Sloth to Swole

The story of a real transformation

Category: Running (Page 1 of 2)

The “Why” Powers The “How”

When thinking about this first post – and I’ve been thinking about it a lot – I tried to figure out exactly where I started.  How did I go from being that lazy, video-game playing, soda drinking, Dorito eating kid to being a runner, a fitness junky, a bodybuilder?  A lot of websites and books will probably say that the first thing you need to do is set a goal for yourself – “I want to lose so many pounds,” or “I want to lift this much weight” or “I want to look like Chris Evans in Captain America.”  Join the fucking club!

Every goal of every man ever – to go from scrawny dweeb to… well… a god among men. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

What I realized was that there is a moment before that – one single moment that sparks that fire to become Steve Rogers. It’s that moment of want… of desire… of realizing that you can be more.

I met up with a friend of mine recently.  He hadn’t seen me since I really started hitting the weights hard – it had been over a year or so.  He told me that he’s never known anyone that has oscillated so much in size and weight.  It’s probably true.  As a kid, I was a pudgy little bastard.  In high school and college, I was super skinny – freshmen year of college, I was, like… cancer-patient skinny.  Toward the end of college, I started gaining weight, and didn’t stop until I was about 27.  At my largest, I was about 210 lbs – not huge in the grand scheme of things, but I really didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror.

And that was really it for me – there was one day that I looked in the mirror and suddenly realized how big I had gotten.  I wasn’t happy with how I looked.  I wasn’t happy with myself.  I knew that I could be better.  But instead of crying over a pint of B&J’s Phish Food, I decided to fucking do something about it.  I strapped on some New Balance running shoes, went outside and ran three miles.  And when that got to easy, I ran 5.  Then 7.  Then 10.  And at the end of those first few months, I had run my first half marathon.  It didn’t happen overnight – it was months of running 3, 4, even 5 times a week, pushing myself a little harder each time.  From there, I found my way in to bodybuilding, but that’s another story.

Here’s my point – The first step with any problem is to recognize that there is a problem.  Then, you make a determination that you *CAN* fix the problem.  These are two places that most people fail, I think.  It took me a long time to notice that I was getting bigger.  Looking back at pictures from after college, it’s *VERY* apparent to me, but it’s difficult to notice it when you’re with yourself every day.  It can happen slowly over time.  I think, for me, I really noticed it when I had to start buying new clothes – new, bigger clothes.

The second, bigger issues is realizing that you can change.  A lot of people will blame genetics, say they have glandular problems, or generally make excuses.  I think that there are very few people in the world that actually have physical issues that make them fat – don’t quote me, that’s just my belief.  I think the problems that most people have are 1) they’re lazy and/or 2) they don’t want to put in the work to change.  If that’s the case, that’s fine – but don’t make excuses.  Just be real.   If you can honestly tell me that you are happy being fat, being out of shape, etc, that’s great.  But if you want to lose weight or buff up or run a 5k or whatever, start making a change rather than making excuses.

BRF2013 Medal

The Proof

BRF2013 Finish LineAll of the training and preparation of the past few months, all of the worry after hurting my leg, all of the struggles and pressure that I put myself through.  It all became worth it today in one singular moment – that moment I crossed the finish line.  I can say it now – I can say “I have finished a half-marathon!”  What an incredible rush.  This is the proof I’ve been looking for!  I’ve been telling myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to – this is that proof.  The medal around my neck overshadows all of the doubt, all of the judgment, all of the negativity. If I ever think something isn’t possible, I can look at that medal and remember that it might take a lot of hard work, but I can do anything – and I’m worth it!

Oh, and my time? 1:57:15!  Average Pace – 8:57 min/mile!  I couldn’t have asked for a better time for my first half-marathon!  Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me through this.  I have a long way to go for my full-marathon goal, as well as my physique goals.  I hope you’ll continue to follow along, and I’ll do my best to keep things upbeat, positive, and above all else – entertaining!

Inner Daemons

A week out from my half-marathon, I finally hit a point where I seriously doubted myself.  I woke up not wanting to run.  As I started my run, I wanted to quit.  The doubt continued through miles 7, 8, and 9.  When I hit mile 10, I screamed out and broke down.  I had never run that far – I never thought I would.  But the mental and emotional toughness that I’ve gained over the past few months of training has helped push me physically.  And having all of you out there cheering me on helps more than you know.  Thank you, and I’ll see you at the finish line.

Today was my appointment with the sports therapist.  I’ve been out of any high impact cardio for a while now, and my leg has been feeling fine, so I hoped that I would get some good news from the Doc – and I did, along with some disappointing news.

The Doc said that I can get back to running, at least a little bit – nothing like I was doing before (can’t be doing any 8 milers for a little bit).  She said that I could start off with doing 10 minutes at a 10 min/mile pace if I can.  She also said that I should stay off sidewalks and roads for the time being, and do my runs on a treadmill if possible because its less impactful than roads and sidewalks.  So that’s my plan tonight – tredmill for maybe 20 minutes or so (5 min warm-up, 10 min running, 5 min cool-down). I’ll let you guys know how that goes.

The “bad” news (more so disappointing than actually bad) was the Doc suggesting that I cut my marathon in October down to a half-marathon.  She asked if I was disappointed about her saying that; I answered with an emphatic “Yes,” but I did tell myself that, whatever the Doctor told me, I would follow.  So, that’s what I’ll be doing.

Anyway, I’m happy for the go-ahead to start running again, and still looking forward to October.  My goals haven’t changed too much – I still want to do a marathon.  I just have more time to get that done now.

July 4th Update

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me! I woke up the other day with a sharp pain in my left leg. After talking with some friends about it, I’ve decided to postpone my training for a couple of days while I get my leg checked out. I’m hoping that it’s only shin splints, but its possible that it’s a stress fracture, in which case I’ll be out for 6 weeks or more. I’ll let you know whats up.

Week 2 Begins

Another 4+ Miles under my belt!

A Big Step

8 Miles! Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me. I was able to run the entire distance. I only stopped at one point for an extended time (maybe a minute) because I got lost on my route. I stopped to check the map on my phone to see if I had to turn left or right :P. But I think it still counts!

Hat Trick

My third four-mile run this week.  Definitely felt good this morning – I feel like I’ve gotten used to running in 100+ degree weather, so doing it in 70 degree weather this morning was easy (almost felt like cheating haha). 

And for what it’s worth, I stretched and iced my ankle when I got home after the run and it feels a million times better.  I might do that again tonight just to tone down any swelling that may be going on.

Thanks again to everyone who has been supporting me through this!  I really appreciate it!

Don’t Trust Your Feelin’

So I’ve been bummed with myself looking at that calendar to the right – seeing all of those days that I haven’t posted anything.  I have my excuses – moving to a new apartment, taking a break from exercising for my leg to heal up, getting a new phone that can’t use the WooThemes Express.app, and other excuses that are just as lame.

I’ve always felt that way – about excuses that is.  Look, shit happens sometimes, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what happened or why you didn’t do something.  What matters is whether or not you fix your situation – do you continue to procrastinate or quit?  Or do you take your first opportunity to jump back in and get going again? 

There’s no need for me to waste time explaining why I came up short – mainly because we all do it!  It’s more important for me to accept it, apologize, learn from it, and move forward.

In any case, I’m getting back in to things.  I figured out that I can use the WordPress app for Android to post stuff here, so that will be great for posting Videos and Photos of my runs!

And speaking of which, yesterday I completed my first training run for my Marathon – 4 miles!  It felt really good!  Super excited to get going!

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