A Dad’s Point-of-View: I Don’t Have Time (For My Health)

By Bruce Sallan
Bruce Sallan
Bruce Sallan
I have the greatest car dealer service rep around. So great that I actually get my car serviced AT the dealership which is against my religion (figuratively). We all know we pay more for service at a dealership. But, I bring my car there because I love “Mark,” my service rep.

One day I went in to see Mark for a quick question and learned he was out “sick.” When I pressed a bit further, I learned he had had a heart attack. Given how young he was (in his forties), I was quite surprised.

A couple of months later, thankfully, Mark was back on the job. We spoke at length about what happened. He said he had a mild heart attack and needed to monitor his diet and exercise more, per the doctors. He didn’t appear severely overweight, but he did have a moderate sized gut (not much bigger than my own). I didn’t know his diet habits. Given that my wife also has heart attack risks, I urged Mark to pay heed to those recommendations.

My next visit and conversation with Mark is what inspired the writing of this column. When I asked him how he was doing with his exercise and diet, he replied that he didn’t have time. I asked him if he loved his children, to which he quickly responded, “of course.” I asked the same question and got the same response about his wife. Then I asked, “Then, why are YOU NOT taking care of your health? Don’t they depend on you? Don’t you want to walk your daughter down the aisle when she gets married?”

Given the rapport I have with Mark, he wasn’t offended by my direct and pointed questions. He knew I was coming AT HIM with affection and genuine concern. We continued the dialogue and he continued to protest that his day was just too packed to find time to exercise. We didn’t really delve into his diet.

One of the things that keep him busy, he said, was taking his son to soccer. I asked him why he couldn’t PLAY soccer with his son? I asked why he couldn’t jog around the field when his son was playing, still keeping an eye on the game. He didn’t have an answer. His face reflected the truth. He just didn’t feel motivated to do the exercise. Time was an excuse.

At that point, I asked his permission to write this column and assured him I’d not use his name (or place of employment). He laughed a “yes” and I will forward this to him when it’s published.

I Don’t Have the Time? EXCUSE ME? What kind of excuse is that? Do you want to live? Do you want to be there for your family and friends? You don’t have the time? YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME? Really?

My wife’s middle name is “I’m so busy” or “I’m so tired.” I often say this because I hear it so often. She doesn’t work (at a regular job), doesn’t have to take care of young kids (other than me), does golf a lot, and yet she’s always “busy” and/or “tired.” There’s no doubt that my wife does plenty for me and the family in the household and so much more but I believe she, too, has a time issue just like Mark.

You don’t have time to exercise when your LIFE depends on it? My wife has the same issues as Mark, but she does prioritize exercise and even got a trainer once a week to push her further. She gets up early every morning and often goes to the gym to do some cardio. The rest of her day is extremely busy with golf, shopping, and lunch. But, this time issue is not exclusively her issue or Mark’s – we hear this so often from so many people.

I don’t get it! Your health depends on exercise and diet -– more so if you’ve got a propensity towards one problem or another. There are so many things that Mark could do to make time for exercise. The simplest is right there in front of him -– play soccer with his son. How much time does Mark (or my wife, for that matter) spend in front of a television set? Might either be able to give up this or that show or is it essential to their quality of life?

We all know the answer. It’s sort of like when I was dating and a woman said she was too busy to go out. I knew that was bull; she just wasn’t interested enough to make the time. Are you interested enough to make the time to maintain and improve your health? I hope when Mark reads this; he takes a better look at his schedule!

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Bruce is the author of “The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad’s Point-of-View” and “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation.” He gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate, as well as explaining Social Media to the world in layman terms. He carries out his mission with not only his books and his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated worldwide, his “I’m NOT That Dad” vlogs, the “Because I Said So” comic strip, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Join Bruce and his extensive community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6-7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts.


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