Late Night Work Outs

gym selfie

Look at me, two weeks in a row (pats self on the back-winces in pain because yesterday was “arms day” and they still hurt to move). I don’t really have much to tell you.  Not a lot has changed in the last week.  I’m still fat.  I still don’t want to exercise. I am still exercising anyway. I want to eat every bad thing I see and I resist the urge almost solely based on the fact that I don’t want to write another confessional post.

Two days a week, I go to the gym following my swing shift at work.  This shift runs from 5pm to 3 am.  The absolute hardest part of working out at this time is getting out of my car. Especially recently as the weather has turned colder (I use that term loosely as “cold” here is when the temperature hits the 40’s at night). I get in my car to drive over to the gym and turn on the heater to defrost my windshield.  By the time I can see and drive over to the gym, I’m cozy warm and I am loath to get out. It seems that each night gets harder and harder but eventually I work up the (let’s be honest) guilt (over having to write about not going in this post) and go inside.

This is one of my favorite times to go to the gym.  Surprisingly enough there is barely anyone there.  Although it’s been said that “misery loves company,” I prefer to be alone during my work out sessions.  I don’t want to make friends and be forced to carry on conversations between desperate gasps for air. It is usually just a handful of people.  Last night there was one other person (the employee) in the gym when I finally dragged myself from the car.

There is a long row of roughly 20 exercise bikes. I usually go the last one on the end-that way I can guarantee at least one side of solitude.  Last night my favorite bike was waiting for me like a silent, non-judgmental old friend.  I began working out.  About 3 minutes into my workout (or about 3 minutes after I wanted to stop), an older guy came in and walked straight to the bike on my right.  Not to “a” bike on my right, but to “the” bike on my right. Mind you this facility is enormous.  Even if he had only wanted to bike he could have chosen any of the other 19 or so.  Instead he chose to sit roughly 2 feet from me.

I did my best to ignore him and focus on my exercise or more accurately zone-in on my distraction of choice-Doctor Who. I believe he may have tried to say something to me but I had my ear buds in and didn’t respond. If he did attempt to chat me up he quickly abandoned his efforts and focused on his workout.  I continued pedaling with the added motivation of pretending I was racing away from the awkward situation.

Then the noises started. At first it seemed like a casual grunt one would expect from physical exertion. But I quickly realized this was not a normal situation.  He was breathing loudly on the inhale as well as the exhale.  Each exhale began with pursed lips drawn tightly so that the air had to build up pressure before it could escape.  Once a sufficient amount of pressure had amassed it began slipping out in short bursts that made a staccato sound not dissimilar to flatulence.  When he finished his exhale he began a crescendo of sucking the air back in through his teeth so that it made a wet hissing noise just barely below a whistle. Even now as I reenact it to more aptly describe it to you, I find myself out of breath-leading me to believe that it is not only annoying but incredibly anti-conducive to exercise.

Fortunately, he only lasted ten minutes (I was sure he would have hyperventilated after five minutes) before moving on, mercifully, to the other side of the gym.  I could still hear his odd breathing noises as he grunted with each rep on the weight machines.  I finished up my own regimen (infinitely more silently) and exited the gym.

As I said before, I prefer to exercise in misery alone. But if I am forced to exercise with other people present then may they all be such productive blog fodder.

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New Year; Fresh Start

Hello Media.

I know.  It’s been three weeks since my last post.  Not only have I failed at making this a habit (not giving up on that), but I also want to offer up many excuses (some legitimate) as to why I haven’t posted the last few weeks.  The cold hard truth is that I haven’t wanted to sit down at the computer and write out the post.  Honestly, how lazy am I that I don’t want to do a task that requires me to sit and only move my fingers?  It’s not like I don’t have good things to update.  It’s not like I have bad things to tell you. I just didn’t want to type.  For that I apologize.  When I started out I made the commitment to lose weight and communicate that journey.  I can’t be faithful to one and neglect the other.  So please forgive my laziness.  I will endeavor to be more consistent with my responsibilities moving forward.

That was how I started the last entry I posted to my blog.  These last few weeks since then have been a great big fail.  Not only was I not “more consistent with my responsibilities” but I failed in so many other ways.

I have never really felt the holiday crush when it comes to trying to eat right and exercise faithfully. The reason for that is due mostly to the fact that I haven’t really cared before.  I wasn’t trying to eat right, I just ate.  I wasn’t trying to exercise faithfully I just did what I wanted to do (which more often than not consisted of doing nothing). This year was different.  I was committed to eating right and exercising but when it came down to it, I was no match for the onslaught of holiday activities–most of which include minimal activity and lots of eating spectacularly not good for you food.

I struggled most with the eating right part.  That statement alone could aptly sum up my life let alone the last 6 weeks.  It could be on my tombstone:  Here lies Jared.  He was a nice guy, thought he was way funnier than he was but mostly he struggled with the eating right part.  I know I don’t have to remind you about all the fantastic food one is enticed to eat in the holiday season.  Just suffice it to say that when the opportunity presented itself I more often than not accepted the challenge to eat as much as I could rather than politely decline.

Exercising faithfully was not as big of a problem but I still consider it a fail.  Through this time I still went to the gym regularly with the exception of the week of Christmas and the following week.  I used the hectic nature of my work at Christmas (and it was stupid crazy) and the fact that I had been faithful to that point as an excuse to take a couple of weeks off.  But really I would have jumped at any excuse I could to take a break.

The thing that I feel was my most miserable failure though was this blog.  The other day I got an email from a fitness app I had years ago.  One article was about the #1 habit all weight loss programs should have.  A cross fit trainer got all his fitness buddies to write out their most common fitness habits.  They narrowed the list down to 167.  That was obviously too many for a successful blog post (who is going to open a post called “167 Essential Fitness Habits”). So the cross fit trainer decided to define “habit”.  He came to the conclusion that a habit was something you did almost subconsciously. That definition eliminated their entire list.  If they were aware of their habits enough to write out 167 of them then they weren’t as subconscious as they thought.  As he discussed this with his fitness buddies, he realized that the most essential thing to effective weight loss was what he was doing at that moment: Sharing the journey.

The not so old adage goes: If someone works out and doesn’t post it to social media, did it really happen? We’ve all seen the countless images on Instagram and Facebook of people working out (I enjoy the fails the most). Most of them admittedly are doing it out of vanity and pride.  But a few are endeavoring to attain an element of accountability.  I decided I need to start doing this.  Truth is I can’t sit down and bang out a blog post every couple of days.  But I can keep a stream of information flowing through other means.

I have several social media accounts set up to which I will be posting daily updates of my  journey including things I’ve eaten (or things I’ve not eaten but wanted to), exercise times and accomplishments and general information I found useful.  So basically I’ll be using social media to post pictures of food and myself (original, I know) but this time it will be for a purpose.  If you do not already follow me on these networks I will list how to find me below. If social media isn’t really your thing I will continue to post weekly to the blog.  Not only will this allow me to communicate more openly with you but you can more easily communicate with me as well.  If you want to encourage me, share a tip or just call me out on general laziness I welcome it.

Thank you for your patience and sticking with me so far.  I hope to be more consistent and faithful going forward on this journey.  But if I start to slack off just say something. After all, that’s what I need from you the most.

Facebook: Jared Burkholder

Twitter: @myfatskinnyguy

Instagram: jaredburk02 or just search #myfatskinnyguy

My Unsolicited Advice

fatties have feelings too

I’m a big guy.  I’m probably big enough that people may occasionally do a double take when they first see me.  I say probably because as I stated in an earlier post I don’t always see myself in those terms.  This is not something I’m proud of and is a considerable factor in my decision and determination to shed the excess weight that I’ve been carrying around all these years.  Because I am so big, I seem to engender concern in people (many of whom are perfect strangers) so much that some of them are compelled to share with me all manner of ways in which I could lose weight.

This, admittedly, is preferable to the ones who just feel the need to point out the fact that I’m large. This is usually done by older persons (man or woman-doesn’t matter, rudeness knows no gender) who have lived beyond the expiration of their social decorum.  I never know quite what to say.

Older person: “Well, you’re a big one, aren’t ya?”
Me: “Yep, It’s nice to see your visual acuity hasn’t diminished with your ability to be appropriate.”

Me: “Here’s your table. Could I get you started with an appetizer?”
Older person: “Well, they’re obviously good. I imagine you’ve had a lot of them.”
Me: “They sure are. I’ll be sure to tell the cook to put a rush on it. Don’t you go dying on me before I can get it out here.”

Older person: “Did you save us any food?”
Me: “Absolutely, I always leave a few arsenic laced morsels for my special customers.”

Now, it should be pointed out that these are actual statements I have actually heard from actual people at my restaurants.  My words were all internalized and replaced with polite diplomatic responses because I’m a human being and I still have the capacity not to intentionally slight a perfect stranger because I’m too old to care.

Thursday was an especially annoying day for me.  I had three different occasions where people came up to me and told me how I should go about losing weight.  (It is imperative that I add this disclaimer that I am not including my cousin in this group. She messaged me and asked if she could share somethings with me about my weight loss journey. To which I replied that it would be okay, because I know her and I know that she cares for me).  The first occasion was early morning at the gym. I was working out when some person I had never met before (obviously an EGO) came up to me and told me that I was doing it all wrong. He then proceeded to tell me what I should be doing.  I have no idea what he said because I didn’t want to listen to him. He may very well have had good ideas but because he handled it so poorly I immediately tuned him out.  I asked him if he was a trainer and he said no and that he just really liked to exercise.  I told him I heard they were hiring trainers and that he should go apply as I slipped my earbuds back in (the international sign of This Conversation is Done.)

The second was a regular customer at my diner.  Perhaps they thought that because we see each other occasionally and I serve them coffee that they are somehow now in a position to tell me how to diet. Far be it from me to reject advice from a skinny person (they’re obviously doing something right), I probably will pass on any advice from someone who has been admitted to the hospital for malnutrition 3 times in the past 18 months. You see I don’t just want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. Thanks, but it’s a hard pass.

The third and most egregious offender was from the most vocal of weight loss experts: the Former Fatty! No one knows more about weight loss than someone who has lost it. And no one is more eager to tell you their story than that same person. This particular FF was a 50 year old man who claimed to have lost 186 pounds in his life. I joked that I’ve easily lost that much if you total it all together but with 186 pounds he also lost his sense of humor.

He was a bit caustic and he began to lay into me how I could lose weight.  His solution: Squeeze two lemons into a glass with three fingers of water. Drink that every morning when I wake up and every night before bed.  Then walk or run one hour and thirty minutes every morning.  Now he had decent ideas but I don’t care mostly because the acidity from all of those lemons he consumes has leaked into his personality.  His most passionate reason for losing weight he claimed was because his wife didn’t want to have to call 911 in the middle of the night.  A truly compelling reason if ever there was one. However, it lost some of its luster when he stepped outside for a smoke for the third time of his 45 minute visit.

What I’m trying to say is that I know I’m fat.  I’m trying to do something about it. But if you want to give me advice (or anyone for that matter) first let me know that you care and then I’ll care about what you know.  So if you see a fatty walking down the street and the urge swells within you to give them advice (even compassionately) just hold on to it. Say a quick prayer that they will either become aware of their situation or if they are already aware then pray that they will have the strength to continue the journey and the fortitude not to strangle the next person who points out the fact that they’re fat.

My Gym Experience

New York City 10956

Last week I posted about my propensity for making excuses and my need to develop better habits.  I don’t have any new news to post about this week but in the interest of developing better habits I wanted to be sure to post this week so that I can make it a habit.

As I’ve mentioned I have joined a gym.  I am nowhere near what you would call a gym rat.  One of my servers is a self-professed gym rat.  She describes the feeling and experience of exercising in very much the same way I would describe the euphoria of eating warm chocolate chip cookies atop a mountain of Bear Claw ice cream.

Excuse me, I have to take a moment to collect myself.

Okay, as I was saying, exercise is more of a drudgery for me than an exhilarating rush.  There are a few people in my gym that exhibit the same symptoms as I do.  I call us RGPs (Reticent Gym Prisoners). You can spot them fairly easily in my gym, which seems to be mostly populated by the Enthusiastic Gym Operative or EGOs (more on them later).

As an RGP I can recognize (and relate to) the character traits of my fellow prisoners.  It begins with the slow walk from the parking lot to the gym entrance.  In the mind you are still battling with how much you want to do this.  You know that the rewards far outweigh the cost.  It’s just that the cost is immediate and the rewards are more long-term.  Once inside the gym it is customary to make sure that your thumb print scan is as accurate as possible being sure to leave your finger in place a few extra seconds to make certain that you are indeed eligible to exercise at this gym (of course, all the while secretly hoping that it blocks you and two over-muscled goons escort you back to the parking lot).

Once you’ve successfully signed in, you walk over to the equipment, making sure to adjust to the maximum comfort levels (comfort here meaning least painful) and begin your work out.  Now is when the RGP breaks down into a couple different categories.  First, is the Clock Watcher.  This RGP can be seen constantly looking at the clock on the exercise equipment eagerly anticipating its completion.  Second is the Distracted.  This is the category in which I fall.  Exercising is easy if I don’t know that I am doing it.

There are many ways to distract yourself.  One way is by competition.  This is when you keep a close eye on the person next to you and try to match or eclipse the pace they are setting.  This is a useful tool and I have employed it once or twice.  But this can be problematic especially if you wind up next to an EGO. There’s no way for an RGP to keep up with an EGO. If you do, you run the danger of doing some serious exercise (nobody needs that headache-or more accurately back, legs, shoulders, neck-ache). My distraction of choice is Netflix.  I enjoy putting on anything from the Food Network. I like Chopped. By the time the judges are enjoying dessert I have exercised for 20 minutes straight without realizing it. It’s a beautiful thing.

Occasionally, I will forget my ear buds or my phone battery is too low to watch something so I am forced to occupy my mind by observing the EGOs. This group too breaks down into several categories.  First, and my favorite is the Stalwart.  They are there every time rain or shine.  They are just basically consistent.  They have their distractions too. But they just work hard. I admire them and hope someday to be listed among their ranks.

Second, the Dreamer. These are the EGOs who are often new to the gym but they have all these grand aspirations to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.  They are only interested in getting as big and bulky as possible.  They are often seen carrying a protein drink around with them so they can “maximize muscle calibration” (it really says that on one of the bottles). They can be seen exercising in front of a mirror like some present day Narcissus believing that they can literally see their muscles growing with each rep.

The third (and by far the largest) group is the Socializers.  To be fair, this group can consist of RGPs and EGOs alike but since the very nature of an RGP is to hide in the background while exercising it is vastly more populated by EGOs.  They usually work out in groups and can be seen standing around unused gym equipment.

Mostly these groups consist of 3-5 people. They stand around talking while one of them (on a rotating basis) takes a turn on whatever equipment they have migrated towards.  Conversations include maximum number of reps, weight at which those reps were accomplished and number of consumed raw eggs. Compliments on one another’s muscles/physique are bandied about like bad jokes at a comedy club. They are an encouraging lot.  They can often be heard uttering phrases like: “You got this, Bro; Just one more, Bro; Dig a little deeper, Bro.”

It is my opinion if they spent as much time working out as they did jawing about what they did last weekend or the body building competition they will join once the creatine kicks in, they would all be bigger than The Rock.

Suffice it to say that I will never be listed among their number.  I don’t have the desire and I feel like my IQ is just far too high to be comfortable around them.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go to the gym now and sit in the parking lot struggling with my self-loathing.

Jared and the Fat Man

Untitled design (1)

So far all of these posts have been written by the fat skinny guy inside me.  Over the past six weeks I have had pretty good success staying on point.  The fat skinny guy inside me has been ecstatic.  He’s enjoyed eating right, exercising and clothes fitting better.  He’s had a pretty good run.

Mean while, the fat fat guy inside me has been brooding and sulking like a teenager sent to his room without any wi-fi access.  He begrudgingly admits that while he has been forced to eat healthier it has still been pretty good food.  I’m pretty sure he was the one who sabotaged the couple of work outs I missed, no doubt reveling in the extra victory sleep he earned himself with his nefarious deeds (even if the victories were short lived when I squeezed in a make up trip to gym later in the week).

He did have one other “Win” this week.  Our church, every 4-6 weeks will schedule a hospitality night.  This is intended to give the church members a chance to get together with other families and enjoy a bit of fellowship.  A young married couple (Thanks Phil and Sarah) invited us over and since we usually are hosting rather than being hosted we were excited to go.  Now I’m not sure if it was the eclipse or the super moon or if Saturn was in retro-grade (that’s a thing right?) but I’m pretty sure that the fat fat guy ruled the night.  I imagine they had a conversation that went something like this:

FatFat: “Dude, you’ve never been invited to someone’s house before. It’s very important that you follow the rules or you could risk offending them.”

FatSkinny: “Oh, really?  I don’t want to offend anyone.”

FatFat: “Of course you don’t.  So let me take the lead tonight.  I promise I’ll stick to the plan.

The fat skinny guy inside me is very trusting and let the fat fat guy take the lead.  For the first part of the night he behaved himself.  He had a couple of small carnitas tacos with lots of onions and cilantro and just a little bit of the avocado salsa on top.  Together they licked the plate clean.  The fat skinny guy was content and satisfied.  The fat fat guy was just getting going.  When he got up to get more, the conversation continued:

FatSkinny: “Dude, what are you doing?  We just ate. We’re good.”

FatFat: “Man, you don’t know anything do you.  Sarah is a Filipina.”

FatSkinny: “So.”

FatFat: “Dude, we cleaned our plate.  That’s very offensive in her culture.  You need to leave a little on the plate so that she knows you’re full.”

FatSkinny: “That’s not true.  Besides, she knows we’re dieting she’ll understand.”

FatFat: “Oh, she’ll say she understands but inside she’ll be crying bitter tears as you trample all over her culture and people. Do you really want to upset this lovely young lady? Can you live with yourself knowing that you have caused her great embarrassment and she’ll never be able to host another dinner again?  Are you a monster?  Are you dead inside?”

FatSkinny: “Okay, okay.  But just grab a little and eat even less of it.”

After eating a second, FULL plate, the fat fat guy was hitting his stride.

FatSkinny: “Dude, you ate the whole thing.  You were supposed to leave some on the plate so she wouldn’t be offended. Now you have to get more.”

FatFat: “No way man, I’m stuffed.  I couldn’t eat another bite.”

FatSkinny: “WHAT?!”

FatFat: “Besides, we still have dessert.”

FatSkinny:”We are so not having dessert. We’ve eaten way too much already.”

FatFat: “Hey, we have to have dessert. They went through all that effort to make us food. It would be rude not to eat it.”

FatSkinny: “Fine! One small piece. But I am not happy”

Eats dessert.

FatFat: “Oh man, that was fantastic. I think those were lemon bars?”

FatSkinny: “How could you tell?  You inhaled them so fast I’m surprised any of it was on your tongue long enough to taste it. And I said one small piece. You  didn’t have to eat two and Nicole’s!”

The fat fat guy paid dearly the next couple of days.  The fat skinny guy pushed him at the gym harder than he’s been pushed to this point. Determined to make up any ground we may have lost eating like a glutton.  I sweated more, ran harder, and biked farther setting new personal bests in all three categories.  I went to the gym at 5:30am and I’m pretty sure it was noon before I stopped sweating.  Despite the fat fat guys best efforts, I am still weighing in at 28 lbs. lighter than when I started.

I learned something about myself this week.  I have no will power at other people’s homes. So if you invite us  to dinner, please understand in advance I will have to say no to some foods.  I don’t want to offend you. I just can’t take the extra work at the gym.

One Month in and doing alright.

moon design studio co. presents

I missed a week.

If it’s any consolation I only missed posting a blog, not eating right and exercising.  I am officially through one month (technically one month and one week). As it stands I am down 25 lbs. (technically 25.2).  I am also enjoying the added benefit of fitting into clothes that I previously couldn’t wear (technically I wore them but I shouldn’t have).  I have a couple of work shirts that I wear twice a week and while I have worn them since receiving them, I taxed them far beyond the abilities of mortal clothing.  I am happy to report that they now fit comfortably.  I am also down two notches on my belt-something else that was taxed beyond normal standards.  I am feeling better and if I may be so bold, I am looking better.

That’s not to say that this first month has been without its trials.  There have been several nights after work where going to the gym has been a struggle.  I’ve had to talk myself out of the comfort of my car like a hostage negotiator.  “C’mon, you have to work with me here. You go inside and I’ll make sure you get the large pizza, helicopter and $1,000,000 in small, unmarked, non-sequential bills.” Fortunately, just like on TV I fall for it every time even though I know I can’t fulfill  any of my demands.

It has also occurred on two occasions that I have missed the gym in the morning before work.  The first day was the day after labor day in which I had played baseball and swam(?) swimmed(?)-had swummed(?) (At any rate I was in a pool doing that thing were you move your arms and legs so as not to die).  The second was just this last Tuesday when I woke up at the sound of my alarm and turned it off and then was awakened 20 minutes later by my 4 year old crawling into bed.  But despite that I just made it up later in the week and haven’t missed going to the gym 5 times in a week, yet.

Eating right has not been as challenging, YET, as I thought it would be.  My wife has been doing some amazing, “clean eating” recipes which she posts on her blog at 365ish Days of Pinterest (Nothing wrong with a little cross promotion, right?). We’ve eaten well.  We have a cheat day once a week in which we are allowed one sweet treat.  So when I have a craving for something I just talk myself into waiting for cheat day.  When cheat day comes I find that I am not willing to over do it on the sweet treat because I don’t want to undo all the hard work it took to get to the cheat day.  Side note: once I reach my desired weight I plan on tearing through a carton of  Bear Claw ice cream. Trust me, 2017 can’t get here fast enough.

I am enjoying my gym membership.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been waiting to try the elliptical machine as it protested loudly the first time I tried to use it.  Well, today I gave it another shot.  It still protested although not as loudly and since there were plenty of other people using the protesting machines I felt confident enough to carry on.  I joined the chorus of elliptical machines, mine, of course, singing lead.  Just after I had passed one mile (yeah me!) there came a loud CU-CHUNK from my machine (which I’m pretty sure is elliptical for “Okay, fat boy, this is as far as I take you.“) so I quickly stopped, wiped it down and walked away like I had never been there.  I am dreading the return trip tomorrow morning where I expect to see that particular machine replaced with a grave stone which reads “RIP-elliptical #3-You gave more than was asked-and that last guy was asking a lot!”

I have made a new friend at the gym whose name aptly enough is Jim.  He is an older gentleman who could exercise circles around me and most of the people there.  He took time one day to tell me how much he admired us “big guys” who find a way to get to the gym and exercise on a regular basis.  He didn’t say it with any pity or sarcasm. It was pure compassion and encouragement.  We see each other on Mondays and Tuesdays and now we talk regularly.

That is one thing I have appreciated through the beginning of this process.  I have received encouragement from so many people: My family, my church family, friends, co-workers, customers, complete strangers.  It is a blessing to have you all supporting me.  I’ll be honest (as I mentioned in the first post) I probably would have quit already if I was just trying to do this for myself.  Knowing that you all are supporting me and encouraging me, the people-pleaser in me just doesn’t want to let you down.  So thank you for your month long support.  I looked forward to rejoicing in victory with you all at the end.  The ice cream will be on me.

My Goals

HOW MUCH I AM

Ever since I was a kid I have loved to play sports.  I would play almost anything-even soccer. I remember summer days spent outside until the street lights came on playing baseball with a handful of kids, a bat and an old tennis ball. It didn’t matter what we were playing, I wanted to be the best and I wanted to win.

I still have that competitive fire in my belly (there’s ample room for that now). I still have a love for sports and will, given the opportunity, play anything I can (even soccer-but only if there’s absolutely nothing else to do). As my weight has climbed those ventures have become more difficult and fewer and farther between.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play a friendly game of softball (friendly meaning one in which my deteriorating skills will go largely unnoticed). I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  After loading up on Ibuprofen I began to think about the fat skinny guy inside me and pictured what he would be saying.

The fat fat guy was exhausted and trying to figure out why we went outside instead of staying home and watching a Psych marathon on TV. But the fat skinny guy (who I am happy to report is feeling trimmer these days having lost a full 15 lbs) was ecstatic.  He was all geeked out about playing sports again and started listing all of the things we’re going to do once our body is cooperative. So I thought I would share some of those things with you in the form of goals.

GOAL #1:

Run a race by my 40th birthday.

I shared this one with my wife the other day. I was a little tentative about sharing this goal with her as the last one I shared with her (my dream to own an Audi) was not only laughed at but she shot it to pieces and lit the tattered remains on fire. However I know my wife loves me and am confident she would support a realistic goal (even one as unrealistic as me running a race). Instead she insisted that I could do it well before my 40th birthday which is still a little over three years away.

I have to be honest, I really don’t enjoy running at all. Even back when it was easy to do. Unless I was running whilst carrying a football or rounding the bases I didn’t really do it.  So I have no desire to become a runner. I don’t even want to run a marathon (the thought of which makes me chuckle to myself) or a half. I might be able to tolerate a 5k or a 10k if it’s like a mud run or something. So as a compromise to my wife’s insistence that I not wait until I’m 40 I have recorded as a goal to run a race by my 40th birthday. That gives me three years to find something that will interest me. And also gives me some time to get to a weight that won’t engender chortles at the starting line.

GOAL #2:

Fit comfortably in a seat at a baseball game.

I love baseball and I have a young boy who is super interested in sports. I am currently waging a battle against his mother and all of Southern California for his fandom. I am a Giants fan! Since I was 9 I have loved the orange and black.  I even named our first dog after the Giants then skipper Dusty Baker. My wife will insist that it was because of the dusty looking spots under her fur but it was my name and I know its true inspiration.  I want my boy to like the Giants too. I want to take him to a Giants home game and go early so we can get an autograph or two. I know this would seal the deal for him and make him a Giant for life. But as it stands right now those chairs are extremely uncomfortable for me to sit in for three hours.  So I have officially made this a goal for which I will strive.

GOAL #3:

Play on a rec-league softball team. 

Have I mentioned I love baseball? I want to play it again without being a detriment to the team.  I am an infielder.  Even as a kid I was far too slow for the outfield. I have in the past played third base and short stop.  I would love to return to the diamond but right now I have a hard enough time getting to a ball let alone bending over and picking it up.  My batting has also suffered greatly.  It’s hard to get around on an inside pitch when the inside is crowded by a considerable amount of body.

GOAL #4:

Fit comfortably in an airline seat.

I love my wife.  I made a promise to her a few years ago that I have not been able to keep as of yet.  That promise was to take her on a really great vacation.  There are several reasons we haven’t done this yet, not the least of which is financial.  That being said one major deterrent  is any really great vacation will require air travel (I’m so not a driving vacation kind of guy).  The last few times I’ve flown I’ve needed a seat belt extender.  I hate asking for one because the flight attendant always looks disdainfully at me, I’m sure wondering why I bother to fly in the first place.  It’s embarrassing but I’ve endured it.

The real reason I don’t want to fly is because those airline seats are not built for such a load as this.  I have never had to buy a second seat for myself but I am sure I would be mortified to do so.  I want to fly to the east coast with my wife and take a Caribbean cruise. I would like to sit next to her on a plane without adding any burden to her seat or (as has happened in the past) forcing her out into the aisle to get a little space.  I want to have my own seat, be able to put the arm rest down and use only the one seat belt.  Oh, and maybe be able to get the tray table to lay flat in front of me so I don’t have to use the one next to me to place my drink and bag of peanuts.

I have many other goals to be sure.  I will not belabor you with them at this point but I will share more with you as I progress. I will also share when I have reached these goals. If you haven’t already heard me shouting about it in exuberance.