Ironically enough, it’s not diet, fitness routine, and/or injury the hardest obstacle to staying of sound body. Rather, it’s staying the course in a healthy lifestyle often fraught with individuals and/or influences seemingly eager to derail the health train at every junction.

To explain, the biggest realization and simultaneous sadness of making fitness THE #1 goal is that it leaves those without shared perspectives in the dust. These same individuals – as many times as you attempt to explain it – will nevertheless insist on substituting leg day for beers, weekend runs for pub crawls, and/or protein and carb refresh with fried everything.

It’s not that these folks wish ill will on your career or health. Instead, realize that staying fit is both a professional and lifestyle mandate; a foreign language to most. Likely 8 out 10, to guesstimate (depending on locale, social circles).

In contrast, head nods of recognition with brothers and sisters in arms…in random places…is recognition there a legion of individuals just like you. Yup, those head nods at the post office, airport, Home Depot and other non fitness-oriented places. It’s realization that – just like you – they’re fitting in chores between life and fitness schedules.

The sad truth however, is there a point when those who do not share your health goals no longer mesh with present and future paths. Your partner must not be one of these individuals, or a divide will ultimately form. If there is a discrepancy, bring them on board to synchronize purpose. Home life will suck otherwise.

Huracanrana was a Division I scholarship athlete. I discovered the fitness mandate when Crohn’s Disease reared its head. I dragged her into the fight gyms I called home. She steered me toward cross training, group fitness. I state with certainty that we’re together after 11 years of marriage since we train together, daily. She will always literally run circles around me, with pride.

Unfortunately, physical wellbeing inevitably creeps into mental realms. For many who ignore the daily toll life stressers take on physical and mental soundness…and choose not to address via fitness…it’s a deadly spiral hard to break out of. It’s not a question of anti-sedentary, rather allowing your body to properly recover physically toward mental. It craves it chemically.

One of my go-to paraphrases is that we waste 90% of our time on acquaintances with little/no return…versus the 10% on friends eager to reciprocate. Similarly, friends who do not share your lifestyle goals – at minimum, with fitness/health eating as a hobby – will ultimately burden you.

This is not to insist remove close friends who do not share your values. Instead, express to them how important fitness and sound body/mind is to you, also their being healthy, in tandem. And gift it to them, in some capacity. As any athlete is well aware, nearly all who allow themselves to atrophy do so from social anxiety, fear, or perceived shame in getting back on the fitness path. Remove this burden. Most importantly, bring those you care for the most into this circle. Soon, they too will experience the head nod of recognition.

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