Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Story

This is an old posting from another site from August 2010.

In December I will be 40 years old. My body weight currently is the same as it was when I was a senior in high school (about 170 pounds; I’m about 5’11”) and I wear the same or smaller sizes of clothing. I can actually fit comfortably into my high school letter jacket. In the last year or so I have run a 5k in 21:38 (6:58/mile), a 10k in 47:01 (7:34/mile), and a half marathon in 1:45:27 (8:03/mile.) I can complete a sprint distance triathlon (swim 400 meters; bike 13 miles; run 5k) in about 1 hour and 16 minutes. In many smaller races I frequently place in my age group. I can do 10 pull ups or 50 push ups when I’m fresh. Please do not interpret this as boasting, I am illustrating a point. I have not always been this fit, fast, or strong. Although I have been a student of fitness for about 25 years, I have not always applied this knowledge of fitness to myself.

After high school, I enjoyed college: I overindulged and became chubby and unfit. After college I became fit again, but later returned to college and became unfit once more. At the time, I used the excuses of both working and going to school full time, playing in a band, meeting a lovely lady who was an excellent cook, and being too busy most of the time to exercise or to eat healthy. Ultimately, I weighed somewhere around 230 pounds—it was not all muscle. I was pudgy, tired, and weak—not at all healthy or happy. I chose to make a change.

I started with weight training and avoiding junk food. I later started running and entered 5k races for the sake of having a goal. I read a lot about nutrition including The Circadian Prescription and Eat Right 4 Your Type. I lost weight and got leaner and stronger, but I was still over 200 pounds. I drank a lot of water. I started cycling. I didn’t eat late in the evening. I tried the Weight Watchers program with my wife; informally for about a month, then strictly for 2 months losing 25 pounds in those 2 months. While my weight has fluctuated, I have essentially maintained that weight loss since March 2006. I have continued to train hard and smart and eat a nutritious diet. As I near the age of 40, my performance is still improving.

With hindsight, I attribute my success to several things which do not include athletic prowess (I was never a great athlete) or genetic gifts (I am by far the fittest person in my family.) First, I chose to make a change in my life. I decided to take action to improve a situation in which I was unhappy. Second, I set goals to give myself direction. Metaphorically, I needed to know where I was going so I wouldn’t get lost. Third, I developed a training regimen, the method to achieve my goals. Finally, I was disciplined in implementing that plan. I trained hard and trained consistently. Ultimately, I achieved my goals and I continue to set more aggressive goals and advance my training regimen accordingly.

In reality I am no different than anyone else. I have struggled and have had difficulty with discipline and consistency. Because of that struggle and insight I am able to help others on similar journeys toward a healthy and fit lifestyle, toward competing and excelling in their desired activities. I have “been there; done that.”

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