Because We Can, We Should

As I sit and write my blog for this week, I’m thinking about laziness. Do you ever go to the gym and feel so lazy, tired and run down you don’t really workout? I know I have. I’ve gone to the gym many, many times in my life and worked for maybe 15 or so minutes. After that, I’ve thrown in the towel and said “I‘m done.” I see others do that too.

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As I sit and write my blog for this week, I’m thinking about laziness. Do you ever go to the gym and feel so lazy, tired and run down you don’t really workout? I know I have. I’ve gone to the gym many, many times in my life and worked for maybe 15 or so minutes. After that, I’ve thrown in the towel and said “I‘m done.” I see others do that too.


When I go to the gym, which is usually during the day, I’ve noticed people walking slowly around the place, gathering around someone else’s treadmill or exercise bike; chewing the fat, as if by doing that they are still getting in the workouts they need. I can’t really say anything too bad about that, though, since I have been guilty of that from time to time myself. However, I saw something last weekend that struck me and remains the only motivation I need; the fact I have the ability to workout. Let me explain…


Last Saturday, when I went to the gym, as you’d imagine it was packed. So I headed over to the side machines that don’t tend to be taken up so fast (the other machines have TVs in front of them which helps.) I programmed the elliptical for my usual 30-minute workout, which I was seriously contemplating cutting down to the aforementioned 15 minutes. It was then I saw something that made me feel ashamed of my thoughts and laziness.


I saw not one, but several wheelchair basketball games going on in the gymnasiums the level below me. I was blown away. I’ve never seen a live wheelchair league game before. These were live and active and awesome, and pretty darned athletic, too.


Every time I pedaled forward I knew I absolutely had to complete that 30 minutes. Why? Because I could do that with my legs. My legs are thankfully strong and able to walk, climb, run, kick and pedal that elliptical. And because any one of those guys below me would give buffalo nickels to be able to do what I can do. That’s when I felt ashamed for even thinking I could get away with not working out to my fullest.


Do limbs get tired? Heck yes, they do. When my martial arts instructor, Doug, has me punch the bag for a while then I work on the mat, my arms feel like Jell-O. But they’re supposed to feel like Jell-O, aren’t they? That’s what’s supposed to happen, and if and when we go to the gym sweat and tiredness are supposed to happen. Not other people’s sweat and tiredness, but our own.


Ever since watching those amazing dudes post up points on Saturday, I am pumped when I go to the gym. I step right up and get on that machine, followed by some bag work, line kicks, ab reps and push-ups. And I do it all gladly. As I approach 40 (excuse me, the 19th anniversary of my 21st birthday,) I know I have to keep my body going. Not just because I should for my overall health (which is absolutely great reason to do it) but because I can, and when we have the ability and strength to do something, the only one possibly stopping us is ourselves.


So get up and be active today if you can and just know in your heart you will be thankful for whatever it is you can do later on down the road. Because today, right now, you can do something. And because you (and we) can do it, and we absolutely should.

Blog written by Bill Larson
Bill Ivory Larson has lost a total of 175 pounds, without surgery or a special diet. In 2005, when he moved from Chicago to...