[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/22/art.beckham.soccer.jpg caption="David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy takes a shot against AC Milan during the international friendly last week in Carson, California."]
You can only take your health for granted for so long. Never one to have been a fanatic about blood pressure and cholesterol, I’ve lately become somewhat of a gym rat, unyielding in my devotion to physical fitness unless there’s a compelling reason to stay home…like it’s cloudy outside or I’m watching The View.
I’m not entirely sure what prompted this renewed interest in my overpriced club membership. Perhaps, selfishly, it has something to do with my recent beach vacation – a coconut rum-fueled derailment of self-esteem if there ever was one. Or maybe I’ve realized – amid all the talk about health care reform – that, although I’m one of the fortunate ones who currently have coverage, there are no guarantees in life.
I suppose it’s a byproduct of me trying to accept that if – at age 28 – I’m not as healthy as I could be…well, I have no one to blame but myself: I used to smoke and have been known to enjoy a drink or five. And I’ve tried, with varying degrees of success, to end my love affair with chicken fingers. Though, frankly, I’m not sure I want to live in a world without breaded poultry.
Regardless, following through with exercise isn’t easy. At least not for me. For me, going to the gym is like going to a wedding. I have to drag myself there and by the time I leave I’m sweaty and full of resentment. And thinking about cake.
At one point I was convinced the only way I would go to the gym was if I had a financial obligation beyond my monthly dues. So, I signed up with a personal trainer. (You’re welcome, American Express.) His name was Scott and he was a genuine ex-Abercrombie and Fitch model. Yeah, I hated him, too. Anyway, Scott got a kick out of making me run up and down the gym stairwell for an hour. He said it was for my own good but I think it was just an easy way to keep me busy while he admired his biceps. Three days a week, every week, for who knows how many months – up and down those stairs. Each morning I would show up hoping Scott had finally gotten a call from Susan Lucci requesting he give up his fitness career to play her frisky cabana boy, Pierre.
Now personal trainer-less, the burden of staying in fighting shape rests squarely on my shoulders. There is, in my view, no longer time to procrastinate. Life is short, the clock is ticking…pick whatever cliché you want. It may at times be painful and I may never have David Beckham’s abs…but hopefully it’ll buy me some more time on this earth.
Besides, the chicken fingers never loved me back.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with