Health and Fitness Failure: New Beginnings, by Will Saunders
Between December 2016 and April, I fell off the wagon. I mean, I fell waaaaaaayyyyyy off. I really failed at it. I fell so far off the wagon, I was walking around looking for it. I couldn’t see where it was. I began eating and drinking too much of the wrong things, I quit my regular exercise, and I gained 15 pounds. I know some of you will say catching myself at a 15 pound gain is good. That’s what a coworker said to me. Many people gain double or triple that (or more) before restarting. I knew that already, and it wasn’t very comforting hearing it from my work pal.
I was so dismayed, dismayed primarily because I had made such remarkable progress prior to that. I had been very strict with my eating, I tracked everything, I was working out about five days a week (or more) and was feeling and looking great. Last summer, I spent 20 minutes talking to this fella on the DC Metro who noticed my progress and asked how I did it. He was a fellow commuter who evidently had been watching me. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may recall my post, “You never know who is watching you” that I wrote last summer. Recalling that experience – one of several I’ve had over the years – is additional inspiration for me to become a trainer. More on that later. It’s great when people notice my progress and they are motivated to work on their own progress. But all that progress is gone. Oh well. C’est la vie. I can’t cry over spilled milk.
Three Mondays ago, April 24th, was my last day of mindless eating and drinking. It was my birthday. That was my new beginning. I’m back on my game. I felt compelled to do so when I tried to put on a pair of my favorite party pants and could barely fasten them. I looked like Wimpy. You remember him don’t you, from the Popeye comic strip?
Well, of course I’m exaggerating. I didn’t really look like him. But I sure felt like I was him. I initially wanted to blame it on the laundry. “Maybe they shrunk,” I wanted to say. But the reality is, I got a little chunky. I felt chunkier than I actually was. But I knew it was time for a change. It didn’t help that I had just finished watching a show on the Discovery Channel on the rise in premature deaths attributed to rather small increases in a person’s weight. It scared me.
Now, for the past three weeks, I’ve been back at it. I have been at it so hard that I even endured an injury to my lower back two weeks ago, and it’s just now healed. I forgot that I can’t go hard when I haven’t been going at all for five months, especially since I’m no longer in my twenties anymore. I know now. I’ve been working with a trainer – not really working with him, but he began chatting with me while I was working out. He walked up to me amid my workout and began counseling me, something which I tend to find very annoying. He offered me some free sessions, so I kept talking with him anyhow to be nice. Besides, I love anything free. Though I prefer to do it on my own (I know what I need to do and how to do it), his tips have been helpful. In fact, dude encouraged me to become a trainer myself. He said he had been watching me and thinks the even-tempered way in which I assist the other gym-goers when they ask “stupid questions” (his words, not mine) was admirable. I was thinking of being a health and wellness coach. But as a fitness trainer too, I think together they would be great and serve as an amazing side gig.
I don’t usually talk about my pending goals, because I always feel I’d be embarrassed and let people down if I don’t succeed. Everyone always expects me to do it the right way, to never quit, and achieve great heights. That’s the inspiration I’d give to other people, so I’m supposed to live by my own words, right? Well against my norm, I’m going to tell you that I signed up for personal trainer classes this week through the National Council on Strength and Fitness. That’s the same place where my trainer studied. I just began reading chapter one of the textbook, Advanced Concepts of Personal Training, by Brian D. Biagioli. Chapter One, “Functional Anatomy,” is a primer on bones, muscles, and joints and the way in which they each intersect with one another.
There’s no specific time limit for completing the program, but the counselor said most people complete it in between 8-10 months. That seems quite ambitious to me, but I’m giving it my all. My trainer said he completed it in 13 months. If he could do it, so can I. A part of me feels as if I’m biting off more than I can chew. But like in the story, The Little Engine that Could, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Eventually I’ll learn to believe those words, cause as of this writing, I don’t know if I’m in over my head. I ‘m feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Wish me luck and check in on me in a few weeks to see how I’m doing. I may need a little nudging to keep me on it.