I’ve recently rediscovered the “joys” of running, and while I am currently limiting myself to 20 minutes per jaunt on a treadmill, I’m nonetheless happy to once again be exerting myself in some vigorous exercise. Sweaty. And yes, I’m painfully aware of how strange it seems to live in sunny, beautiful Southern California and so close to the beach, yet there I am running in place on a treadmill….in my garage.
Kind of like going to a tanning salon in Hawaii.
It’s all about baby steps.
The treadmill once resided in our upstairs bedroom at the Pedro townhouse/castle, and while I did use it frequently, it was essentially impossible to run on it, as a giant man stomping on a treadmill upstairs is essentially like having King Kong dancing on your roof. Loud. So while in Pedro I would usually just do a fast-paced walk and watch something on TV to get me through it. However, there is no TV in the garage at the new place and no plans to go all high-tech out there any way, so what’s a guy to do but rely on his trusty iPod for some musical accompaniment to his frantic and sweaty running?
It’s a pretty quick and easy routine of running for five minutes, followed by a one minute walk, and then back to running again. The sweat begins almost instantly so the workout is great, and the other day I found myself having the most interesting thoughts and memories popping into my head as a result of the random music that was playing on the iPod.
“Prelude/Angry Young Man” by Billy Joel had me thinking about driving around in my old blue pick-up truck in 1986, while “Badlands” by Bruce Springsteen had me longing for the days of attending concerts when my ears could still handle it. “When Love Comes to Town” is a recent addition to my iPod courtesy of my friend Gary. It is a cover of the U2 song done by the incredible Todd Agnew, and it simply made me run faster and think about Christ. Towards the end of the workout I listened to the sappy “Never Surrender” by 80s heart-throb Corey Hart. I always loved the song and it made me think of the music video that was created for it. I really miss the old music videos that were more like movies in miniature.
So that was it. The 20 minutes flew by to the chorus random iPod selections for a guy with a questionable taste in music, but the bottom line is that the old body was in motion. Sheesh, it is so very easy to get complacent these days. I remember being as skinny as a stick back in the day, when upon returning to the house after a full day of sports I could eat mostly anything and still manage to either maintain or lose weight.
Now I eat a Pop Tart and I grow another chin and belly flap.
Nothing is more depressing than seeing your likeness in a photo and you immediately begin making the self-deprecating Santa Claus jokes about yourself.
Still, losing weight and getting in shape has to be a priority for me. As has been well documented here, my old man dropped-off at the age of 51 and if I am to avoid a similar fate I really need to make sure and take care of myself.
But it is difficult sometimes.
Life can be draining, making it tough to get motivated, but once you do get moving and start to see results it practically becomes an obsession.
I’m sad but happy.
Sad to report that in January of this year I weighed-in at whopping 285 pounds. At 6-foot-7, that’s an impressive weight if you are a professional athlete, but if you’re an everyman, well, not so much.
I’m happy to report that I’m now 260. Still not where I want/need to be, but obviously much closer to the goal and certainly much healthier than the jumbo version of my January self. Tubby Fulton.
If exercising requires motivation, awful music and commitment, then eating right requires discipline, common sense and restraint from the aforementioned Pop Tarts.
There’s joy in eating and who doesn’t want a whole lot of joy on their plate?
Mashed potatoes? Yes, a mountain please!
Cheeseburgers? I’ll have two!
Still, my greatest downfall will always be dessert. Curse you Dane of Desserts! (If there is an Earl of Sandwich there most certainly is a Dane of Desserts. Sir of Sweets? Pope of Pop Tarts?)
Any way, if there is a cake in the room or perhaps a mound of cookies, or even a platter of pastries, I can pretty much guarantee that I’m nearby. I’ll hang back at first, feigning my disinterest, but very soon I shall pounce and make that bundt cake mine. Mine I say!!
Yes, I have a problem with the sweets.
I’m weak and lacking in willpower.
But they say it is healthy to own-up to our weaknesses and faults, so I’m all about accountability. Sam, I definitely ate most of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies this week. First I distracted Trevor so that I could take one away from him and I believe I later blamed Emily in explaining how the dozen cookies disappeared so quickly.
The Cookie Monster is me.
I’ll try to be better. Try, try, try, T-R-Y!
Tubby can do this, though.
I can get on that treadmill and run quickly to the tunes of my somewhat interesting soundtrack while I continue to chart my caloric intake and resist the temptation to steal goodies from my kids.
I was 285 when I began this odyssey, I’m 260 now, and by golly I’m going to hit that 250-lbs goal weight at some point before the new Pop Tart flavor is announced.