Saturday, May 26, 2012


A friend said to me the other day, “I want to be ripped.” As I turned that statement through my mind, it occurred to me that it’s flawed. The goal shouldn’t be to be ripped, it should be to enjoy being active and to enjoy cooking. Once you excel at those two things, becoming “ripped” is an effortless consequence.

The first time I really got into good shape was training for the 2008 Chicago Triathlon, when two colleagues of mine goaded me into signing up a full ten months in advance. As the race neared, we kept doing active things together: we went to Lake Michigan to go swim, we’d take our bicycles on fifty and 100-mile rides on weekends. Every morning at work we’d ask each other what our workout was the day before. After our workouts we’d have a drink and a laugh.

Being fit was social; being social was fun. That made being fit easy. And once I got used to being fit and ingrained some good habits, staying fit remained easy. I learned to enjoy the workout by myself, even without the social validation: sore from a good workout felt good, feeling tired from a good workout was something I would look forward to.

Now, roughly four years since, I’ve maintained those positive attitudes and brought into the fold a similar passion for what I eat. The result is that I’m happy with my shape and overall level of fitness.

Adjust your goals: make the journey its own reward and the destination suddenly appears.