Got the Religion

Pat was the inspiration for my writing this book. Her encouragement got me started and her insightful comments and stories about herself and her family contributed to the quality of the book. Here’s her personal story of how she got motivated and stays that way.

Pat, fifty years old, has a busy life as a wife, mother of three children and managing director for a private investment firm. Still, she manages to maintain a regular, rigorous exercise program. She recently sent this email:

“I got the exercise ‘religion’ about three years ago after recognizing that the investment made in working out would have huge benefits as I get older. It’s pretty simple: you just have to move your body and circulate the blood to all your muscles, especially your brain. Just as you wouldn’t keep a Maserati in the garage or it would rust and not function properly, you need to exercise regularly so your body works well.

“Many people think exercise won’t make a difference. The problem with this complacency is the inability to see the benefits or at least avoid the very unpleasant outcomes related to stagnation. There is such a better path as we all age. Whether you focus on the ‘carrot’ — for me skiing into old age, or the ‘stick’ — avoiding illness, medicines and worse, you just need to make a commitment to doing some form of exercise regularly.

“There are many days when I don’t feel like going to run, bike or the gym, but I make myself go because I know I’ll feel good afterward. I feel a sense of accomplishment after a workout and the positive energy lasts the whole day. I’ve now gotten to the point where I get frustrated when I don’t work out.

“Exercise doesn’t just make me stronger and healthier; it substantially improves my mood and attitude. I’m so much happier when I work out. I’m more calm, less emotional, much more at peace and able to get important things done. Exercise helps me focus, gives me confidence and makes me strong physically and mentally. My interactions with my husband and kids are so much better and I know I’ve inspired them too. My husband and I are biking together and my teenagers run and work out. I’ve noticed positive changes in all of us.”

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