Friday, April 20, 2012

No More Excuses

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
 -- Buddha

Driving home from vacation last week I realized it was Easter Sunday and I started thinking about rebirth.  I am in desperate need of a rebirth.  Most of my first 20 years were spent as an athlete, culminating in a short college soccer career.  As an athlete I had always gotten away with a huge appetite.  Even playing soccer nearly every day I was probably still carrying an extra 15-20 lbs.  I was lucky enough to be able to carry it well and I kind of liked being the "Big Guy" at 6'2" and 210 lbs.

This was followed by a decade working on horse farms.  By the end of that decade I had a degree in Software Engineering and an extra 60 lbs. on my frame.  I also had a repaired torn ACL and a knee that hurt like hell when I did pretty much anything.  A few years into my new career and I was where I am now: over 100 lbs. overweight.  Now I'm on cholesterol and blood pressure medicine and, frankly, pretty damned miserable.

I have recently joined Weight Watchers and before vacation I'd lost 10 lbs, was exercising pretty regularly and was feeling good.  On vacation I got sick and used that and the whole 'being on vacation' thing as an excuse to eat poorly and gain back 5 of those hard-won pounds.

I sit here writing this having just finished a "W" combo and single cheeseburger from Wendy's.  Those of you who have been where I am now know the horrible feelings that accompany finishing a meal like that.  You know what to do, you know how to do it, but something in your head gives you sanction to ignore that and satisfy some need you can't even identify by filling yourself with crappy food.  Somehow, I've also let a large part of my personality become being the guy with the big appetite who can really pack it away.  People seem to enjoy watching me do this to myself.

Wow, I re-read that last sentence and it hit me that they probably don't like watching me eat.  What are they going to do, tell me to stop killing myself?  I can play that scenario in my head and know how I'd lash out and the excuses I would make if they tried.

Well, I'm done making excuses.  I have wanted to compete in a triathlon since I quit playing soccer.  I want to be an athlete again.  I want to run and play basketball with my daughter.  I want to go on fun, adventurous vacations with my wife.  My knee?  I started doing P90x as much as I could and my knee feels better than it has in almost 20 years.  Depression?  I feel like I could conquer the world after a good workout and even at the end of a day when I've eaten nothing but whole, quality foods.  My busy life?  My family probably wants this more for me than I do although I would imagine they're afraid to tell me that.

Hopefully, someone out there will read this and I can fulfill the dream of being a writer as well.  I hope to entertain and maybe even teach and all the payment I want in return is knowing I'm being held accountable.


  1. Your post sounds hauntingly familiar. "I want to be an athlete again...Hopefully...I can fulfill the dream of being a writer as well." :) Good luck to you.

    1. PS - I mean.. that I know exactly how you feel. So I'll be rooting you on.

    2. Thank you for the kind words. You've been an inspiration for me in more ways than one. Glad your foot's better!