Often in life, if not every day, I come across an internal rail road crossing.  This morning I woke at the typical 5:30am to completely ignore the alarm and go back to sleep until 6am.  Upon waking at 6am, I grabbed the remote, turned on a dumb movie, and started playing on the phone.  I woke to my old habits that created this dad bod.  The morning’s rail road crossing between should I charge life or go along for the ride left me diffused as my focus was on how productive the last week and half had been.

The morning exercise was supposed to be a 45 minute run at a medium pace.  Around 7am I began to get anxious.  I was getting anxious because I gave myself the motivation to complete the La Quinta Half Ironman 70.3 in December, this morning arrives at 59 days away.  This morning, I started to give myself permission to pull back.  I said to myself a week ago when I built the training plan, if I skip on a training activity, I am at that moment quitting on the idea of completing that half.

The anxiety continued to rise quickly as I recalled the message for the movie I watched the night before.  I watched the documentary, The Triumph Project.  This documentary is about Jeff Fairbanks and his journey to complete 21 half Ironman’s in 21 days.  A journey which looked like he came across many cross roads, challenging his desires to complete the goal he set.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in an airport and got to spend about twenty minutes with him as we walked, never did he explain how much experience he had in the sport of triathlon, and never did he make me feel inadequate about just starting and clearly being out of shape.  Instead he was, is, one of the most humble people I have ever met and during that conversation he gave me motivation through his clear passion for the sport.  It wasn’t until last night after watching his journey that I grew even more respect for him and the fact that we all go through cross roads, from elite to beginner.

The railroad crossing I woke to left me stuck lingering in time until I finally said, NO!  No, I will not quite on myself.  No, I will not quite on this journey.  No, I will not quite on setting an example for my daughters.  No, I will not stop working hard for my goal by giving it the long term commitment, hard work, and dedication to earn what I desire.  I will not quit on you!  I will not quite!

Picture of Garmin App showing 7 mile run and time of 8:51           I believe, we are often put into the cross roads by God not prevent us from achieving what we want, but instead, to challenge us for how badly we want it.  I got up, put my running clothes on, and proceeded to stay committed.  I pounded out 7.05 miles with an average of 8:51 minute miles.  It was a beautiful, outside run alongside a lake in Madison, Wisconsin.  I felt empowered by my commitment to myself, family, and you.  I charged the rest of the day knowing that it takes small steps to climb big mountains.

Each day we are faced with many cross road situations that leave us to question how bad do we want our goal.  As we arrive at the dad bod level, we initially think of this too loose weight but it could be many different areas of opportunity.  Stop the Dad Bod is about bettering ourselves, maybe you are searching to quit smoking, drinking, or to become a better friend, sibling, husband, wife, or employee.  Whichever area is your opportunity for growth, know that you are not alone.  You are part of a growing community of others on the same journey to better ourselves.  We are not without motivation to change but staying committed is another story.

Picture of AJ Stop the Dad Bod Crushing it with a smile during his run

Jeff mentioned in his documentary something that I am going to share with you, something that I am keeping at the top of my mind, something I challenge you to keep at the top of your mind; CRUSH IT WITH A SMILE!  Next time you realize you are stuck at a cross road, realize it is ok if you decided on the wrong path, do a U-Turn, go after that goal, and #crushitwithasmile because you are part of #stopthedadbod