Keep Moving Forward, There's Only One Finish Line and We Ain't Crossed It Yet.

Let’s face it… there are millions of fitness blogs and websites out there these days. While some are just out to grab a chunk of the 80 billion dollars the health and fitness industry generates every year, most of them are written by amazing  people, who really know what they are talking about. They usually have years of education and experience behind them and typically, they are experts at what they do.

I am not one of these people.

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“I hate this crap” I heard myself say as I stepped outside to start the vehicles that morning. Thanks to winter deciding to arrive a month early, and me being too cheap to spring for a remote starter, warming up the vehicles has become an odious task that both my wife and I dread. On mornings that we leave the house around the same time, I’ll typically try to be the man of the house and start them, but I won’t deny there are some days that I’ll be slow to get my boots on in hopes that she’ll take one for the team and fire them up for us. She’s quick to catch on to this strategy, however and when she sees I’m stalling, will say something along the line of “If you’re going out to start your car, can you start mine too?” and out I go into the tundra.

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It was time.

I had been fearing this moment for the better part of the last two weeks. I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant, but there was no use putting it off any longer. The answer to my question was right in front of me and I knew I needed to face the truth. Continue reading

This is our new friend Georgi. Her real name was Georgina, but everyone on the island refers to her simply as Georgi. Georgi was our tour guide on our tour of the island country of Dominica. She was the sweetest lady with the most beautiful soul, and loved the island she called home very much. She greatly enjoyed telling us all she knew about it and her eyes would light up when you would ask her a question, to which she would answer with great excitement and detail.

Except for Maria.

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Last week I posted the picture above on social media as a gag, but what started out as light hearted attempt at humor, turned into what I think was a poorly worded, confusing message. So what do you do when an ambiguous statement needs clarification? Why, you write about it in your blog of course. Now this may not fit the format of my blog, since it isn’t about health or fitness, but it’s my blog and I’m throwing it out there anyway. You can do that when your a blogger.

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The other day, my wife and I went out for dinner and a drink at a unique bar / restaurant. I don’t know if unique is the right word, but it was on the deck of an old style, twin-masted schooner, in the harbor of one of Maine’s more popular tourist towns,  so to me that qualifies as unique. Anyhow, we sat down and went over the drink menu. Lori (my wife) expressed interest in a cocktail called the “Rum Bucket”, but being as how a bucket of rum seemed a little much for her, and I wouldn’t be able to help her polish it off, she went for the individual “Rum Glass” option. I ordered a local draft beer and we sat on the deck of this rather cool ship and watched the kayaks pass by and the seagulls poop on the patrons at the restaurant across the harbor (there’s a funny story that goes along with that, remind me to tell you later). Continue reading

A little over a week ago, a very close friend of mine contacted me with some terrible news. A mutual friend of ours had passed away from a work related injury. I was floored by the news. Even though Kenny, or “Skinny” as he was more commonly called, had never really taken very good care of himself, it still came as a tremendous shock. He lived a hard life and probably drank and smoked way too much. But that’s just the way he was, despite a number of health issues, he seemed to show a total disregard for his safety or well-being. He battled diabetes for close to thirty years, but never let it slow him down, working his ass off doing roofing and siding jobs for most of his adult life. He certainly wasn’t the biggest guy you’d ever meet, but nothing seemed to scare the man. I remember watching him jumping off cliffs at the quarries when we were younger. It could be debated whether it was bravery or stupidity, but he would do back flips off ledges that most of us wouldn’t dare jump from. He also never took shit from anyone either. He stood his ground always, no matter who you were, and get a few beers in him, he’d throw down with anyone no matter how big they were. Without a doubt, he was fearless, and tough, walking away from a number of misadventures and accidents that would’ve laid any normal man out. Because of this we all knew that someday his life style would catch up to him, but we didn’t think it would be so soon. Last week, Skinny’s luck ran out. For whatever reason, he had fallen from the roof he was working on, and just like that, one of the bravest, and kindest hearts I ever knew left us.

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On the left is me in May 2017, to the right is me a few weeks ago. This is what happens when you get lazy. Even my phone got fatter.

I wrestled with the decision to post this for quite a while, because let’s face it… this is not my proudest moment. But I said in the when I made my first post that this blog was going to chronicle the ups and downs of an everyday guy trying to get in shape. Unfortunately at this point, I seem to be going more down than up, and definitely headed in the wrong direction.

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Go find a group picture that you’re in. It can be any type of group picture, like a class picture or a wedding party… high school reunion… anything like that, but it has to be one that you’re in with a number of other people. Seriously, find one on Facebook or something and come back when you’re done.

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

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Mark on the Moon

This isn’t an actual photo of me on the moon, I edited it in case you couldn’t tell.

So you made a New Year’s resolution to get in shape. No big deal, millions of Americans do it every year. And, like millions of Americans, you got a few weeks into it and you stopped. You slowly started eating too much of the wrong things and your gym attendance dropped off to nothing. Before you knew it you were right back where you started. Typically, this is the point when we go into “screw it” mode and put off our plan for a while, promising ourselves we’ll start jogging when it gets warmer outside, or go back to the gym when it’s less crowded. History will show us though, that when it gets warmer and the gym gets less crowded, we are too deep into our old bad habits and “screw it” mode turns into “maybe next year..” Still, it’s really no big deal, I totally get it. I’m going through the same thing myself right now. Except I’m past the “screw it” and “maybe next year” modes and have moved on to “Dammit! You do this every figgin’ time!”

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Ah yes, the famous “Journey of a thousand miles…” quote. Lao-Tzu laid that little gem on us some 2500 years ago, and because most consider him to be the father of Taoism,  it is believed he was referring to embarking on a spiritual journey, or undertaking  some monumental task. I, on the other hand, like to think he was talking about starting a new diet and exercise program. They say he was in pretty good shape for an old fella, so it could be true. Continue reading

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