How To Change Exercise Failure Into Fitness Success

I’m having surgery.

Right now.


Two weeks ago I went to see a doctor about a spot on my nose. It was removed and sent to the lab for a biopsy. One week ago, I was called with the results. That spot had “traces of cancer”. It’s called basal cell carcinoma…a very common form of skin cancer.

Today, I’m having surgery to remove the cancer. How can I write this while surgery is happening on my face, you might wonder?

The procedure works like this. They numb my nose and then cut off a very thin piece of skin. That takes only ten minutes. They walk that sliver back into the lab for analysis. That requires about an hour. While they are doing that, I’m free to write.

If they determine there is still more cancer cells on my nose they cut off another thin slice and I have another hour to write. They keep doing this until they are satisfied all the cancer has been removed. After that will stitch me up, apply a bandage, and send me on my way.

Today’s cancer surgery is likely the consequence of my reckless years of sun exposure without sunscreen…or adequate sunscreen.

I love summer. I love feeling the sun on my skin. And, I kinda like my skin tanned instead of bright white. These are pleasures I’ve enjoyed for decades. At the same time, experts have been telling me to wear sunscreen, a protective hat, and avoid the sun during the peak midday hours.

I chose my pleasure over my discomfort.

Last summer, well known money expert, Suze Orman, had emergency surgery to remove a tumor on her spine. She started experiencing symptoms a couple years ago. Those symptoms steadily got worse until Suzi finally went to see a doctor.

An MRI revealed a non-cancerous tumor cutting off 80% of her spinal cord. Within days she had a 12 hour surgery to correct the problem. A few months later, Suze was on the Today Show saying, “Money means nothing if you don’t have your health.”

And, Suze has a LOT of money. That’s actually been her mission in life…to help you and me also have a LOT of money. Suze has written 11 books. Her most recent is titled, “The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+”. 

There is no shortage of resources available to help us prepare financially for retirement. There is also no shortage of voices available urging us to prepare our health for retirement too. 

Yet, I believe many of us pay far more attention to the financial side of retirement which is understandable. We need enough money to retire. We don’t need good health to retire. I’ve heard more than a few people say they will focus on their health once they have more time after they stop working.

Early in our marriage, a neighbor of ours suddenly died. We didn’t know the woman, but our next door neighbor did. She told us how sad it was that Mrs. Albright passed away because they had just retired and had so many plans. 

Mrs. Albright never got to enjoy the fulfillment of those plans. There’s no guarantee that you or I will have that chance either. The decisions we make today will have an impact on our future health. 

There’s nothing I can do about the teenage me who spent weeks at the beach with no sunscreen and believed a sunburn turns into a good tan. I can’t rewind the clock on those days as a young (and maybe not so young) adult when I simply didn’t feel like enduring the hassle of applying sunscreen and ended up with yet another sunburn.

But, I can control how I spend my time in the sun from this day forward.

If you have a history of making poor exercise choices, you can’t undo that. But, the good news is you do have control of those choices today and moving forward. 

And, even more good news. Even if you have a history of exercise failure, success is mere steps away. Walking can be great exercise. It is flexible, sustainable, effective, and fun! The key is starting small to build an exercise habit. That habit creates fitness momentum that eventually leads to fitness transformation.

I’ve created a 30 Day Fitness Challenge that will help you transform your everyday walking into a fitness activity. This guide is free to download so you can get started TODAY.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the brand new Fitbit Inspire 2! The Inspire 2 has double the battery life, and also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.

(By the way…if you use the link above to buy a Fitbit Inspire 2 this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)

I also recommend subscribing to this blog for weekly encouragement and motivation. Establishing and maintaining a fitness habit is not easy. Receiving a regular article to help you keep moving forward might be the difference maker you need. To subscribe simply click FOLLOW (to the right if you’re reading on a computer or below if you’re on your phone)


  1. I really dislike winter and cold weather. Consequently, any walking habit developed has fallen by the wayside, also , dislike gyms……and with covid walking indoors at malls and such is not advisable. Looking for suggestions!

  2. I have a Fitbit but I’m considering switching to a Garmin or possibly a Samsung smart watch. Your thoughts?
    Hope your surgery went well.

    • My experience has been limited to Fitbit products. I’ve been very happy with them. My current Fitbit is the Inspire HR and I love it. My wife has a Garmin which she loves. She’s a runner and the Garmin she uses allows her to do a deep dive into the stats of each run.

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