This is a slogan I saw in an advertisement for t-shirts, and it’s become a sort of mantra for me these past few weeks as I ramp up my exercise and work-outs in preparation for my attending Warrant Officer Candidate School. In that school, I will have to perform the new Army Combat Fitness Test which replaced the tried and true Army Physical Fitness Test. The new ACFT is much harder than the APFT, and requires more cross-discipline fitness than the latter test. But I digress.
Comfort is something we all crave. It’s the goal of every human to achieve a state of less work/effort for more comfort. The problem we have in our modern world is that comfort is too easy to attain, just as calories are too easy to attain. We are able to eat thousands of calories a day without any energy expenditure which leaves us obese. I was in that category for two decades. Then, Sherry and I got out of our comfort zone, embraced our first Whole30, and five years later, we’ve kept the weight off, kept up with the new lifestyle, and kept up with our fitness.
Are we comfortable? Can we ever rest and stop exercising? Well, I can’t speak for Sherry, but I will not stop. I am no longer comfortable being stationary. I need to be moving; I need to exercise just to feel right. I become uncomfortable when I’m not exercising for too long.
Funny aside: every year, we take a two-week vacation. My biggest lament is that I lose my ability to lift weights and run properly when we are traveling. This year, we went camping/Overlanding, and there was no way for me to run or lift weights at all. That was two weeks of lost progress, and two weeks of feeling my legs get jittery with anticipation for a run.
I take comfort in knowing that by exercising regularly, I’m keeping my heart, muscles, and bones strong. I take comfort in knowing that when I get sick, my body is at it’s strongest to fight off whatever bug I’ve contracted. I have found that small cuts even heal faster (like they did when I was younger). I take comfort in knowing that my weight is more easily controlled when I’m using calories at a higher rate than when I’m sitting at a desk all day.
So, while comfort may be slow death, it’s easy enough to find comfort even when you’re undertaking the uncomfortable like exercise. Right now, as I push myself (gently, I must add) to greater physical fitness, I take solace in the fact that I’m getting stronger, faster, and more prepared to get through the next year and a half of schools that I’m required to attend. Afterwards? I can relax my standards a little bit, but the reality is that I likely won’t. I hate giving back fitness gains I’ve worked so hard for, and I want to give my body the best chance it has to keep going for as long as it can. I’m sort of addicted to breathing.