The best Holiday gift: Attitude

The best Holiday gift: Attitude

My days as a bona fide, jersey-wearing athlete ended years ago after a loss. Just like pretty much everyone else.

Some people go to college and play. I didn’t. But I did start my career as a recreational athlete which sounds like a euphemism for someone who proudly calls beer curls a workout. No, what I mean is that while I am not an athlete, I have to be athletic enough to enjoy the life I want.

I’m my own coach, I’m my own referee, and there are no stats.


Only I know how much time I waste, how hard I really go or how often I am lazy. With no one taking score, things can get out of control pretty quick, not just physically, but mentally.

So, I had to figure out what I wanted to be in shape for, and what physical requirements there were.


You don’t really have to be in shape for fishing, but you do have to be in shape for fishing well. Most of the fishing I did in California was walking down the tracks that parallel the Upper Sacramento River. I wanted to be able to walk as far as I could, safely wade across the river, make it up and down steep embankments, and otherwise not be totally gassed by the time we reached the first spot.

(I encourage you all to send Danny an email and have him talk about the new waders he bought from Bass Pro Shops for one of our fly fishing adventures.)


Anyway, Alaska requires much better fitness in order to get the most out of it. You can get up a mountain with a trail fairly easily. But what about one without a trail? What happens when you get to the top? What happens if you’re hunting, how are you going to safely get back home with the finest, lean, grass-fed, non-GMO, organic AF meat on the planet?


I go to the weight room at my school and workout with the lifters club, but I also have a workout room at home. It’s simple. Barbell, kettle bell, exercise ball, some bands and dumbbells. Simple. I do kettlebell squats and reverse lunges and exercises that keep the legs Alaska ready.

I did the P90X thing at home but it was tough because my living room was my living room. It wasn’t a workout room. I had known my living room as a living room for so long it was difficult to change that. Some can, I couldn’t. Well, no, I could, I just didn’t on a regular basis. If you’re thinking about getting some gym stuff for home this Christmas, be careful. It works for some, but it comes without community and will put you directly against the stereotypes of each room. Turning a living room into a workout room is difficult. You might be able to fit some stuff into the office, but will it get used?

Give yourself the gift of attitude this Christmas, because it’s not the dumbbells’ responsibility to get you in shape. A workout DVD can’t motivate you if you don’t turn it on. The local gym can’t get you in shape. You have to be there. You have to show up. It doesn’t matter what kind of athlete you were, or what kind of recreational athlete you are. Even if you just want to be able to get to the park with your kids without being exhausted, being able to lift them without worrying if your back will hold or whatever movements are most important to quality of life.


That’s what the adoption of a lifestyle is about. It’s not just about buying the shirts or the coffee, it’s about engaging in a fulfilling life. But if you do get the gear, you’re joining a community to keep you on track long after the wrapping is thrown away and the New Year grows old.


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