Owner of Nordic Total Fitness

Will Brumleve, editor of the Paxton Record, recently asked if I would like to write a weekly column about health, fitness, nutrition, etc. He said it might be a good way to motivate people to live a healthier lifestyle. 

Let me start off by saying, I’m not a writer by any means, so if these columns don’t thrill you like Shakespeare, my apologies. I thought and thought about what I should write about, especially for a first time. I thought about what keeps people from starting to live a healthier life, or even better, what keeps people from sticking with it if they do start. To me, it’s one word: motivation.

Everybody is good at something. Some are good at sports, some are good at math, while others are good at playing a musical instrument. Some are just born with it, and it comes naturally, but the ones who are really good are the ones who work at it. 

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player who ever lived, and it’s not even close, in my book. Did he start out that way? If you haven’t heard the story, just know that he was cut from his high school basketball team. However, had that not happened, would he have ended up the greatest? My guess is no. Why? Because it made him hungry. It made him angry. It gave him a reason to get up early in the morning to shoot thousands of shots and the desire to shoot thousands more after school. He was motivated to prove his coaches, doubters, naysayers and more wrong. He wanted to be the best and he worked at it daily to do so.

Many people who start here at Nordic Total Fitness in Paxton have a reason why they walk through the door. Some want to look good for an upcoming trip, while others just want to be healthier. The reason why many don’t stick to a healthier lifestyle, whether it be working out daily, eating right, drinking water, etc., is because they lack the motivation to continue. They don’t have something driving them to achieve a goal. There are people up here who don’t miss a day and are driven to attain a goal. You can see it in their eyes that they are on a mission. Then, I see others who have lost that vision, lost that motivation.

With New Year’s coming soon, many of you will make your yearly resolutions. Quitting smoking is a big one, but one of the main ones is that people want to start working out because their jeans don’t fit after the big meals, cookies, pies and more from Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Those holidays are rough on the waistline. 

The thing I will recommend to you if you wish to join a gym is to ask yourself why you want to do it. Find your motivation. Write it down. Put the reason, or reasons, why you want to get in shape up on your bathroom mirror so you see it daily. I have a poster up above the door here at Nordic that says, "Remember Why You Started." If you have reasons to motivate you, you will be much more likely to stick with it. 

We all admire Michael Jordan for his ability to fly, hit the clutch shots, and the multiple championships. But we often forget what got him there. We can "Be Like Mike" in one way, for sure, and that is by setting a goal and finding the motivation within us to achieve that goal.

Sam Erwin is owner of Nordic Total Fitness in downtown Paxton. Have a question or topic about health or fitness? Email Sam Erwin at Your topic or questions may be included in next week’s edition of the Fitness Forum.