Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Up In the Gym Just Workin' On My Fitness

Yeah, I don't know why you clicked the link, either.  But you're here.  I have all kinds of thoughts and stories about being overweight, but that's for another day.

I made the decision last week to forfeit what little free time I have over the next six months to spend hour after hour in a gym full of strangers.  I am sacrificing time with our son, currently two and a half years old, to go get this done.  On its surface, it certainly appears to be a selfish effort, and honestly on some levels, it feels that way (and not a good, self-indulgent type of "selfish").  But on so many levels, I'm afraid of dying, and continuing to eat the way I do, and not exercise will lead me there.  Talk about selfish.  Hank the Tank needs and deserves a daddy - and one who can keep up with his crazy self!

I have been going to gyms all of my life.  Except for the last three years, since my wife got pregnant. What a difference that lack of activity has made.  And in our case, it was necessary.  We don't have local family, so there's none of this "Hey we'll watch the kids, 10 miles from your house, for 3 days," or "Sure, we'll provide free day care until your kid's 4 years old!"  Nope.  No such luck.  But back to the story.

I walked into a gym for the first time in over three years yesterday.  I actually had a mini-anxiety attack during the walk from the parking lot! Me! Over going to the gym! What's next, being scared of beaches and swamps?  As I worked out - ever so steadily (ever so slowly) - it came into focus again.  I'm only 35-45lbs over my peak weight (age 24 beach bum), but I was one of the fattest people in the gym yesterday.

Yup.  I'm officially a fattie, by Annapolis standards at least (which are akin to Charleston SC or Nantucket standards).

And instead of being ashamed, or sad, or upset about it, I was motivated.  I saw older guys in better shape.  Moms working their tails off.  Super attractive young people (the young and the pretty) having to absolutely go militant on gym equipment to keep up their physique.  I don't want or expect what they have.  But I do respect it.

The workout was awesome.  Such an adrenaline rush.  My knees and my feet are a bit sore, but it'll fade.  It's exciting to be making this investment again.  I look forward to working outside without huffing and puffing up a steep hill. To not having to take a break while paddling against the wind.  To not be sore after simply an "average" fishing day or hike. To being able to *almost* catch up with Hank, as he streaks past.

He can kick the ball up and down a field now.  He's trying to teach himself to roller skate (hint: disaster).  He wants to see skateboarding and motocross.  He ain't gonna be going any slower over the next 15 years.  It's time to work up my game.  I hope that losing some time together now means that he and I can explore a whole lot more together in future years.  Stayed tuned this outdoors dad's fitness journey - we'll see where it leads!


Anonymous said...

It's all about routine. Go even when you're tired or just not even in the mood. And don't burn yourself out! Good luck!


Kirk Mantay said...

I usually lose about half the weight I want to, and in the process burn myself out with injury - stress fracture, minor sprain, etc. Then I don't work out for 3 years and gain the weight back. What a ridiculous cycle.

I'm going to work really hard to not have that happen this time!

Mark Coleman said...

That's not a Hokie football is it?

Kirk Mantay said...

Sure is! '97 fish and wildlife, '96 geography!!!

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