I can't afford the gym, but I dropped $300 on dinner last night

Growing up, my parents didn’t always have a ton of extra cash kicking around. My dad ran a small construction company, and there were good years and bad years. We had the same embarrassingly-outdated TV for about 15 years, drove economical vehicles, I don’t remember my mother ever buying new clothes for herself, and our family vacations weren’t generally to places like Europe like lots of the other kids I knew: Instead, we went camping.

We could have afforded more lavish vacations and a new TV, but instead my sister and I were in gymnastics, which cost $400 each a month just in training fees alone. And that was back in the 90s.

In fact, when it came to sports and fitness my parents always found a way. Even when I was rowing in university and was a broke student, my mom stepped in and happily paid $75 an hour when I wanted to take things up a notch and work with a personal training.

And it wasn’t just the money: It was the time involved, too. When I quit gymnastics, I briefly was a diver, and my mom would drive me the 45 minutes to training and stick around and watch for two hours because it was too far for her to go back and forth again to pick me up.

Yep, my parents were the parents who never missed a game: From driving us all over the province for gymnastics and track and field, to flying across the country to watch basketball games in university, to trekking to Boston to watch me row and to California to cheer me on at the CrossFit Games, my parents taught me that health and fitness mattered a lot, and other things needed to be sacrificed for it.

 

THANK YOU, Mom and Dad!

Maybe I’m close-minded, but this is why I never can quite understand why people aren’t willing to find a way to fork out the cash to take care of their health and fitness. It’s your BODY, for fuck sakes. You only have one of it, and you can’t get a new one if it breaks down.

I wonder why: I wonder why the person who knows he needs help reclaiming his health and losing weight says he can’t afford personal training, and then he turns around and buys a new motorbike.

Or why the woman who knows she needs a coach to hold herself accountable spends $450 a week on booze and eating out instead.

Or why that other guy cancelled his gym membership because it was too expensive, yet decided to buy the most expensive BBQ he could find.

Maybe I need to be more empathetic. Not everyone had parents like mine. But I sure am thankful for that. And maybe it’s too late for today’s adults to shift their priorities by re-arranging their budget and making time to accommodate fitness.  But it’s NOT too late to raise your kids in a way that prioritizes THEIR health and fitness. They will thank you one day. I promise.