There I was depressed and staring at the mirror. I had just pulled out my company’s health risk assessment that was performed a few weeks ago and I looked at the numbers. They were bad:
Total Cholesterol- 247
Heart rate at rest- 68
Body mass index- OBESE
I realized while my intentions were good, I had essentially done nothing to change my situation. I stared at the numbers and realized I had actually lost some weight even with my feeble exercise program. I began to have a greater concept of my mortality and my inevitable future. Like Ebenezer Scrooge’s epiphany in the Charles Dickens’ novel, I wondered if this was the written outcome of my future — or could my future be changed?
In this 5th stage I believe we come to grips with our mortality. I had been writing checks for three decades that, essentially, my body couldn’t cash. My poor choices and sedentary lifestyle were staring back at me in the mirror. Truthfully, I hated what I saw and what I had done to myself. I had gone through the motions of change, but nothing to this point had an effect.
Through the course of a few weeks I vacillated between depression and acceptance. The real danger of the acceptance phase is to not let the phase define you. Slowly, a realization grew inside me. I DID NOT have to accept what I had become. I began to understand that to implement effective change there was one thing and only one thing that could be used as the fulcrum: work!
It was now time to pay that bill I had been racking up on my tab for the last 34 years. Yo Adrian! It is time to finally cue the Rocky music!
Stephen Ruffin lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife Karen. They have two grown children. Stephen and his wife embrace the multi-sport lifestyle. Stephen is a Boston Marathon qualifier, Ironman, and All World Athlete. He is avid about the sport of triathlon and credits the sport with reclaiming his health. He is sponsored by TriBike Transport and competes on Team TBT.
He can be reached on his Linkedin page under: Steve Ruffin. Or you can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org