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Fit For Life: Why Are We Here

Sunday, March 18, 2018


With today’s culture of busyness, hectic schedules, and scrambling from morning ‘til night to get things accomplished, we very rarely stop, and look deep into the why we are doing what we are doing.

We do what we do to accomplish what we think is important. We get up and workout, eat a healthy breakfast to better our health. We go to work for security and to earn an income and provide for ourselves and our families. We all feel that what we are doing is important, and it is to us. But sometimes we all miss the big picture, and when we hear or read something that sinks in deep, we look up and say ah ha.

I just finished a book written by a guy named Lewis Howes called “The Mask of Masculinity”. It was the second book I have read by him, and I have heard him speak at a business summit a couple of years ago. I also listen to his podcasts. He gets some great guests, and I always retain some nugget to apply to myself improvement journey. I like his content because he seems real, and I can relate to a lot of his material. In the “Mask” book he describes the many masks men feel they need to wear in order to live up to the expectations society places on men. Things like the Stoic mask, The Material mask, The Joker mask, the know it all, and alpha mask are just a few of the masks men wear (myself included) to validate to the world that we are “real” men.

It’s a great book and I recommend both males and females read it. Every chapter is interesting, but the conclusion is what hit me the most. It ends like this: If you were on your deathbed and you wanted to measure what kind of man you were, and what kind of success you had in life, it’d come down to two things.

The first is this: On that deathbed you recognize that all life is about relationships, it’s about the capacity to love and be loved. What does it mean to be a man? It means you can look somebody in the eye and say, “I love you” and receive that love back.

You know what the questions you ask at the end of your life are? They are not about awards, achievements or what you accumulated. They are all questions of relationships. What kind of husband/boyfriend was I? What kind of father/uncle? What kind of partner? What kind of son? What kind of friend? Who did I love, and who did I allow to love me?

The second comes down to this: At the end of your life you want to be able to look back on your life and know you made a difference. That you left some kind of mark, some kind of imprint, that you were here. All of us want to leave some kind of legacy behind.

This is the part that got me thinking the most. Although the whole book was good, this hit the hardest. It made me stop and ask myself why I do what I do, and it brought me some clarity and vision about what’s really important. I started asking myself the first set of questions. What kind of person have I been to date? Then I asked myself, how can I be better now. I don’t want to be lying on my death bed “wishing” I was a better person, because it will be too late. We all have room to improve in all areas of life, so reading something like this prompts me to take immediate action, and work on being a better man and creating better relationships.

The second part boils down to why I do what I do. Yes, I want to be a successful business man and earn a lot of money, so I can buy freedom and a few material things, but I want to earn it doing good things for other people. I am hoping that I can leave behind a legacy of helping people live better lives through health and fitness. I am hoping that with the money I earn, I can create better lives for people working for me and improve their livelihood and mentor them to do great things for others also. I am hoping that I can be charitable and help others in need. I am hoping that people attending my funeral say, “Yeah Matt was a hard ass, thick headed guy but he helped me change my life for the better”.

I heard a quote that said…Don’t work for money, work for people. When you do good things for others, the money will come. Give and you will receive 10 times more.

So, in conclusion, I feel that it’s important to stop and think about why we are here, what we want to accomplish, and how are we going to leave our signature on this world.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the chaos that surrounds us. It’s also easy to spend a lot of our time being concerned with trivial bullshit that doesn’t really matter. We are all guilty of it, so ask yourself…what is it that makes good people good?

Take an inventory and decide what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind.

Then start taking action today, because we will never know when our time will run out.

Committed to your success.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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