An Ode to Curly and Work-Life Balance: Fitness & Health
I noted that the one thing that I need to maintain – Curly’s finger, if you will – is balance. The balance between managing my practice, being a good husband, father, friend, etc. and taking care of my spirit, mind and body. I previously wrote about the role that food played in this. Now I want to write about fitness and health.
Let me take you back to the previous decade. I was sitting for at least half a day, either behind my desk in a suburban office park or commuting to it in my used grey Dodge Grand Caravan. (That was a sweet, sweet ride.) I had unhealthy habits. My weight was too high. My patience was too low. Way, way too low. In short, I was a mess.
I hit my low point one afternoon when a light-headed feeling and brilliant light show that only I could see prompted a trip to the ER. Everything checked out okay. However, it was clear that I had to change something.
And I did. The following Monday I began a bootcamp program with a predecessor of Sergeant’s Fitness Concepts. Mel introduced me to 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls and bodyweight exercises, including burpees. Lots and lots of burpees. She helped me slowly chip away some of my excess. I began to improve. I dropped weight, gained patience, and frankly, I was up way too early each morning to consider having that extra beer.
After a few years with the Sarge, F3 – an all-men, peer-led volunteer workout program – started holding workouts in the Washington, D.C. area. I had heard of F3 through The Art of Manliness Podcast and always wanted to try it.
And I am glad that I did. Joining F3 has been one of the best decisions in my life after marrying Mrs. Smith. The 3 “Fs” of F3 are Fitness, Fellowship and Faith. The “faith” component does not mean that you had to believe in a certain thing. Rather, it is that you believe in something. We meet each morning at a park or local school (we are outside, rain or shine), usually at 5:30 a.m., and take turns leading a bootcamp-style workout. None of us are professional fitness trainers (in D.C. we seem to have a lot of lawyers), but all of workouts are challenging. (Did you know that there are at least 15 or so push-up variations?) I continued to improve.
What was not expected was the impact that F3 and fitness had on me overall. I found that participating in the workouts were as good for me from the neck up as they were from the neck down. Through working up a good sweat with other like-minded men, F3 helped me get right, live right, lead right and leave right. It taught me that recess is important for adults – probably more so given how we spend the other hours of our days. It also helped me make friends outside the context of my family or workplace. These are good people and good friends. To them, I am not “Ryan, So or So’s Dad” or “Ryan, Associate Blah, Blah, Blah”, but “Ryan” (although they better know me as “Jag”, which is another story). F3 is a leading driver in my quest for balance. And I am better off for it.
Get out there. Find your group. Have recess. Enjoy the benefits.
Thank you for reading this article. Please know that I wrote it for informational purposes only (some may consider it ADVERTISING MATERIAL) and did not intend for it to be legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship with you – especially in jurisdictions where I am not licensed to practice law. I encourage you to seek your own counsel to help you with your specific situation. To that end, I invite you to contact me if you would like to discuss my services.
Ryan Smith is a partner at Practus, LLP and enables broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and their associates spend more time growing their business by helping them with the legal and compliance needs.