Too Many Excuses

I was speaking to a friend of mine a few hours ago.

I asked him if he would be interested in joining me for some workouts over the summer. I have looked at a number of workout programs, and the one that is the most interesting to me is Iain Abernethy’s Extreme Impact Martial Arts. I know that P90X and Insanity are the most popular right now (at least in the martial arts circles that I run in). But, as I spoke with him, I heard myself saying something rather odd.

“I am not into cardio for the sake of cardio, or cardio for the sake of mere weight loss. I want everything I do to be productive. I want to lose weight while continuing to further develop the ability to deliver blunt force trauma.”

I am a martial arts student. Never mind the instructor part, I am still a student as well. To be honest, I think that is what makes me effective as an instructor – I am still learning.  I want to continue to learn until I die.

Not for the sake of seeking sympathy, as I could not care less if anyone actually feels sorry for me, but more to make a point, I am going to run down a list for you.

The first injury to my back happened when I was 10 years old. I was unloading scaffold boards for my Father. The boards were 16 feet long 2X12’s. I was very proud that I could lift them, as not all that long before I was unable to do so. I kept moving them that day until (of all of the things that could give me my first real lifelong injury), a puff of wind caught the board I was carrying. It wrenched me sideways, and something in my back popped. My back was never quite right after that day. More often than not, throughout my teens and early twenties, my back was in some level of pain. Then, in the period between 1998 and 2000, I managed to pop three disks in my lower back. From that time, the pain has never stopped. My back is giving me pain at every moment.

I mentioned more than once that I was bullied when I was in school. The worst of it took place in high school. I was dragged into the bathroom by several boys, and beaten half to death. The first strike is the only one that really matters. They stomped my left knee from the side, and it folded like a taco. ligament and cartilage damage from hell. When I had an MRI a few years ago, my doctor told me, “You were doing something, and your knee is telling me that you got hurt. But for some reason you kept on doing whatever it was that you were doing when you got hurt. “ See, I was never in a position to take a rest. I did things the old school American way – I got hurt and didn’t complain, I just kept working.

I have broken both ankles too. I actually broke them both at the same time, but that is a really long story that is best saved for another day.

In my recent MRI and X-Ray sessions on my back, the Doctor told me, “Your spine is really f***ed up.” I am supposed to get spinal decompression this summer.

I cracked a vertebrae in my neck in a pro wrestling match (yeah, that’s right…almost broke my neck in a “fake” wrestling match). I don’t know how many times my nose has been broken. I know that I have broken or dislocated every finger and toe.

And yet here I am.

42 years old. With everything that I have put my body through, I hurt all the time. There is no moment where I am not in some kind of pain – even in my dreams I am aware that my knees and back are hurting.

And yet, here I was, telling a friend of mine that I need to find a training partner that likes to hit hard, because I like to work with people who hit hard and don’t mind if I hit hard back. If I can do this, on top of being fat and lazy, you have no real excuses.

Get out there and train.


  1. Anita says:

    I had to go back and comment on this post.

    Today I was giving myself all kinds of excuses why I should skip the hike/workout. I was tired, (yeah, because I had stayed up to late chatting with friends), I should finish the letter I was writing (like 1.5 hours would prevent me from doing that) and so on. Then this blog post came to mind, and I see now that I really have NO excuse for dropping my workouts. Thank you!


    1. Wallace Smedley says:

      It always does my heart good to find out that someone has found some benefit from my work. Thank you for letting me know!


  2. Susie says:

    I am inspired


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