A Zest for Life

I’m not one to be excited about it, but it’s my birthday. I made it another year (hopefully;) and I’m probably out running as you read this. 4 years ago the thought of my birthday scared the shit out of me. Another year closer to death is the way I looked at it… Males don’t live very long in my family for many reasons, but heart attacks seem to be a leading cause.
Now that I’ve bummed you out while you’re drinking your Sunday morning coffee- this is why I have a zest for life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and I’m here to pack as much into the time I have left as possible. One day you’ll be reading my obituary and I’d like it to be about 10 pages long, full of stories, love and happiness.

Yes, I have a LOT of energy. Yes, I wake up at crazy times and sleep very little on a regular basis. Yes, I like to run crazy distances (you should see how far some of my friends run!). I want to skydive someday, climb mountains and I would love to spend every waking moment outside, traveling, running and doing anything other than sitting behind my desk…

Someone asked me the other day- How do you have so much energy? Don’t you get tired? What’s your secret?
My secret? It was being 400 pounds, lazy and not being able to do what I wanted to do… I watched many of my friends living my dreams. I watch the way successful people walk, talk, act and live their life. It’s a real bummer to watch others do something and know you physically can’t do it.
My changes haven’t happened overnight. My energy didn’t just show up one day. I’ve always been adventurous, but it was usually where can we go to get the drunkest and have a good time. What crazy stunt could we pull to top the last one?! Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast in college doing these things. Kansas, Vegas, Canada- you name it, we road tripped it! We were the life of the party where ever we went.
So I guess I’ve always had a bit of adventure in me… I have just refocused it toward something more positive than partying like a freakin’ rock star. When the booze left my daily habits, I ate less, slept less, felt better, and have found running. I also have more productive goals (imagine that!). Now I have the energy to do whatever I want when I want. I love the feeling that when I wake up in the morning and just start moving,. I’m free- I have no physical restraints on what tomorrow holds. I guess this is where my zest for life comes from.
I talked last week about the Runner’s High. I think the “high” I get from running has a lot to do with my energy for life. When we are doing something we hate, it takes every ounce of energy to complete the task. Believe me, my M-F 8-5 is exactly how I know how much energy it takes to “get through the day”. It takes more energy for me to sit quietly than it does for me to wake up at 3 am and run 20 miles. Why? One lines up with my goals, dreams and is really enjoyable, while the other is something I “have to do”.
I was once told that if your goals, standards, and actions line up with your heart, you will be unstoppable. If you’re missing just one aspect, you’ll be miserable. In my personal life, I am lucky enough to have everything lined up. As I continue working on my professional life and lining up my daily goals and actions, I hope I will create even more energy around me.
Being around running, friends, positivity just keeps creating more energy. The better I feel, the more people around me that are smiling, the more time I get to spend doing what I love doing- the more energy I seem to have. As the boys get older and more active, it gives me more of an incentive to keep pushing so I don’t have to be a “sideline” parent. I hope my positive energy rubs off on others. They say you’re only as old as you feel and I feel about 22. 🙂

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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