Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Prophet

It's really pretty amazing all of the response that I've received on my need for help getting back on the wagon. I've received some great advice and a number of private emails from some folks looking for help or looking to share their similar frustrations. I appreciate them all.

When I checked my mail this morning, what awaited me was a five start comment from a guy that found this blog by accident.

Hi Jeff, By accident, I stumbled upon your blog and immediately was sucked into your story. A very inspiring read.

I too am turning my life around and I can very much relate to your experience of running the 10 miles when you realized you would never be the same Jeff again. I had that same experience a few weeks back when I completed my first sprint triathlon after training for several months.

After that experience, never will I be the same unfit, depressed and overweight David again. While my weight problem was not close to what yours was, I could feel myself heading that direction fast.

Let me say this, One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of health. In giving that gift to yourself, you will inspire others to also give the same gift to themselves and the domino effect goes on.

You have no good excuse not to give yourself this gift. You owe it to your future, your family and your loved ones. I assume you have no illness or disability. You have everything you need to become the person you want to be. No excuses. I hope I didn't just waste the last 20 minutes reading your story because when I found out you were back to 237 I was kinda
disappointed. It was like I was watching Rocky and I just knew you were going to win...and now...237.

So you let the old Jeff...the old unmotivated coward that gives in at the first hint of something tasty, you let him kick you down. That behind you now. Its time to "kill the coward" Jeff. You have everything you need to get it done. What you've done so far is incredible. Congratulations. But guess what, your not done yet.

Its time to make some bigger sacrifices with your diet and your exercise. Its time to feel a little more pain.

Getting and staying healthy is a lifestyle. A LIFESTYLE. So get it out of your mind that someday you will "arrive" and you will get to go back to eating lots of ice cream and late night snacks. Those days are over Jeff. Say goodbye. Its a lifestyle not a diet. It will be hard but you will thank yourself for having the determination someday.

Here are some quotes that have inspired me...

"Genetics might load the gun but lifestyle pulls the trigger"

"Hunger is ugly leaving the body"

"There is a certain joy in the pain of exhaustion"

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

'I become a happier man each time I suffer.'-LA

"There are two times to train - when you want to, and when you don't."

"Stop saying 'I'm going to exercise' and start saying 'I'm going to train' makes you more bad ass"

"Ride like you stole something"LA to F Landis

"Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks."Scott Martin

"Don't look away, it's the life that you choose, now believe it."

Posted by David S.

I read this and then reread it. It pretty well stopped me in my tracks. This really sums up so many things that I needed to hear.

"So get it out of your mind that someday you will "arrive" and you will get to go back to eating lots of ice cream and late night snacks. Those days are over Jeff. Say goodbye. Its a lifestyle not a diet." Long ago in this journey, I had wondered what happens when I get "there". You know, that place where dreams are made -- the goal weight. That magical, mystical, subjective weight that is really little more than digits on a screen. David points out that realizing that number is not then a license pig out. The goal should not be a number, but a level of health. Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of easy measurements to figure out a part of this. Nobody is going to have blood drawn to check their cholesterol every day. Besides, I'm a numbers guy, so it's easy. I just need to put it all in perspective. I've said it to people hundreds of times -- I'll be dealing with my weight for the rest of my life. Now, I just need to understand and accept what that means.

Since this was a late post, I know a lot of my friends are also struggling with weight that they're having to lose again. I hope that David's words will help you too.

David -- thank you for taking the time and effort to write. I can't help but wonder if your accident wasn't the product of something unworldly. I'm grateful that it happened. Please stop by again.

On another note. . . I had planned to write about something totally different today.

This is Bryan. We've ridden together a few times and we both belong to the same gym. About a month ago, I got Bryan to try out Body Pump at the gym and now he's a regular. In return, he told me of all the virtues of Basic Training class. There was one excuse and then another why I didn't go. Yesterday he reminded me again and it was all about the weather. I don't do sub-40 degrees outside. (Okay, yeah, wimp, fine, I can live with that.) Monday was in the mid-30's at the 6 am start.

So last night I checked the weather and we're looking at low 40's. What could I do. No more excuses.

I met the instructor (drill sergeant, actually, right?) and he looked me up and down. I could read his mind -- "this guy's in no shape to handle my class." Just then, Pat, one of the Body Pump instructors walks by -- "Hey, Jeff, how was the Baltimore Marathon?" Sarge looked at me again -- "You ran the Baltimore Marathon?" Well, half, but yeah. The change in his demeanor was instantaneous. Timing was perfect.

Anyway, at 6, a group of 60 or so gathered outside. Start with 15 - 4-count jumping jacks. Okay, 20 push ups. Alright everyone, we're running to the college, about a mile and a half away. At the college, it was time for 20 minutes of intense calisthenics. More more push ups, 100 full range sit-ups (I didn't think anyone did those any more!), crunches, more crunches, squat thrusts -- oh man, it's been 30 years since I've done a squat thrust -- jr. high gym class -- they still suck. OK, now, run back. Then more jumping jacks, still more push ups, finally some stretches. Thankfully, form doesn't count, cause I didn't have any for most of this.

The hour was about as intense as anything I've ever done. The chill in the air was refreshing, for sure. I figure I'm good now to about 38 degrees! It will be nice to work this into the weekly repertoire.

I told Bryan that I hated him, but, of course, I don't. (He told me the same thing after the first Body Pump, too.) I'm thankful that he kept "reminding" me. Not sure how I'll feel in a couple of days when the soreness from the morning's activities set in, but I'll be back!



Amy said...

I get that look ALLLLLLLLLL the time.

Then I make it my mission to kick ass and prove to them, that although I'm a little chubby I'm in effing great shape! ;)

Terry said...

Jeff - thanks for Sharing David's email- it hit home, as I think you knew it would.
Glad you made it to the boot camp- way to go.

One of my mentors in the chiropractic world tells me all the time- THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS.... So Dave finding your blog when he did was not accident.

Thanks Buddy- as always you inspire me.

Andrew is getting fit said...

Heh...we've all had that look at one point or another I reckon!

Aaron said...

Jeff, great post. I like the train versus exercise quote. David's email is great motivation.

Bryan said...


I am glad you joined me for the morning Boot Camp. You failed to mention that you did a Week 7 of Week 8 class!! Not bad at all my friend!!

You did it man - betcha we can get to 20 degree days soon :-)

David S. said...

Dude! I had no idea my comments would even go anywhere but I'm glad you found them to be of benefit. Your seriously going to kick butt and you've inspired me with your joining the boot camp. Awesome. Keep us posted! I've added your blog to my reader!

Pokey said...

I read that comment on your blog and had the same thoughts....he really hit the nail on the head. I needed it too :)

Way to at Boot Camp!! I have wanted to join one so badly, but just cant fit it in the schedule (excuse, I know). I also need to get back to the gym...I'm sure my Body Pump instructor is missing me!!

Erin said...

It looks like you got the ass-kicking you asked for! Heh. What's that saying... be careful what you wish for?

Thanks for sharing.

Pat said...

I don't like the drill instructor already, and I haven't met him. LOL.

But, he sounds like he runs a great class. Keep up the training.

David's letter was a great one too. I'm glad you shared.

CoachLiz said...

Way to go with the Boot Camp!

David and Bryan are your angels looking out for you.

J~Mom said...

Thanks for sharing that!!!