come September when you can get distracted by a football game while working out? Yeah, okay, great. You could’ve, no, should’ve, continued your fitness regimen during the summer and ultimately you’ve decided not to. In other words, you gave up. Sound harsh? Oh yes. But is it the truth? Yes, yes, and yes.

As a trainer, and I’ve said this in past posts, I specialize in lifestyle change. I don’t care what your friends do. I don’t care about the fact that your family likes to drink and eat nothing but fried foods during summer cookouts. This is why your whole family is obese! Oh, it’s what they’ve always done so it’s okay? No, it’s not okay! I don’t care what they do! I do care about what you, the reader will do and how you will resist the temptation set forth in front of you! So this is why I’m writing this lovely long post.

You see, there are actually strategies to put in place to avoid such mishaps. I’m going to go out on a limb here and use Memorial Day (summertime kick-off!), Fourth of July (halftime!), and Labor Day (the grand finale, enter ratkind!) as our major summertime holidays. If you have a family that are a bunch of party animals like my family happens to be and have a cookout every other weekend then this article is just for you. So you have a cookout on the Fourth, what do you do? For starters, you are in that gym before said cookout. Secondly, you can still eat the food being served there because I believe in flexible dieting, which involves mixing and matching foods. Isn’t that great….and rare. A trainer who isn’t going to leave you stranded on low carb and low calorie island for the rest of your days. This is because unlike the other ‘bro-science’ trainers and nutritional coaches who are too lazy to work another job or study the science of exercise and nutrition, I’m a real trainer. I improve my craft each and every day and I relay what I learn to others not from some ‘bro-science’ meathead but by actual university professors and university studies. With that being said, you can still eat the foods that are served but you fit that food into your macros. Don’t know what macros are? Get in contact with me via facebook or email and I’ll be more than happy to show you. So you can still eat the good food but you fit that food into your macros! Got it? Good.

Alright, so we got the gym part and the nutrition part covered. What about alcohol? Everyone except me loves a cold drink during the summer so I may as well cover this topic as well. There are seven calories per gram of alcohol and these calories work like empty carbs so there is no nutritional value. What do you do? Fit it into your macros and keep it to a minimum. Again, no nutritional value and as for the category of your macros, fit it into the carbohydrate category. It’s not a cheat as long as you fit it into your macros.

Okay, so we covered three topics to get you into the gym at least five days a week in the summer when everyone is outside playing. Seriously, you only need forty-five minutes a day in order to get a good lift or high intensity interval cardio session in so you may as well take it rather than make excuses because everything I listed earlier are excuses. I don’t care if you’re out on the town every night of the week or what. You’re making excuses. I don’t care if you have to prepare a cookout. You’re making excuses. Wake up forty-five minutes before you typically do on these days. Oh, you had a tough work week……okay that also qualifies as an excuse. You have two options: either buckle down and stay with the program or keep lying to yourself, your friends, and your family and continue to make those excuses, because they’re aplenty. Until next time.

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