I have always been an active person. Ever since I was a kid, and maybe because older generations used to play outdoors a lot, I ended up always keeping myself very active.
Back in school, I was always on the front line for the PE classes. Odd enough, I never really enjoyed football matches on PE classes. Maybe it’s because I never really knew how to play football as good as any of my colleagues. However, any kind of team sports would be really appreciated as I always enjoyed the confraternization and competition.
Now that I am 40, I believe that I have to keep myself motivated to exercise more. It is good for my health, my also very important for relaxation, self-commitment and discipline. It is increasingly difficult to be able to maintain the same motivation as time goes by, but due to the nature of my work, I have to compensate the long hours sitting down, with a more active lifestyle.
As Juvenal, a Roman poet once said, “Mens sana in Corpore sano”. i.e: rather than for wealth, power or eloquence men should pray for a “sound mind in a sound body”.
Martial arts were always my secret passion. The influence of action movies, and particularly movies from Jean-Claude Van Damme, made me join several martial arts classes, trying to find the one that would suit me better.
Initially, I was more interested in fast-paced martial arts. Nice looking kicks and spectacular movements where my goal. As I grew older (and heavier) I started getting more interested in grappling techniques and effective striking.
When I was 15, I decided to start bodybuilding. By that time I started working full time, so I wanted to do something with the rest of the day, that would make me happy.
By the time I finished my military career, I decided to dedicate even more to it.
Bodybuilding was a very demanding sport. I worked out 1 hour a day, 5 to 6 days a week. Nonetheless, it would require 24h of my day as I had to start to take into account the food I was taking, the rest I was having, the correct workouts being done every week, the weight increase, etc.
I ended up being so dedicated to the sport, that I rarely would take any days out, and abroad holidays were only possible if the city I was going had some kind of gym.
Bodybuilding lasted for nearly 20 years. I can definitely say that it was the longer lasting relation that I had in my life. When I started bodybuilding I weighted around 60 Kg. I was a very skinny person and never really had any muscular mass. By the time I stop doing it daily, I weighted 90+ Kg, and nowadays I weight more than 100 Kg.
By the time I was 33, I didn’t have motivation in Bodybuilding anymore.
I then joined the university, and it seriously diminished the time I had available to exercise.
I then decided I would improve my swimming. That would help me getting a bit of exercise while learning something new. It would also help me with my asthma problem, as it strengthened my breathing.
I never had problems with water, but wasn’t the best swimmer alive (still ain’t), so I decide to take some classes to improve freestyle stroke, breaststroke, backstroke and the butterfly stroke.
Nowadays I commit myself to do 1 Km swimming every week. That is approximately 30 minutes, 40 laps on a 25m swimming pool.
Cycling and Running
In all fairness, aerobics were never really my thing. I remember when I left the military, I promised myself I would never run again in my life. not even to catch a bus. And I have been faithful to that promise for at least 10 years.
But as we get older, it is increasingly difficult to lose weight. And nowadays, I feel that I need to increase my resistance and stamina. And nothing better than running and cycling to get your heart pumping.
Nowadays I commit myself to run 5 Km every week. That is approximately 30 minutes at a 10 Km/h pace.
Whenever the rain isn’t present, I try to do a 1-1,5 hour cycling, which allows me to cover 30 Km. During winter time I try to do indoor cycling to compensate.