By: Todd V. McMurtry, Member, Hemmer DeFrank Wessels PLLC

November 10, 2015 9:22 am EST

We lawyers are a competitive bunch. We all work hard to get ahead and compete in a tough profession.  It is tough because our system is designed primarily to resolve problems and conflicts through an adversarial process.  We always work in opposition to other smart people who also strive to gain an advantage in court and at the negotiating table.  We put in long hours, often under a deadline, to create work product that is flawless.  To be successful, we have to have strength and stamina.  But, as we age, natural forces sap us of our vital energy.  So, what is one to do?

In my opinion, there is a simple answer: diet and exercise. By diet, I do not mean that one is dieting, but that one instead tries to eat healthier foods.  We must eat in way that helps us maintain our energy and weight.  We need to maintain a base level of fitness that allows us meet the many challenges we face every day.  If you have to prepare for trial or work the weekend to close a deal, you need a deep reservoir of mental and physical energy to power through these periodic spurts of heightened activity.

I came to this realization about five or six years ago. I had a five day jury trial.  When the jury finally came back with its verdict at midnight on a Friday night, I was about to collapse.  I had spent most of the past month preparing for trial, including nights and weekends and was deeply tired.  I went home for some well-deserved rest.  But, bright and early Monday morning, the whole process began again.  It did not worry how tired I was, things just moved on.  It was then I realized that to be successful in middle age and beyond, I would need to raise my game so that I could not only handle longer jury trials, but also have more strength and stamina than my opponents.  I began to see physical fitness as a necessity and a competitive advantage.

So, with my wife’s leadership on this topic, I really began to think about what I would eat and how often I would exercise. Since then, we have developed a more plant-based whole foods diet.  Although we still eat meat and fish regularly, we eat less of those foods and more plants.  For me, it has helped.  I do feel healthier and I think it allows me to better maintain my weight.  I know there is no consensus on the best diet, but the key is to find a diet that is best for you.  Our local libraries are full of books on the subject.

With my wife’s constant prodding, I also started to exercise more. I am no fanatic and do not ever plan to run a marathon. But I do walk around 10 miles per week, and I usually have two high-intensity weight workouts with my personal trainer, Chris Yazbeck.  On a good week, I also make a trip or two to Modo Yoga in Crestview Hills.  I think this schedule is compatible with personal and professional success—in other words, you can have a successful home and work life AND workout.

Fitness is a journey, but one I have embraced and now truly enjoy. I hope this article prompts you to consider the next step to optimize your life through diet and exercise.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s). Core Compass’s Terms Of Use applies.

About the author

Todd V. McMurtry is a Member with Hemmer DeFrank Wessels and represents individuals and businesses in complex litigation matters including business disputes, employment, land use, real estate, and construction in the Ohio and Kentucky courts. As well, Todd frequently represents cities and counties in Municipal Law matters. He also serves as a mediator for commercial disputes. Todd can be reached by email at or by phone at 859.344.1188.

physical fitness
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