CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's a tough pill to swallow when you become the thing you used to disdain.
In my case, what I've become is middle-aged.
And it's not so much middle age, per se, as it is the notion that I have to resort to tricks and gimmicks to get myself into shape.
Used to be, I relied on sheer effort and discipline to maintain health and fitness. I took a quiet pride in that.
And, yeah, I kind of looked down my nose at folks relying on ThighMasters and esoteric diets to stay trim and thin.
As the numbers on the scale have crept steadily upward and I retrace my steps as to how I got where I am, I realize that I'm probably on the same path my elders took.
When you're only responsible for and answerable to a schnauzer, it's easy to spend an hour or more at the gym five or six days a week.
When you're at the beck and call of two children and held accountable for by a wife, well, there are only so many hours left in a day for yourself.
(And, if the children are under age 3, you'd rather spend those hours sleeping.)
What I didn't recognize in my youth, I realize now: Life happens. That's how I got to where I am - just like everybody else.
My tipping point came during a series of yoga stretches to relieve an aching back. I'd fallen off their daily use years ago.