Dread level 3 is starting to build your life outside your wife. This is hard for a lot of guys here (including me). But it is critical to get out of the house at least twice a week MINIMUM and interact with other people. Without doing so, it’s damned near impossible to imagine a life without your wife. Once you start meeting others and realize that you’re an interesting person – you start to internalize “I’m the prize, look at all these people I can talk to and have fun with”.
At the same time, you should be exercising (you better fucking be lifting already).
By making efficient use of your most precious resource – your time, you can burn some calories and get more social.
Find a local basketball, softball, ultimate frisbee, whatever league. If you have a few friends already, get some to join with you. If you don’t… join anyways. Don’t know how to play? Who cares, go have fun, make fun of yourself for being so bad. You easily can meet new people while having fun. Bonus if it’s co-ed as you can work on talking to the opposite sex.
Look into if there’s a hiking group in your area. Most of these meet up at a few times a month and have a diverse group of people. If you like the outdoors – this could be perfect.
For me, this is far and away the best activity to get you out. There are so many benefits:
You build a useful life skill (how to fight/defend yourself)
You’re a man, you are expected to know how to defend yourself and those weaker than you. If someone attacked your family while out and about – could you defend them?
There are a wide range of age groups
In my class there are teenagers up to 50+. There are also a few hot women which is a bonus. Get to know everyone.
You get a great workout
An hour of martial arts burns a shit load of calories. You’ll gain coordination and flexibility. The best sleep I get is Monday and Wednesday after Muay Thai.
It builds a huge amount of confidence
In the past, if someone started yelling in my face wherever it may be, I’d think “holy shit what if he hits me”. That goes away quickly when you know that you can defend yourself leading to more confidence. Don’t do anything stupid picking fights, but just internalizing this leads to a lot less fear in your life.
It is an emotional outlet to hit things and other people
Are you angry about your wife, job, life? You won’t be after an hour punching, kicking, or grappling. You’ll be too fucking tired.
While any martial art probably works – I recommend BJJ, Muay Thai, or MMA. Something where you’re actively practicing against an opponent. Read about the different styles and find something that fits you. Take some time (like a week – not months) to research gyms in the area, price them out (some places can really be rips offs). The best places are usually the hole in the walls not the Mega-Complex Super Duper Martial Arts Academy.
Anxiety and You
“But I’m not any good at any of these things, I have no eye hand coordination and am a fat ass.”
You’re going to be nervous about starting anything new. The best way to overcome that is to just start. You may have a queasy stomach, your brain telling you you’re crazy to do this, fear of being embarrassed.
Kill that ego. Everyone was new at some point and you’re not going out to be the next UFC champion or NBA star. You’re going out to HAVE FUN, get some exercise, and talk to other people. When you start anything new it’s uncomfortable – this is a good thing it means you’re improving yourself. The most important thing you can do is show up. Showing up is 95% of the battle because your brain will find every excuse not to – especially at the beginning.
Sticking with It
As a general rule, I aim to stick with something for at least 6 months before allowing myself to drop it. At the beginning of martial arts, I hated how uncoordinated I was, how much better everyone was, how out of shape I was. I would have called it quits a few weeks in, but I pushed through. Fast forward six months and I can’t wait for the classes, I talk to people there, I know their names, we tease each other about shit. Oh, and I’m much more coordinated, as good or better than a few people, and in much better shape. So whatever the activity is, try to give yourself 6 months of consistent effort and showing up before you call it quits. And if you do call it quits, you’re quitting THAT activity and finding a NEW one.
Prepare for the Shit Testing
You will be tested for whatever you do. Realize this is normal. At first it may be teasing you or eye rolls asking “how long will this last”. Think about it – you are a fat or lazy ass with no activities and now want to go out and do something physical (of course it's laughable)? I think my wife damned near had a heart attack and then laughed her ass off when I said I was going to Muay Thai (not that I was thinking about doing Muay Thai, that I was GOING there that evening). She doesn’t laugh now. She brags about it to her friends - there was some pictures taken of our class that she’s shared on her Instagram. Now, she asks me what I learned when I get back home. Think about it - does your wife want to tell other people: "yeah my husband's lazy and just hangs around the house" OR "yeah my husband does Thai Kickboxing a few times a week". One of these sounds a lot better than the other...
Your woman wants you to be high value and busy. Ignore anything negative she says. Watch out for the attempts at guilt tripping you. “Oh is your martial arts tonight? Wouldn’t you rather stay home with me / the kids?”. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE. She loves it that you’re getting out and doing shit.
It’s not mandatory that you do any of these activities. What IS mandatory is you go out and get away from your wife and talk to other people. For the love of God, be social somewhere for a few hours a week. If you’re introverted – too bad – do it anyways. But if you want to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone – you can get some great cardio in while being social. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding.