It started with a simple interest; an outdoor hobby. “I can do this and get into shape!”, I thought. It’s been two years and that didn’t work out. The hobby is strong and branched to other related facets. I throw boomerangs and now I’ve been making them. That’s great — but it didn’t meet my goal.
This is the fifth week now that I’ve came in late twice a week and sat on my couch wreaking of sweat. After a brief moment and, if I’m lucky, some good night wishes to the family it is off to the shower. Cleansing myself of perspiration is bitter sweet. I didn’t get this way by accident and I don’t want to so cavalierly whisk that work down the drain. On the other hand, I smell like a gym so in I go.
Along my journey over these several years I have had some key motivators:
* Being denied for whole life insurance
* Being recommended for Gastric Bypass
* My mom’s 2 heart attacks
* My grandma’s heart attack and subsequent… afflictions as a result
* My wife having to think and prepare for when I’m not going to be around after I’m 40
* A wonderful new community of active and passionate new friends (I’m talking about you, fellow boomers)
* A rally of support from new friends, old friends and my family
Some of these motivators speak to situations about myself that I can control and, indeed, have been controlling my whole life. I’ve just been choosing food and slothfulness over hard work and dedication. I’ve chosen food and slothfulness over years with my 2 kids and my lovely wife. I’ve chosen food and slothfulness over all those that love me and have ever invested in me in any way. With each passing year I ate my way higher up the scale. Actually, I ate my way right off my bathroom scale to a staggering 319 pounds. It is very much a poor way to show how much you value those that value you.
I say these things in a hope that someone out there can relate; that someone out there needs a push, a nudge, a pull or a shared experience. I say them so that they are real for me and that I am openly honest with and about myself.
If you’ve made it this far: thank you. It’s the good stuff. It’s the progress. It’s the hard work and dedication. It’s the results. I’m coming home twice a week after working all day to a family usually in bed for a reason. It isn’t because I don’t love them; it is because I do love them very much.
An old flame was rekindled 7 weeks ago during a Taekwondo demonstration at my local library by Grand Master Chung and his students. It was small and simple and I couldn’t have been more enraptured. After some deliberation I decided to go back to martial arts and to do it by studying Taekwondo with Grand Master Chung. I’m 5 weeks and 7 pounds in. A friend of mine (Ben) is in no small way to thank for this also. We began a journey of health at work together (walking, tracking and encouraging) on January 3rd. Ever the opportunist, he seized on my passion for martial arts and my new desire to push myself forward. I’ve lost 12 pounds since we started in January. I continue to receive encouragement from my wife, Misty, as she has always provided me. She’s stood beside me and one day I hope that she can stand beside me with some greater comfort that I’ll be here longer then my 40’s. It is never a guarantee but it sure is a goal.
I have NEVER in my life felt more dedication to getting this done and putting in the hard work needed than I am right now. My road has just begun. I feel like I’m still in the honeymoon phase and I know the day will come when my enthusiasm will wane. When it does I will need you. I will need the strength, encouragement and love of you; you who continues to read my story and to care for me. Thank you for that.
Despite all the stories and encouragement of others throughout the years what I was doing never really mattered and I never fully appreciated who I was doing it to. I don’t expect this story to inspire and ignite the passion required to commit yourself to health but I do hope that it breaks down one more barrier for someone who desires it deep inside. Find your passion, find yourself and you’ll find happiness.