NEW ALBANY — Yeah, it's been a while since I've updated this blog.
In the days and weeks that have passed since my last update, I've had a few success and a few challenges. I've done some things I'm extremely proud of, with a few things that I'm not at all proud of mixed in. I don't know why I've let this thing go for as long as I have - part of it is definitely being intimidated by the microscope this challenge has put me under. Although I love seeing my byline in the newspaper every day, I'm not a fan of talking about myself at all. I'm more of a listener and less of a sharer, and I guess it's a personality quirk that has come through.
You're getting to know about my journey as I work toward better health, but you also get to know me better, as well... and I don't know why, but that's something that kind of makes me feel ill at ease. Before I went back to school to add journalism to my skill-set, being pseudo-famous was something that sort of appealed to me. Not so much now. It's weird having random people come up to you and starting a conversation when they know way more about you than you could ever know about them, and that's happened a few times since I started this thing.
But I'm going to put that aside. When I first started this one-man fitness challenge, working out was a chore. It was something else I had to find a way to jam into my day, and it was frankly an inconvenience. In the world of sports, we work late. We sleep late. We do it all over again the next day. Working out is something that I used to do after work when I've had other jobs, and the fact that there wasn't a nice, spacious gym open past 11 p.m. anywhere was a major barrier toward getting there for me.
When I'd get to the gym, I'd do my best to just get the workout over with. My form on my exercises wasn't great. I knew I was getting something out of it, but I knew that cardio loomed at the end of every workout, and cardio is something that, frankly, I used to dread.
I don't see it that way now. Working out has become something that I look forward to now, and I'm glad to go when I do. My form on my exercises has been steadily improving, as has the amount of weight I can put up. I don't fear the treadmill or the elliptical anymore, and it's not that big of a deal for me to get through a heavy workout and finish it up with a 35-minute walk on an incline.
I've seen a lot of benefits already. I've got shirts that I couldn't button back in January that I'm now wearing to work on the regular. They fit OK and I know they'll fit even better as time goes by. I've got a pair of jeans that I wear often that I now have to cinch up with a belt to keep from having them fall around my ankles. I'll probably need to go digging through my old clothes soon to find something that fits better.
Don't get me wrong... I've got a few sore spots on my body. My right calf is giving me a little bit of throbbing, and my left elbow is not a fan of the EZ-barbell, especially on skull crushers (a tricep exercise performed on a bench). My right foot has some pain, and my lower back is still weak despite my efforts to strengthen it, which limits me on a couple of my prescribed exercises. I've worked through discomfort before, and I feel like I'm OK to do it again.
Eating right has had its own challenges, and that's probably the harder thing for me to deal with. I was raised on peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese sandwiches. It's not my parents' fault... I was a very, very stubborn kid. I ate my first cheeseburger when I was 10, just to give you an idea. As far as I'm concerned, there are entire familes of vegetables that will never find my plate. And I'm so used to eating garbage, I find myself missing it and succumbing to temptation every now and again. I'd almost liken it to homesickness, and there's definitely a comfort that comes with eating a bacon cheeseburger from Rally's.
That's a mindset that slowly but surely, I'm starting to get away from. I've already more or less conquered my caffeine addiction. I'm drinking a lot more water everyday.
The folks at the Floyd County YMCA have been patient with me, but they've also been firm. Alli Hilles, my personal trainer, upped the intensity on my workout regiment two weeks ago, and I've been grateful for it. I think I was getting bored with machines, and this new routine includes a lot more freeweights. It's more challenging. Stephanie Gholston, my personal trainer, has been great about trying to give me new ways to look at eating. I'm still not eating kiwi with an infant's spoon, but I'm getting there.
I think success breeds success, and my early successes are the springboard I need to take this thing to the next level. I still have body-image issues, and that comes out when I go out on the town. Suffice to say, I've got some more work to do before I'll feel comfortable getting in the pool, which is something I'm looking forward to. I'll get there.