Dear Lukas,

What motivates you? Complicated question, for sure. For you right now it might be getting to that next round of Veggie Straws, but life gets more big-picture as you get older.

In this case, I’m talking about what drives my pursuit of health.

Notice the Veggie Straw?

Altruism, engage!

My family history (on both Grandma’s and Grandpa’s sides) is riddled with heart disease and diabetes, so a significant part of my borderline obsession with physical fitness and overall wellness comes from my desire to neutralize genetics.

But, if I’m digging deep down, that kind of thing doesn’t motivate me as much as simply feeling strong and looking good. Sure, it would be nice to have some extra high-quality years at the end of my life, but I’m more of a here-and-now type of person, for better or worse.

I’m not one to measure my waist daily — or ever, for that matter — but I’m constantly reevaluating how my clothes are fitting and whether I’m taking advantage of these broad shoulders.

Vanity? Maybe. But it works!

At the same time, there’s a nugget of pain from my younger days that powers all of this. I think, in a lot of ways, how we view ourselves in middle school or high school tends to stick around, even into full-fledged adulthood. At least, that’s been the case for me. Even though I might have been successful in getting fit and staying fit from my mid-20s onward, I’m still that chubby, clumsy 12-year-old at my core.

So, here’s a proposal I came up with while pounding out some sprints this morning down on the Martorelli Stadium track: I will force myself to spent part of each day shirtless, as a deliberate act of self-acceptance.

That might not sound like that big of a deal to you, but I’m not the Matthew McConaghey type who has to be cajoled to cover up in mixed company … or any company. Basically, all I notice are flaws when I take a second to consider my body. I feel like it’s time to change that, or at least try.

How It Works!

How Do-Goodery Works

I feel like your Mom is the big winner here, right? I’ll approach her for comment.


DAILY STATS via Apple Watch

Calories burned (active): 992
Minutes exercised: 94
Hours stood: 14
Steps taken: 9,831
Physical activity: 12 mph sprints (2:30, 1:30, 1:00 x 6), lower-body strengthening

Hours shirtless: Four(!), including at the dinner table. Mom didn’t say anything.