Friday, April 24, 2009

Life Lessons

There was a time in my life when I was an absolute mess. I was going nowhere and doing nothing...and I was angry. Oh boy, I was mad at the world because, of course, it was the world's fault that nothing was happening in my life. I never considered looking at myself and seeing what I was doing. I was great on blaming everything and everyone but short on accepting any responsibility at all for my behavior. I don't like to remember the type of person I was back then. I was a first-rate asshole.

I had an epiphany one day when my father finally laid it all out for me. It was harsh. It was blunt. It was given to me out of love and it stabbed right into my soul. The following clip gives the gist of what that talk was about. The words are not quite the same but the meaning is very much there. Watching and listening to Rocky make this speech to his son brings back my own father's talk to me.

It was something that changed my life....and not a moment too soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Boyd and Jay Show

As I mentioned earlier, my friend Boyd and I have teamed up to challenge each other. We do this because we seem to share a common trait that is really pretty common among a lot of people we both know.....we don't stick to doing what we know will work. Losing weight and getting fit is a terribly lonely goal. It's our body and, ultimately, any success or failure is entirely up to us. It's also a goal that takes a tremendous amount of effort and time, so it's very easy to lose focus and shelf your desire for other needs that crop up every day.

A lot of people get around this by getting a personal trainer. I really can't afford one... a good that will ride me like a drill instructor on meth. Some people join groups at gyms such as Terry with Crossfit or Sean who not only works for a gym, but seems to live in it as well. That would be great but there are no options for that where I live. Often times, I am literally the only person at my gym through my entire workout.

So Boyd and I have come up with something. We are going to support, encourage, and hold each other accountable. We're making videos....lots of them. Each of us will be making one every other day. We hope to make them entertaining and inspirational to others, especially as the format evolves over time; but the major purpose of the videos is to remind us that we are not doing what we are doing alone.

And you don't have to do it alone either. The internet makes the world a very small place. Comment or email. Share our experience.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Making Time

There's the old problem that I've often had and I bet that many others have complained about as well. Trying to fit in an exercise routine among all the other things that need to be done during the day.

"I don't have time to go to the gym. I've got things to do and places to be. I sure wish I had a little spare time...then...oh boy, look out...I would really get fit then. If I only had the time."

Well, I do have the time.

Really, one hour a day, that's all. That's even including the drive time back and forth to the gym. One hour. The length of one brain rotting TV show. I could probably do without an episode of American Idiot and not have it effect my life in the slightest. I don't think that I can say that about exercising.

So I'm back to a daily gym trek. I'm going sloooooooow. In the past, my enthusiasm led me to overextend my capacity and I've dropped off due to extreme soreness. That and I've had an overweight friend almost die from a heart attack pushing too hard at a gym recently. As much as I hate to admit it, I need to take into account that I'm not in my twenties anymore and that some of my body parts are a bit worn.

Slow and steady is the ticket. Steady is the key.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kiss that $25 Goodbye

Remember this? I posted it last year when several people on YouTube were getting together to have a bit of challenge. It seemed like a great idea at the time; support each other, have fun, and toss in twenty-five bucks just to make it interesting. Nothing like friendly competition to help with the old motivation.

But then everything started to shall I say this.....complicated.

The rules were vague and seemed to shift day to day. Money from everybody was sent to one of the participants to "hold" and that never seemed quite right to me. This participant also threw out deadlines for photos and progress which, though not effecting him since he was unemployed at the time, was a bit of a chore for the rest of us with busy schedules. Then the original finishing date was canceled and a new one delivered; by this same individual, with a demand for an additional $25 to stay in the game.

I think that was when most of us decided that enough was enough and drifted off. I believe the challenge ended last month though I haven't heard anything about it, and I really don't care. Whoever wound up with the money, plane fare, or whatever it was decided the prize would be...I hope they enjoy it with my blessings.

Why am I blathering about this? Because, despite the dysfunction of the $25 challenge and it's egotistical leader, I still see the value in them. Challenges let you focus your goals and compare your best with others. I'm still in the $100 challenge originated by Brian which has clear cut rules and goals, plus lets you hold on to your own entry fee. The money is not all that important since I would feel good about any of the people in that challenge winning.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be doing a one on one challenge with my friend Boyd. No money. No prizes. Not even any bragging rights or humiliation to the loser. Just a couple of guys spurring each other on in trying to do what we have both wanted to do for a long time....get physically fit.

And we plan to have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Please Don't Arrest Me

I'm rather busy this week in case anybody is wondering why I'm not doing much in the way of blogging. I'm doing training the next few days with area law enforcement. At the police station. Surrounded all day by big men carrying guns.

There was a time in my misspent youth where that would have been pretty much unthinkable...but if I had thought about it.....would have caused severe anxiety and panic.

One benefit of a clean conscience, I suppose. Plus my age seems to avail me a certain level of respect and deference.

Or perhaps they feel that if they really want to take me down, it wouldn't be too much effort.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I Love This Show....I Hate This Show

The Biggest Loser. In case you've never heard of it, the show gathers about a dozen very overweight people and they compete against each other to see who can lose the most pounds. Like all "reality shows" the primary entertainment is with the interpersonal interactions with the contestants.

I'm really hooked on this show. Being that I'm into losing weight and attaining fitness, it's interesting to see how other people are able to achieve their goals. I also find it inspiring because these people are seriously obese....but they pour their hearts into making a transformation of themselves. They work out. Hard! I mean, hours every day of intense exercise with a trainer riding their backs every step of the way.

That's why I hate this show as well.

Who has the option of secluding one's self from the world for a few months to train like that? Not me. As much as I want to lose weight and get fit, it's not the only thing I have going on every day. I have to go to work. I have to maintain a relationship. I have to take care of my household.

I guess I'm just grousing. I get inspired by the contestants putting in real work and achieving real results. Yet, like any reality show, there is very little reality involved.

Still....a good show. If you've never seen it, I recommend you watch an episode. You will get hooked.