This blog post is part of a series through WanderFit Training: Real People, Real Health. Jesse is a 39 year old dad who enjoys staying active and eating well. He is a security manager by day, and a domestic violence fighter by night (read on for more).
I first started getting into exercise prior to joining the military twenty years ago (when I was a teen, ahh the good old days!). At that point in my life, I was primarily doing it to defend myself on the city streets and eventually to physically prepare myself for boot camp. Once I started getting into it, I enjoyed it more, but because I was a teenager, I definitely was not concerned with eating right or getting the appropriate amount of sleep. I didn’t notice results quite as fast as I had hoped to back then.
However, during boot camp (due to the constant exercise, and additional workouts on the side), healthy meals and exhaustion induced sleep, I definitely noticed great results at a rapid pace. Even after boot camp I continued to work out, but I also made the mistake of returning to bad habits like eating junk-food, partying/drinking often, and smoking. For the most part, I continued that pattern for many years, and in turn, maintained so-so results. Then, about 7 years ago, I decided to make a huge change in my life. I chose to turn any and all negative things that were affecting me, whether it was relationship issues, health issues, work issues, etc., into positive fuel to change my physical appearance, energy, drive and motivation. I turned each bad memory, negative moment and negative desire, all into a fierce fuel of aggression (but aggression in the form of exercise). I made sure to start off slow for the first couple weeks, but as my body began adapting to a routine, I started driving my workout to various new levels.
I constantly created my own routines and tracked my workouts. I even adjusted my eating habits to match, and I realized all of that stress and negativity that was also keeping me up at night was dissipating quickly. I was sleeping great and felt amazing. I knew I was achieving results every day too. I had that feeling of “good soreness” in my muscles each night (and each morning!) and I was rapidly achieving my goals. I also learned the hard way that there can be a downside to overdoing it, and I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistakes!
I became so addicted to the quick results and wanting them more and more, that I kept pushing myself harder than I should have. Not only was I lifting too heavy too soon, but I also wasn’t permitting enough recovery time for those muscle groups, because I wanted to keep getting that burn and “good soreness” (which unfortunately turned to BAD soreness)! From time to time I would injure myself, and then had to take 2-4 months off to heal. The injuries became counter-productive to my training, especially because I became a couch potato eating potato chips and other junk foods. Even to this day I still feel some of the old injuries come back now and then. So in my journey of trying to “Wander Fit,” I learned to exercise in moderation and to listen to my body. I learned to be content at a good, but healthy, pace, while still seeing great results.
The body is a pyramid, and you have to care for every part of it in order to build and maintain it. So whether it be your physical health, internal health, mental health or even your spiritual health, make sure that you develop all parts equally. Since I still want to release negative energy by doing something positive, I have learned to substitute the extreme workout mindset by creating healthy outlets.
There is nothing more powerful than using negative energy to do something positive. One new outlet for me is raising awareness of domestic violence via my own non-profit, FightDV.org. I find it extremely gratifying channeling positive energy into combating the negative, all too real stories of domestic violence. Please contact me through my facebook site, www.facebook.com/fightdv.org if you would like to get involved in the cause. Together we can knock out domestic violence.