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  • Writer's pictureMuscle Nation

Take Out The Trash

March 13th was a Friday and the first day of stay-at-home life for my family. I hit this head on! I was on top of everything! Laundry? Done. Dishes? Done. Kitty Litter? Scooped. Hey, I'm going to build a tree-house for the kids. Alone. I'm going to teach my three-going-on-four year old how to read! And I'm going to stay in shape.

You see, when this happened I was 2-1/2 weeks out from my first competition of the season. I was in the best shape of my life. At 44 years old I was under 4% body fat, 196lbs, vascular, round muscle-bellies and best of all, my legs were looking big and I had deep separations between the muscles. I was going to step on stage 20lbs heavier than last year. The feedback from my friends and fellow competitors was positive. I was 110% sure I would win the Masters Over 40 class and I had my eye on the Best In Show award.

And in two months I've slipped away from looking like a competitive bodybuilder ready to step on stage. And it's got me down.

What has me down? Is it the way I look? The vanity? No. Sure, I want to look good. Who doesn't? But that isn't the underlying issue.

The reason why I'm down is because of two things:

- First, I'm off track. My acute daily routine is disrupted and my long-term plan for the year is thrown off.

- Second, I thrive on progress. I imagine some people are motivated by money, sex, mile-stone accomplishments like graduations or perhaps compliments and accolades. For me, it's progress. It's about the small steps closer to my desired state of being.

I've gone through the spectrum of daily emotions, the ups and downs. My eating isn't clean. I'm having ice cream, beer, wine, pizza. I'm 208lbs and not through clean bulking and training hard. I feel soft. And worst of all I've felt bad about myself.

How destructive our minds can be. How incredibly nihilistic.

But this morning something happened. My son told me his garbage can was full and my cat pooped in the basement sink. The cat does this when I've neglected to clean out her litter box. I was pissed at the cat. No, that's a lie. I was pissed at myself.

So I did something about it. I cleaned it out. And I collected the garbage from the cans around the house.

And I started feeling better. I started feeling energized and mentally back on track. I'm going to eat well today. I'm going to have a good workout (as good as can be at home with some bands). I'm going to make some progress.


There's not a whole lot we can do about our situation right now. For most of us, we're stuck at home. And while people may say "life is on hold," that's not right. Life isn't on hold. We're busy taking care of kids or taking care of parents. We're homeschooling and working from home. We're not able to exercise the way we want. And worst of all, our minds keep going, the thoughts keep coming and we need to do what we can to stay constructive, to make progress.

What can you do right now that will make you feel like you've taken a step in the right direction?

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