Health is a journey. Ongoing, changing, and evolving. The balance of change and routine, establishing practices that are repeatable, and incorporate the new. I know for me personally, there’s no journey I’d rather be on. Studying the human body, mind and spirit and how to bring each realm into health is something that I’ve been into for the better part of my last decade. But, it wasn’t always the case. I definitely had some blessings in my upbringing, like being surrounded by beautiful nature and amazing athletes, but health is still a choice. Someone surrounded by the best of the best can still make the worst choices. So my journey started at and has hit some pretty low points. In my youth I followed the path to “cool”. Drinking, drugs and general mayhem made up for a lot of my adolescence. Even though I was involved in and surrounded by many sports, activities and groups that supported health, I was also self-sabotaging and self-destructing at the same time. I’m sharing all this so that you see I’m not speaking from a pulpit as some holier than thou sermonizer. I’m in the trenches, and have been since I made a decision.
I’ve always held a vision of the hero archetype in mind for my life, and constantly look to the best athletes, authors, and individuals for inspiration and motivation. I know that behaving and executing to the best of my abilities and potential I can become great. The thing is, I wasn’t pursuing greatness. Who can drink the most, or get the highest are not great things, and do not lead to riches and renown. They’re traps and for a while I was playing victim to them. By awhile I mean only in the last few years have I made real headway into self-awareness and self-control as opposed to sabotage and destruction. I decided to “get healthy” or rather “get in shape” one day, and that I’d need to make changes to my environment, mind, obviously body, and vision. That day I was sitting on the top level of the frame of a large black bridge. The bridge is a old relic from an era when railroads were the main form of transport connecting much of Canada. We call it the engine bridge. In the brief summer, the youth and adventurous types gather at the engine bridge to jump off into the glacial fed Bow River. It’s cold and it can kill you if you’re in it’s clutches too long. Jumping from about 30-40 feet into water that cold is a rush. Adrenaline definitely makes its way through your body, before, during and after the leap. The shock of the cold also enhances the rush. Surrounded by fun and adrenaline, I noticed something. My figure. I was no longer the toned and healthy looking me from football season. No, I was fat, and pale and didn’t feel that great either to be honest. Months of partying after a depressing finish to my high-school football career had clearly caught up to me. In a seated position my gut drooped down in rolls, and I was suddenly aware of this. Wow, I need to make some changes—I want to be a well rounded warrior, not a flabby and weak creature. I’m hard on myself, who knows how fat I actually was, but when I think back on that I know that was close enough to rock bottom in my physique that I don’t want to ever return even near there. So what happened? I got a trendy diet and workout plan and the next day I woke up with a six pack. Of course not! This is almost a decade later and although I’ve vastly progressed—there is still the vast progress that lies ahead of me. It didn’t, and never will happen over night. That’s why this is a journey, and often due to lack of instant results many give up the journey. They stop learning, trying, growing and even caring. They resign to a fate of their choice—but one that they will blame on everything but themselves.
Crossing a finish line along the journey–persevere.
When I decided to get strong, healthy and ideally look good, a few things happened. I had to see what was standing between me and the end result. It’s different for everybody—but there are things that hold us back. Excuses, obstacles, deformities. Some imagined, some real. But, in studying many “success stories” defeating those very forms of resistance are necessary to push us to greatness. It’s the actual battle against resistance that gives strength. When I made my decision, and analyzed what wasn’t allowing me (be it physical or mental) to live as a healthy and strong man, I then had to act. I had to find information, and role models and act upon my decision. Now this is a tricky part, especially in 2016. Everybody and their cat is a fitness expert and has the 30 day challenge that will cure the obesity epidemic and get you from bloated to bikini with no effort. The noise is cacophonous and most of it’s crap. Careful who you trust, and what you buy on the promise of ease. None of this is supposed to be easy. There are ways to make it easier by doing things more efficiently and effectively—not wasting time. But, the time investment needs to be made, and you nor I should want to be cheap with this investment. Create the time, eliminate some TV or socializing, get up earlier or stay up later. This video is a great insight into how to structure a day to fit in a health practice.
When I began my journey towards health I started with my mind actually. I decided to make health an obsession and immerse myself in it for the long term. To develop a health consciousness. It’s not a fad for me, nor something that I will ever stop learning about. I chose to work on my mind and my body because they’re linked, and I needed the right mindset to even advance an inch physically. All of this stuff is hard. Working on your mind can be one of the hardest and easiest to procrastinate on, but necessary aspects of adult life. Total health is a healthy body, mind and spirit. But, I think that a healthy mind and body are necessary to explore the deepest realms of the spirit.
I salute all those on the journey, and if you’re just getting started don’t be afraid or overwhelmed. That decision to begin the journey to a healthy mind, body and spirit is the most important part. The decision and momentum you gain from it can wither if you don’t understand why you’re doing it. So I think two great questions to ask yourself at any level of the health quest are: why does being healthy matter to me? And What’s stopping me from being healthier? Hard to answer, but helps in the long term. I wish everybody reading this the most blessings on your journey to Find Yourself Healthy
Take each step in the process…your journey to health shouldn’t include shortcuts.
Author: Brendan McCaughey
Brendan is a Canadian born Texan. Hailing from the small town of Banff, Alberta Canada, and currently residing in Dallas Texas. Brendan grew up surrounded by mountains and all the sports they come along with: Hiking, mountain biking, cross country/downhill skiing, and many other adventure sports. Today Brendan is a passionate Obstacle Course Racer and aspiring writer. For more about Brendan check out his blog, YouTube and other social channels here: