Once in a while, I am reminded that I haven’t been taking the best care of myself. I’m pretty conscientious when working on projects or helping others but occasionally I drop the ball when the project is me. The excuse is usually ‘life gets in the way,’ which is really no excuse at all. Life doesn’t really get in the way. I just don’t prioritize myself. Sooner or later something reminds me that I need to get back on track. This time, it was the picture above. What does Jerry Rice have to do with me? I’ll get to that shortly. I also realized that we are nearing the end of the eighth month of the year. In about a month I will celebrate another birthday. Each year around this time, there are a couple of things I do: buy new bras (more about this another time) and do some self-evaluation.

True self-evaluation takes time and requires honesty. We have to revisits our habits and choices to observe how well they are working. This periodic evaluation can tell us if we’re headed in the right direction. Where adjustments are needed, we should make them. Where complete change is in order, we should work toward it. My own self-evaluation revealed some good habits and others that need improvement. For example, I’ve gone completely off course when it comes to consistently getting to bed at a reasonable hour. This is significant for me because a lack of quality rest spirals into having low energy which leads to not exercising, which leads to low productivity, which leads to … and to … and to! It is a slippery slope that starts with not getting my butt in bed at a reasonable hour.

Now back to Jerry Rice. The iconic and now retired San Francisco 49er was excellent on the football field. As of 2017, he still holds more than 100 NFL records. I am admittedly not a football fan. The game never really held my interest. The male form on displayed on the field did hold my interest (don’t judge me). I am an avid fan of the fit male form and Jerry Rice has been a stellar example of it for years. Recently he was featured in the ESPN magazine ‘Body Issue.’ At 55 years old, Mr. Rice is still in excellent shape. He credits his physique and current level of fitness to habits that began as a high school sophomore and continued throughout his NFL career…even during the off-season. He developed and honed fitness and training habits that kept him healthy, agile and physically fit throughout his football career and now, beyond. In his ESPN magazine interview, Mr. Rice said he still mixes-up his training to keep his body in good form but he doesn’t diet. He’s taken a lifetime to learn, develop and perfect this formula and it works for him.

I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I’m perfecting my formula. Authenticity is crucial in figuring out what works best for us. When fitness is my goal, walking, cycling, hiking, and swimming work best. I can’t (and don’t want to) train like an NFL wide receiver. Regardless of what we see happening around us or what others might be doing, we have to focus on our own best practices. With consistency and adjustments along the way, we will perfect our own formula, just like Jerry Rice.

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

–William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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