A Guy Like Me… Revisited…

In my last article, I wrote about how my granddaughter had pointed out that I had become squishy, and what I believed I needed to do to correct my direction. I likened my situation to rowing a boat and getting spun around by a storm. Then, when the weather cleared, it was as easy as picking up the oars and start rowing again to get where you want to be.

But I realized there may be more to it than that. I still stand by my belief that life’s going to mess up your plans, and you can’t beat yourself up just because you slid backwards a bit. But moving forward again may not be all that easy. I mean, after all… if you were hit that hard by rough weather, how do you even know where you are, let alone which way you need to start going again?

So I got to thinking, maybe there’s more to it. Maybe you have to take a good hard look at where you are right now and re-evaluate where you want to go.

Maybe you even need to take a hard look at where you’ve been.

So I did just that, and went back to my very first post… the one that started it all more than three years ago. Do I still have the same goals? The same beliefs? The same drive? I began this project with unbelievable ambition, but I did not anticipate the obstacles I’d encounter, or the distractions I’d face. Even more so, I definitely did not expect the events that would stop me in my tracks and make me question everything I was doing or if any of it was even worth it.

So below is my first post “ Why Would A Guy Like Me Be Writing A Blog” It was a real long article, and one I consider to be among my best work, but I edited it down a bit so you could read it in one sitting, and hopefully not fall asleep halfway through it. You can read the whole thing here if you really want, but this covers the general idea.

I plan on doing this with some of my other favorite posts too, in an effort to share them with some of my new readers, but mostly to remind myself of what I set out to do, and to help motivate me to keep moving forward. I hope you enjoy them.

Why Would A Guy Like Me Be Writing A Blog

Not your average fitness guru.

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 legit, and 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.

Some have even gone through amazing personal transformations or life changing experiences that have made them grow as individuals. Using their dynamic personalities, they share their stories and experiences to help motivate and inspire others to overcome their own personal obstacles.

I’m not one of those people either.

Frankly, I am pretty much the opposite of these folks. I know very little about health or fitness, and for the record, I’m really not even sure what a blog is.

In fact, I’ve spent the better part of my adulthood making incredibly bad life choices. Nothing too terrible mind you, just the basic run of the mill poor health decisions that plague most adults in our society today: smoking, drinking and eating Awesome food. I call it Awesome food because even though it will kill you, foods like cheese fries, tacos and calzones are Awesome, and I refuse to say an unkind word about them.

Add the fact that I got little or no exercise most of my life and you can probably start to get an idea of my current physical condition. I have never been what anyone would refer to as athletic, nor have I ever been physically fit (except when I joined the Army, but I’ll save that story for later).

Like most folks my age, I woke up one day, and realized to my horror that forty-some-odd years of my life had passed and I was in terrible shape. My blood pressure was elevated, along with my cholesterol. My knees and back were shot from what I liked to think was the result of working hard as a young man, but in reality it was more than likely the result of being lazy as an old man, carrying around twenty pounds of fat that I didn’t need.

The only smart move I had made in the past few years was giving up smoking, but because of the all the years I had smoked, my lungs were junk. The mistakes from my past had started to creep up on me and the time to pay the proverbial piper was drawing near. I figured if I didn’t do something quick, my time on this planet would be drastically cut short.

Me in all my glory, roughly five years ago. The sad thing is I really believed I was making the bow of that boat look good!

So I did what every adult does when the realization of their pending senior years become painfully evident, and the thought of being an invalid was becoming a reality: I made a vow to change.

Two or three days later, I woke up and made that vow again when my first vow didn’t stick. A few weeks later I had to make that vow again after slowly reverting back to my evil ways. Then again… and again…. You get the idea. The pattern just kept repeating itself and I kept slipping back into my old routine.

They say “the road to disaster is paved with good intentions”, well apparently the road to nowhere is too, because even though my  intentions were good, I always lacked the drive and determination to effectively change my habits.  There was something I wasn’t doing right, but I didn’t know what it was.

As I approached my 50th  birthday, I realized that I was in the worst shape of my life. I was close to 235 pounds, my blood pressure and cholesterol were at the point of needing to be medically treated, and I had fallen into a severe state of depression. Suddenly my unhealthy lifestyle had stopped being a game. The joke was over and I could no longer accept that fact that growing older meant I had to be fat and out of shape.

After three years of vowing to get in shape, you can see I was looking pretty ripped.  At age 49, I wasn’t getting very far. Plus that was one of the coldest summers I can remember.

I had a lot of friends like this, and we all made light about our situation . One of my buddy’s favorite sayings was “I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time!” He’d proclaim this proudly when we were out drinking and some killjoy would tell us we should slow down. He’d also love to say “No one dies healthy,” when it was suggested he should give up some of his bad habits. Well, he was right. His good time ended at the ripe old age of 46.

He was also right about dying healthy… he wasn’t. His life was cut short by an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm most likely caused from tobacco use, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. His death hit me harder than a punch square in the face, and made me look at the way I’d been living.

He did not need to die young, and neither do I. It is true that I’m not here for a long time, but whatever time I do have left, I don’t want to spend it heavily medicated or dragging an oxygen bottle around on the back of my scooter while I’m shopping at Wal-Mart. Don’t get me wrong, I got nothing against scooter shoppers, I just really don’t ever want to be one of them, and now I believe that I don’t have to be.

So this brings us back to the original question:

Why am I writing this blog?

Because I want to find out if it is too late.  After treating my body like a landfill for the last fifty years, am I too far gone to turn things around?  Can an average working guy who has never been physically fit – EVER –  alter his lifestyle in a manner that will allow him to get in shape and get healthy enough  to enjoy his golden years?

And possibly the most important question HOW DO I DO IT?

That’s what this blog is all about. I’m going to explore as many health and fitness options as I can. Things like CrossFit, running, Yoga, maybe some martial arts and other goofy shit that may be fun and even possibly be beneficial. I’ll write about what it was like for me at least and if it sounds like something you may want to try, then knock yourself out, because you know if I did it, then anyone can. I’ll also try a variety of diets and nutrition plans and hopefully find an acceptable way to eat healthy without totally giving up all the food I love, because like I said before, food is Awesome. It is one of the things that makes life worth living and there is no sense in reaching my 100th birthday if I have to eat tofu and grass for the next fifty years. Plus I absolutely refuse to live in a world without Ice Cream.

IMG_4070 (1)
I’m not kidding when I say I love food. I ate at this restaurant when I was visiting Charlotte last year, and it was so Awesome that when I was coming home from Myrtle Beach six months later,  I drove 200 miles out of my way just for their Cajun Meat loaf. It was so worth it!

Maybe all of these things will work.

Maybe none of them will.

Maybe we can be here for a good time, as well as a long time. I don’t know.

What I do know is you have to make the decision to get healthy alone, but you don’t have to do it alone, so that’s why I’m writing this blog.

We won’t only survive the Filthy Fifties, we will come out of them better than ever.

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