…You Were Saying?

Sure, it’s tough to commit to regular exercise. There are just so many other things that require our undivided attention. Or maybe it’s just easier to feel sorry for ourselves and find something better to do.

“I don’t have time”

“My elbow/knee/back hurts”

“It’s just too hard”

“I didn’t sleep well”

“(enter your favorite exer-scuse here)”

I admit, there are days that I consider skipping my workout. But I have a li’l trick for getting past the “poor, busy me” syndrome – I think about some of the people I met who had every possible reason to forget about training, yet they soldiered on…

— One guy was in a wheelchair, his shriveled legs resembled overcooked linguine. Since squatting and running were out of the picture, he competed in bench press contests (quite successfully, I should add). He’d train just as hard as any able-bodied person would – probably even harder. I remember watching him with awe as he did rep after rep of pull ups with his wheelchair strapped to him.

Did he have a valid excuse to not exercise?

— Another guy was born with a condition that left him with flipper-like hands where his arms should have been. (I’m not positive, but I think his phocomelia may have been attributed to thalidomide prescribed to his mother while pregnant). Still, he’d deadlift, do pulldowns and any other exercise he “shouldn’t really be able to do“.

Could he have found an excuse to not work out?

— “One-legged Jim”, a Vietnam vet, had one of his legs completely blown off by a C4-explosive mishap, yet he’d be in the gym working on the leg press, riding the stationary bike. He would occasionally find excuses to skip coming to the gym. Most often, it was because he was busy competing in various sporting events – including the paralympic games.

But I guess he should’ve just stayed home, right?

— A couple of months ago, I met a competitive powerlifter in New Jersey who lost an arm and a leg when he was hit by a car. So what does he do now? He has a special prosthetic device that clamps onto an Olympic bar and he still presses the kind of weights that most guys only wish they could.

Why didn’t he cancel his gym membership?

I could go on and on with stories like these, but maybe it’s a good time for you to remind me…What was your excuse for avoiding exercise?

[if you have stories of inspirational people who find a reason to exercise despite their so-called ‘limitations’, please post ’em as a reply right here or send it to me by email: questions (at) joestankowski (dot) com]



  1. OK…OK…. I got the point. You are, of course, correct…. there is no excuse not to do something. I got it. Thanks for the words, Dan


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