Goodbye to 2013! And 2012 and 2011…

This may be the most difficult post I’ve written for our site or for any other publication for that matter. Not due to the content, but due to the topic – me. During the next couple days the Internets will be filled with stories and reflections from people discussing the last lap around the sun. This is going to be my reflection / confessional on the last couple years and I hope you learn something from it and share it with a friend. I think many of you who read this entry will be able to relate  and I hope we can continue on a new journey together. So here goes.

Over the past several years, there have been a few low points and many high points in my life. And during that time my condition and fitness levels have slowly taken a turn in the wrong direction. As with many people, life happens and  2011 was the worst year of my life. My youngest sister and one of her friends were killed in a car accident and it changed me in many ways, as one would expect. I went in to a bit of a funk. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the month or so after the accident. I lost interest in my training, and when I had free time, I filled it with something other than exercise. Anything other than exercise. My diet suffered a little too. I didn’t eat double cheeseburgers and pizza every day, but I didn’t give much thought to meal planning or eating. I just ate and drank what I wanted.

Just a few months later, Michelle and I found out we were having a baby girl, and my outlook totally changed. I was filled with joy about the future and what it had in store for us. While my mood was considerably better, I still didn’t give much thought to exercise or my diet. When I had free time, I wanted to go home and work on the house instead of getting under a barbell. Again, I didn’t eat terribly and Michelle cooks pretty healthy food at home, but if I wanted to eat something, I ate it. And I drank quite a bit of craft beer.

2012 was the best year of my life. Ava was born in February, and all I wanted to to was spend time at home when I could. My work schedule changed when Michelle went back to work and I cut my hours back in order to manage daycare responsibilities. Subsequently, my training remained terribly inconsistent and you guessed it…my diet was inconsistent too. In the summer of 2012, we started looking for a new, larger location for our business. The impending moving day and pressure to get the new facility ready was stressful to say the least. Combine that with having an amazing wife and infant at home, and once again, I never really got going on a regular training schedule. And I drank quite a bit of craft beer.

You may think to yourself, “This guy owns a gym. He’s literally in a gym 30+ hours per week. He has no excuse not to train.” You are correct. I have no legitimate excuses. Lots of lousy ones, but no real excuse. My only saving grace is the fact that I walk about 5 miles per day and move several thousands of pounds daily when training clients. If I worked a desk job, this story would have a different ending.

So fast forward to 2013. We moved in to our new 8800 square foot facility, got some new trainers and things are much better. Moving to the new facility lifted my spirits after being run down the last few months in our old location. I think my diet has been better, but I haven’t given much thought to it. However, until about eight weeks ago, I didn’t train with any regularity. I’d start a program, go at it for a week, then life would happen and I’d miss weeks of training. Finally one day, I got tired of it and made a change. I wrote my Strength Club program and put myself on it. I’m back training with more consistency, and feeling better than I have in a couple years. And, I’m very excited about 2014 and beyond.

What does all this mean? I estimate that I’ve lost about 10-12 lbs of muscle and gained 8-10 lbs of fat. So while my weight hasn’t changed much, the way I look and feel certainly has. This doesn’t sound terrible, but this is how weight gain and slight upticks in bodyfat happen – GRADUALLY.

So, what is the moral to this Reader’s Digest story of my last three spins around the sun?

  • Life happens. Sometimes we can’t avoid it, we just have to roll with it.
  • Excuses are easy to make.
  • Change is difficult.
  • There is nothing more important than family.
  • Trainers aren’t perfect. EVER.
  • We are all works in progress – personally, professionally, morally, emotionally, etc.
  • We all need and should appreciate support from others. We can’t live in an emotional vacuum.

There it is. What I hope you learned is that I totally understand where you’re coming from when you say you need help getting in shape. I’ve been there. Recently. I’m not perfect. I struggle. Now, I’m on a journey with a map that will take me to where I want to be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is no destination, but if you want to take that journey yourself, I would love to walk the path with you.

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s. Let’s make 2014 memorable.

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