We’ve all heard and seen it when we fly, the flight attendants diligently stand at the front and mid plane and go throughthe motions telling us stuff that we know will save our lives in the rare case of an on board emergency. Why do we glaze over at this point?
Is it that we have heard it all before or is it that the delivery is boring? (Not like the guy above) Do we believe it? Of course we do, none of us have ever been in a plane crash to speak from experience, but they have tested it all to wazoo and it all makes logical sense. I want to specificallyfocus in on one part of the predicable song and dance. This being the part wherewe are supposed to put on the oxygen mask before helping those around us, even our kids or loved ones. Now initially this sounds selfish, but looking closer it makes perfect sense. If that person is hurt or inattentive and needs longer term attention you need to be in a position (breathing preferably) to be able to assist. Put your mask on first!
The take home point here is simple, if you don’t defend that health and fitness ‘me’ time like a rabid dog, it will be filled with something else and will compound negatively over the next decade or two and if not addressed can seem insurmountable later on. Ok let’s bring this back to fitness before you glaze over like you did when they pulled out the seatbelts on that last plane ride you took. (I mean if you cant work the seatbelt by now there are bigger problems that you may want to adress.) As a parent the day your first child was introduced to your family you have been putting that child ahead of your own personal needs. We’ve all done it; sacrificing ‘me’ time for the suppossed betterment of the family. Mistake! We see this time and time again, the problem is that is it a short sighted mentality, now I am not saying don’t appropriately care for your family, of course not. Herein lays the problem. You are putting their masks on before yours, and in many cases you are forgetting to put yours on at all. Over time your health and fitness deteriorates to the point that your kids are in their early teens and as a family you have the means and the time to do a lot of fun activities that due to your less than ideal fitness level you can’t participate in to your full desire if at all. Now this isn’t meant to be a doom and gloom piece or a put selfish write-up on justifying your 3 hours at the gym every day. What it is, is an encouragement from a dad with twins who happens to be in the business of helping people get fit and making positive healthy changes in their lives so the whole family benefits. I have walked it, I have seen people further down the road than you and I have seen the really really cool things that can happen when you put your mask on first. I wrote about some great strategies in a book I recently co-authored with some amazing fitness professionals including fat loss guru’s Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. You can pick up your copy here, I also have copies if you are interested.
A health and fitness investment in yourself is never just a selfish indulgence, not only are you better off, it has a positive ripple effect on the whole family.
I argue vehemently that your kids will more positively remember you by all the fun stuff you could do as a family as a result of your taking time to improve your quality of life first vs. the alternative. What are you doing to put yourself first this week? We'd love to hear your comments below or shoot us a note over on Facebook.